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Introducing The Beauty Accelerator™

The Beauty Accelerator™ is the UK’s first beauty sector specific accelerator programme and a joint initiative between The Red Tree, the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy, and SFC Capital, the UK’s most active seed-stage investor. Emerging independent beauty brands based in the UK are invited to apply to receive £150,000 equity investment plus a year long collaborative partnership with The Red Tree to dramatically accelerate their growth and help build the brand to its next stage and beyond.


Beauty industry mergers and acquisition activity has hit record levels in recent years, with beauty brands viewed by private equity as an attractive and rewarding investment opportunity. This remains the case, despite the impact of Covid-19 across all sectors of beauty, with beauty’s traditional resilience – the Lipstick Factor – in the face of economic uncertainty and its highly innovative and dynamic culture likely to lead the industry back to growth. The UK independent beauty scene is particularly vibrant and The Beauty Accelerator™ aims to identify entrepreneurs who are driving game changing innovation, creating disruptive brands and building impressive companies that display the early potential to become global.

Emerging beauty brands across all categories – from colour cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, haircare, male grooming, supplements and all the way through to beauty tech and gadgets – can enter The Beauty Accelerator™. The business must be based in the UK and registered for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), a funding scheme that offers start-ups and entrepreneurs a route to early stage investment capital funding in exchange for the release of equity. Businesses that are established in the UK, fully independent, under 2 years old, not listed on any major stock exchange and have less than 25 employees are eligible for SEIS. Further information, as well as full details of how to register for SEIS, can be found here

Brands that apply for The Beauty Accelerator™ must be able to demonstrate proof of concept, with at least one product currently retailing on the market and a website in operation. All R&D should be completed as funds invested will be ring-fenced for marketing, communication, and commercial activities.

Brands at concept stage will be considered if a game-changing product concept and/or technological innovation can be supported by compelling visuals with a proven founder and/or team in place

Applications to enter The Beauty Accelerator™ open on Monday 24th August. The application form should take no more than 20-25 minutes to complete and is a series of questions that allow applicants to share their brand’s history and achievements to date, its unique selling points and why the brand will make a difference to consumers. All applicants must submit a business plan, with particular focus on the financial model that reasonably demonstrates that revenue can be delivered. There is no need to send samples during with the application form but they may be requested later as part of the review and selection process. The closing date for applications is Friday 25th September.

The Red Tree and SFC Capital will short list outstanding applicants with an  invite to attend a virtual interview during the week commencing Monday 28th September. The interview is expected to last for 30 minutes and will give brands the chance to bring to life the details included in their application form.

From there five brands will be selected to pitch virtually to The Red Tree and SFC Capital in The Beauty Accelerator™ Final on 21st October and 22nd October. Each pitch should take no longer than 45 minutes, with 30 minutes to present and 15 minutes for questions.

The Red Tree and SFC Capital will announce the 2020 Winner of The Beauty Accelerator™ shortly after. The winning brand will receive £150,000 equity investment from SFC Capital as well as a year long collaborative partnership with The Red Tree with its high level global beauty experience, strategic insights and its access to a wide network of beauty industry contacts.

The Beauty Accelerator™ will discover the next big thing in British beauty. If this could be your brand, apply by visiting

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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