5 Beauty Brands Compete To Hook a Shark at Cosmoprof North America 2015

Mark Cuban and John Paul Dejoria are on the judging panel - will a brand get an investment?

By Marie Redding, Associate Editor 06.30.15
The first-ever, and first-of-its-kind event - Beauty Pitch - will take place on Sunday, July 12th at the Professional Beauty Association’s (PBA) Business Forum during Cosmoprof North America (CPNA) in Las Vegas.

Beauty Pitch is an innovative competition that gives beauty entrepreneurs the chance to gain exposure while competing for a possible investment that could catapult their brands to the next level. During the event on July 12th, the competition's five finalists (shown in the slideshow above) will present live to an esteemed judging panel.

"We are overwhelmed with the success of the first annual Beauty Pitch. There were so many qualified and diverse submissions showcasing the creativity of our industry, which made the judging very difficult, but rewarding. Each one of the companies chosen put their best into their respective presentations. We can't wait to have the final five share their entrepreneurial spirit…” commented Steve Sleeper, executive director, PBA.

Mark Cuban is one of the "Prizes"

One winner will receive a prize that’s priceless - a one-year mentorship from Mark Cuban. The same company, or another, may also get funding from a reputable private equity firm. Three participating investor groups, TSG Consumer Group; North Castle; and CircleUp, will review all the applicants.

Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and star of Shark Tank, ABC’s reality television show about real-life entrepreneurs. Cuban will listen to the finalists’ presentations, then provide direct feedback and advice. Cuban was at CPNA 2014, giving the keynote address at PBA's Business Forum. “I’m thrilled to return to CPNA and PBA Beauty Week as I have a vested interest in building my industry knowledge to further support the three beauty brands I currently own and mentoring one winning brand from the Beauty Pitch to success,” said Cuban.

Beauty industry icon John Paul Dejoria, CEO/co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and co-founder of Patron Tequila and Spirits will join Cuban in the critiques at Beauty Pitch, for his first year participating at CPNA. Two additional panelists will also be on hand to provide constructive criticism to the Beauty Pitch finalists - Melissa Goldstein, beauty & lifestyle director, Martha Stewart Living/Weddings; and Neil Parmar, journalist, INC.

The five finalists were chosen on May 15th when ten semi-finalists were evaluated based on proof of concept, presentation, business health and uniqueness. The initial judging panel included: Scott J. Buchanan, Scott J Salon & Spa; Katie Fitzgerald, CircleUp; John Heffner, The Drybar; Harlan Kirschner, The Kirschner Group; Diane Miles, TSG Consumer Partners; Daniela Ciocan, Cosmoprof North America; Charu Siri, Wall Street Journal / CNN; and Steve Sleeper, PBA.

Meeting the Requirements to Participate in Beauty Pitch

The annual Beauty Pitch competition isn’t open to every small start-up company. Applicants had to prove they are ready to take their companies to the next level by meeting certain criteria. Here’s what it took to make it through the first rounds:
  • The entrepreneurs participating in Beauty Pitch are all U.S residents, and from companies based in the U.S.

  • Earlier this year, they submitted a video that included a 2-3 minute company overview, as well as a product highlight. Next, a select few were chosen to participate in live interviews via SKYPE.

  • Yearly sales for the Finalist companies had to be at least $5 million - with the majority in the beauty market (retail or professional).

  • Beauty entrepreneurs had to have applied for a U.S. Patent and/or trademark, and have a written business plan.
The 2015 Beauty Pitch Finalists - Shown in the Slideshow Above

Here’s more about each of the finalists - congratulations!

  • 100% Pure is described by the company as “the world's purest, healthiest line of cosmetics made from the highest quality nutrients.” The cosmetic products are pigmented using fruits - with colors sourced from strawberries, blueberries, pomegranates and other fruits. The products are all cold-processed and unrefined; without containing any chemical preservatives or artificial fragrances.

  • Hair Construction is a technology company that wants to help hairdressers succeed by providing them with valuable digital tools, designed to help hair stylists and salon owners attract more clients; access educational information; and encourage retail product sales. The company’s Stylez app makes engaging with clients easier. Hair professionals receive access to Hair Construction’s 400 instructional videos that feature styling tips.

  • LightStim is an innovative beauty device that uses LED light therapy for skincare - to treat wrinkles, acne and pain. The device uses the company’s patented ‘MultiWave’ technology for skincare, and treatments have shown lasting results. LightStim has been used and recommended by estheticians, dermatologists and plastic surgeons for the past 14 years. The FDA-approved device is manufactured in the U.S., and is marketed to both professionals and consumers.

  • Zenagen, an innovative hair care company using nutraceutical technologies to prevent hair loss, with its Revolve system; while its Evolve system targets repair and growth. The company says its shampoo-based therapies “fuse beauty and science.”

  • 18.21 Man Made is a line of grooming products for men sold at professional salons. It is described by the company’s founders as “meticulously crafted, premium grooming provisions.” The company’s mission is to pledge their dedication to “spoil Him with the finest masculine grooming experience available.” The packaging is fabulous - the body wash looks like a flask-shaped bottle of whiskey, and the hair pomades are packaged in retro tins.
Worthy of Recognition

Here are the five semi-finalists who were cut just before the final round - but these companies also deserve recognition for their efforts. 

Alexandria Professional specializes in the hair removal technique of 'body sugaring'; Daily Concepts has innovative, shower-friendly packaging that uses fading labels (see them here) on its body sponges that show users when it's time for a replacement; Lamas Beauty, a line of hair, skin and body products by Peter Lamas; Nanokeratin System, which includes hair care products in bottles that are molded in innovative shapes; and Rock Your Hair by Michael O'Rourke, a vibrant line of hair care products that includes curvy bottles in hot pink and orange. 

Stay tuned to find out the winner.