L'Oréal USA Women in Digital, a program that recognizes and grants opportunities to women working in digital marketing, technology and IT functions, announced the recipients of its second annual Next Generation awards at a ceremony in New York. The three standout female-founded and -led digital companies, selected from a group of more than 1,600 nominations, included Heather Marie, founder and CEO, 72Lux; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder and CEO, Joyus; and Kelsey Falter, founder and CEO, Poptip.
The L'Oréal USA Women in Digital NEXT Generation Awards identifies and provides opportunities to technology companies that are run by women and have the potential to shake up the beauty industry. The three winning companies will be given breakthrough opportunities to apply and integrate their digital products and services to marquee national and international brands at L'Oréal USA.
"The objective of the L'Oréal USA Women in Digital program is to help break down the barriers for women in the digital space by delivering them opportunities for their technology in the beauty industry," said Rachel Weiss, VP, digital innovation, content and new business ventures at L'Oréal USA and chair of the L'Oréal USA Women in Digital Program. "The program truly serves as a pipeline for innovation and advocacy for women entrepreneurs, and we're excited that over the next year, we can apply the creative technology from these exceptional companies into real functionality for L'Oréal brands and products."
"Through programs like L'Oréal USA Women in Digital, women entrepreneurs are given meaningful support for their businesses and the potential to transform the digital world. I am so honored to be part of an event that's giving female digital rock stars the opportunity to shine," said actress Olivia Munn.
The L'Oréal USA Next Generation winners were selected by a panel of L'Oréal USA executives, Venture Capital Partners and the L'Oréal USA Women in Digital board of advisors who include: Carolyn Everson, Facebook; Joanne Bradford, Demand Media; Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post; Jalak Jobanputra, Future\Perfect Ventures; Karin Klein, Bloomberg Beta; Katie Rae, TechStars Boston; Rudina Seseri, Fairhaven Capital; and Shelley Zalis, Ipsos.
"At L'Oréal USA, we celebrate innovation throughout all aspects of our business, and we continuously strive to achieve even greater growth in the digital space. We are excited to celebrate our 2013 winners, who have created important digital technology for women, and to give them opportunity to apply their technology to L'Oreal's core female consumers," said Marc Speichert, chief marketing officer at L'Oréal USA.
The winners of the 2012 L'Oréal USA Women in Digital Next Generation Awards are:
- 72Lux, Heather Marie, founder and CEO—72Lux is a software company with patent-pending technology that enables digital publishers to sell the products they feature in their editorial. This proprietary technology makes content effortlessly shoppable by connecting publishers with their preferred retailers to ultimately create an entirely new revenue stream for both publishers and retailers. The technology also allows for an enhanced user experience so the customer can purchase directly within the website that inspired their purchase decision.
- Joyus, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder and CEO—Joyus is the world's first premium online video shopping experience for the modern woman. Every day, its team of fashion, beauty, health, fitness and lifestyle experts share their perspective, tips and special product finds to help customers live their best and most beautiful lives, anytime, anywhere.
- Poptip, Kelsey Falter, founder and CEO—Poptip is a software platform that enables crowd participation. The Poptip platform has two products: Poptip Questions, which offers the ability to ask questions and surveys over social media, and Poptip Zipline, which offers real time conversation synthesis for news organizations and brands.
Winners of the L'Oréal USA NExt Generation Awards receive the opportunity to pilot their technology with L'Oréal brands, to be introduced to investors and executives, and to receive mentorship from advisory board members and program partners. The L'Oréal USA Women in Digital program was created to support, empower, mentor and educate women working in technology as a collective force across all industries and functions, and to address the underrepresentation of women in digital and technical fields.
At the ceremony, a $25,000 college scholarship was presented to Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors. The scholarship is for a graduating student of their curriculum to pursue a degree in technology or a related field.
"Through Women in Digital's partnership with Girls Who Code, we hope to encourage the next generation of leaders in technology and support the emergence of tomorrow's digital mavens," stated Weiss. "It is important, now more than ever, to encourage women and girls to learn to code, program, design, develop and lead the next innovations in technology."