Introducing The Beauty Accelerator™

The Beauty Accelerator™ Startups

SFC Capital partners up with The Red Tree to find and support emerging beauty entrepreneurs

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 for the chance to receive £150,000 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 ongoing ramifications of Covid-19 across all sectors of beauty, with beauty’s traditional resilience 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 dynamic entrepreneurs who are driving game changing innovation, creating disruptive brands and building impressive companies that will become world-leaders in their field.

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 highly attractive funding scheme that offers start-ups and entrepreneurs a route to early stage investment. Businesses that are established in the UK, fully independent, under 2 years old, not listed on any major stock exchange and employ less than 25 people are eligible for SEIS. It is extremely easy to apply and 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. 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 - although all research and development should be completed as the investment will only be used for marketing and commercial activity. 

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, unique selling points and achievements to date. All applicants must submit a business plan, with particular focus on the financial model that demonstrates how revenue can be delivered. There is a “save and return later” function on the application form so applicants can take their time to edit and perfect their form before making the final submission. There is no need to send samples during with the application form but samples 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 then short list outstanding applicants and invite the successful brands to attend a virtual interview during the week commencing Monday 28th September. The virtual interview is expected to last for 30 minutes and will give brands the chance to bring to life some of the details included in their application form.

Following the conclusion of the virtual interviews with the short listed brands, The Red Tree and SFC Capital will select five Finalist brands to appear in The Beauty Accelerator™ Final, which given current circumstances, is extremely likely to be a virtual event. Three of the Finalists will pitch their brands to The Red Tree and SFC Capital on Wednesday 21st October and two Finalists will pitch on Thursday 22nd October. The total presentation should take no longer than 45 minutes, with 30 minutes to pitch and 15 minutes for questions.

The Red Tree and SFC Capital will announce one Finalist the 2020 Winner of The Beauty Accelerator™. The winning brand will gain significant investment from SFC Capital as well as a wealth of commercial beauty experience, strategic insights and access to a wide network of beauty industry contacts through The Red Tree. 

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

Rohallah Ghasemi Rohallah Ghasemi
Portfolio Success Manager