Colgate Connect Challenge awards three innovative startups

Monday, 21 February, 2022

Colgate Connect Challenge awards three innovative startups

Colgate-Palmolive has announced the winners of the Colgate Connect Challenge, its first ever global pitch competition aimed at startups from around the world focused on developing world-changing products to promote healthy futures.

The challenge sought to connect Colgate with external startups offering innovative solutions in three areas: quantified health and analytics; smart and connected packaging and digital consumer engagement; and products and platforms for underserved populations. Six finalists were selected from a large pool of applicants to pitch their ideas and answer questions from the panel of judges.

Colgate originally planned to select only one winner, but there were so many promising submissions from high-calibre startups that the judges decided to award three cash prizes as follows:

Grand Prize: Dermala, USA — $20,000

Dermala uses the human microbiome and analytics to create personalised products for skin health and treatment of chronic skin conditions. The judges were excited about the potential to collaborate with Dermala to support Colgate’s growing skin health business lines and develop topical and ingestible products with a consumer-friendly digital engagement platform.

Second Place: The SkinDNA Company, Australia — $15,000

SkinDNA has developed a wearable patch for collection and subsequent analysis of the skin microbiome and RNA of skin biomarkers. The SkinDNA product and platform facilitates targeted product recommendations and results tracking for consumers. The patented technology behind the product is also being assessed for its ability to change the way skin cancers are potentially diagnosed.

Special Judges Award: Gennev, USA — $10,000

Gennev provides an online clinic and coaching for women in underserved populations experiencing menopause, and also offers products for sale via its direct-to-consumer store. Collaborating with Gennev can potentially provide Colgate with valuable consumer insights to develop oral and skin care products tailored to this demographic.

Additional finalists included Nutrix (Switzerland), a salivary multiparameter detection platform; Family Self Care (France), a DIY personalisation system for skin and wellbeing; and Dentulu (USA), a teledentistry hardware and software system.

Raj Kohli, Vice President of Global R&D and Technology Strategy for Colgate-Palmolive and one of the four judges on the panel, said, “Open innovation and collaboration with the global startup ecosystem is incredibly valuable to our innovation efforts as we fulfil Colgate’s purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. We were extremely impressed with the field of competitors and congratulate all of the exceptional finalists who presented exciting innovative service and technology solutions to meet the future needs of our consumers.”

Image courtesy of SkinDNA.

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