Work with L’Oréal to innovate more than beauty with the Innovation Runway Challenge

Pilot contract, expert coaching, access to network Deadline passed

Get in the Ring and L’Oréal Research & Innovation are looking for startups and small enterprises with unique solutions in the areas of Protection, Cleanse, Repair and Enhance, and New Ingredients and Materials.


L’Oréal Research and Innovation (R&I) has devoted itself to beauty science and technology since 1909. With its unique international portfolio of 36 diverse and complementary brands, the R&I department employs over 4,000 people worldwide in order to discover, invent and develop beauty needs and aspirations. As the world’s leading beauty company, L’Oréal is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce.


Research and Innovation are at the heart of L’Oréal’s philosophy. Startups constantly invent new technologies and L’Oréal is looking to partner with startups and small enterprises to co-create unique and cutting-edge solutions for tomorrow’s consumers.

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges


The theme this year revolves around challenges that arise from the need to protect, treat and enhance the quality and appearance of skin and hair with superior performance while respecting the environment. The sustainable product market is expected to hit the $150bn mark by 2021, with a significant contribution coming from Asia. We are looking for solutions in the following areas:


Skincare and maintenance stem from the protection of skin and hair from damaging external factors like sunlight, air pollution, and humidity. Technologies that can improve and enhance the protection aspect of beauty products are sought-after solutions we are looking for.


We are seeking startups with creative ways of integrating solutions to cleansing products in the beauty industry: new concepts to clean skin, hair, and scalp; or multifunctional benefits under a single product or technology.

Enhance & Repair

We focus on finding business solutions to better and surpass prior technologies that accommodate the repair and enhance part of the beauty experience in the form of instant and long-lasting performance whilst supporting the sustainable development of the industry.

New Ingredients & Materials

Opportunities to develop disruptive products based on technical functionalities coming from outside the beauty industry. Some interesting directions include tunable optical effects, deposition, adhesion and film-former; permanent bond to skin and hair surface; or biotechnologies.


  • Access to L'Oréal's leading R&D expertise in beauty

  • Opportunities for conducting a pilot study with L’Oréal hubs

  • Opportunity to land a $30,000 Startup SG grant sponsored by Startup SG (T&Cs apply)

  • Mentorship & Industry networking

  • A cash prize of S$5,000 for two winners


  • Have a working prototype or demonstrator

  • Explanation of how the proposed technology/solution can address the specifically intended problem statement

  • Unique selling point of the proposed solution/technology

  • Be willing to present at the Virtual Final Event



Applications Deadline

The deadline for applications is 24 August 2020 00:00 CEST

Announcement of top 20 shortlisted startups

Announcement of Top 20 shortlisted startups eligible for mentorship on September 16th

Announcement of top 10 shortlisted startups

Announcement of Top 10 shortlisted startups to pitch at the Virtual Final Event will announced on October 23rd

Virtual Final

The finals will be held at the Slingshot 2020 virtual stage during SFF x SWITCH, Singapore on November 9-13th.
The Top 2 winners will be selected to participate as part of the SLINGSHOT 2020 Top 100 Global Startups.
Deadline passed

The deadline for this Challenge has passed, please check out our other Challenges