Posted on July 25 2018
“So are you ready to work with me at the BeautyTech accelerator?”
A few seconds of contemplation and a stare down with my dog had passed before the question really sunk in. Cue to a night of haphazardly trying on and packing suitable attire, I was then at San Francisco airport in the United States before I knew it.
Upon arriving at the dorm, I was ready to check in and change out of my comfy airport clothes.
I was greeted by a man who jogged to the front desk and introduced himself as Juan, the program director of Draper U. With swift introductions, he brought me into the building across the street and into a room full of people lounging on bean bags in the middle of a speaker session. “Okay, perhaps I don’t need to change….”
The speaker was charismatic in the way she walked and talked. “This must be the personal and leadership development session” I had thought to myself. I felt a sense of reassurance that this was made important for everyone, even entrepreneurs.
I met with Chloe Takahashi (CEO & founder of Cosme Hunt and founder & board manager of Fab Fashion and Beautytech Tokyo) shortly after to discuss the progress and the goals of Cosme Hunt in detail. She shared her visions and plans for the realization of the company:
“ It isn’t just Japanese cosmetics that I want to bring to the west, it’s a lifestyle, a sentiment. I want to make people feel good and happy from the inside out and share the experiences of what J-beauty can offer ”
Unforgettable people and experiences
Throughout the program I had attended many lessons of business logistics, marketing, investor sessions to genuine community building. I learned not just from the speaker sessions, but also from the other entrepreneurs. It was amazing seeing how passionate and confident everyone was. The other entrepreneurs were kind and willing to assist in any way they could – despite having to prepare for the deadline of the final pitch day themselves. I also never thought that I’d be attending a semi-personal session with Michelle Phan, investors and established entrepreneurs so closely associated with the beauty industry (or even any industry for that matter) I had met so many awesome people. It was such a surreal experience.
Within the last week of the program, we had another team member join us. This was when things were set into hyper drive as that also meant that pitch demo day was fast approaching. Our mentor, Claire, was assisting in any way she could to help us focus and narrow down on the business propositions of Cosme Hunt. She made sure that each and every one of us was confident and ready for the challenges that may be thrown our way.
It really got us to hone in on a question that we felt had an abundance of answers to.
“What is it that makes J-beauty so worth sharing to the world?”After gathering opinions and information from many people and sources, it was indeed, many things. Reasons like innovativeness, unmatched quality and craftsmanship, timeless formulas, aspiring brands, variety etc. There are just so many reasons that it had strengthened our resolve in creating a community to inform, inspire, and allow people to discover J-beauty on a holistic scale.
Amongst the hustle and bustle, we still managed to have fun. Team member Ayaka playing the keyboard (in the dorm room.. I’m not sure how it got there… ) as we took a break from working.
It was amazing being part of such a warm, revolutionary and beautytech community; world of beauty. The fact that there are such huge and growing opportunities surrounding the beauty market, provides such exciting endeavours for the future. I am sure with such resilient and passionate individuals propelling this industry, it will only continue to grow bigger.
Thank you everyone at Draper University, IgniteXL, those involved with Silicon Valley Beautytech and all the mentors and friends that have helped us during this short, but sweet journey.
Also thank you to my team members and beauty lovers at Cosme Hunt for making this an unforgettable experience.
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