Yesterday, HEC Paris business school announced a startup accelerator program with Meta and L’Oréal Group which aims to support creativity and inclusivity in the metaverse and blockchain ecosystem.
The program will be run at the STATION F startup campus in Paris and support five entrepreneurial startups from January to June 2023, selected by a jury of experts from Meta and L’Oréal. The five startups will receive support from the Incubateur HEC Paris during the six months. L’Oréal has been a long standing corporate partner of HEC Paris, and the beauty company’s chairman also chairs the university.
Selected startups will include projects focused on technologies such as 3D production and AR/VR/MR technologies, avatar creation and portability, user experience, and Web3 subjects, including areas such as token economics.
“Creators are at the heart of the Metaverse,” said Asmita Dubey, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer L’Oréal. “The program aims to support & empower the ecosystem that will build it, and that can pave the way to go beyond storytelling – to a brand story living, in accordance with our values – to be inclusive, diverse, sustainable by design.”
So far, Meta’s metaverse journey has had a minimal focus on Web3 technologies. The company’s priority is mainly virtual reality following its regulatory setbacks with cryptocurrency Project Diem (Formerly Libra), and its rebranding to Meta. However, recently Meta began supporting non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Facebook and Instagram released features enabling users to display and mint NFTs on their social media platforms.
This is not L’Oréal’s first endeavor in Web3 or the metaverse. In 2021, L’Oréal launched an NFT campaign celebrating women featuring designs from female artists. The initiative aimed to highlight the underrepresentation of women in the NFT sector to attract more women buyers and artists. More recently, L’Oréal subsidiary, NYX Cosmetics, partnered with The Sandbox metaverse and People of Crypto (POC) to launch an avatar collection in celebration of Pride Month.