Incubator, Accelerator, and Curator of Beauty Brands- FORMA Brand
Forma is a brand incubator, accelerator, and curator of beauty brands that is changing the way consumers buy accessories. Forma was founded in 2015 by Elisabeth McGinley and David Kermani who see emerging beauty brands as a paradox: they are both aspirational yet accessible. They provide emerging companies with the benefits of both an incubation process and a marketing platform that allows them to reach out to a wider audience while also providing insights into their business strategy.
Forma works with leading manufacturers in Asia, offering access to expertise on product development, manufacturing logistics, distribution networks, investment opportunities and more. The firm’s goal is to bring the best emerging brands to the market, whether by investing or helping raise an additional round of funding. Forma has invested in over 20 companies and counts among its investors Aveda, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Kao Corporation, LG Electronics and other multinational corporations. In 2015, Forma launched its accelerator program that provides support of up to $65K in exchange for a mentor and a partnership with the incubator. The program is open to any beauty product brand looking to pursue growth within the United States. Applicants are asked to submit applications online and then meet with Forma’s team at one of their annual retreats before being accepted into the program.
Applying to the accelerator program is part of Forma’s mission to connect emerging beauty product brands with retailers, buyers and consumers. The accelerator program includes mentor training, effective sales techniques and a product launch plan.
Non-resident candidates are eligible but must have a U.S.-based distributor or partner in order to take part in the program which is held in NYC every year. On average, each participant goes through 7-10 months of mentorship before launching their products on market shelves.
Participants have the opportunity to network with beauty industry leaders and influencers, attend exclusive sales and customer education events, enjoy product testing and other perks. The program also includes one year partnerships with some of Forma’s clients as well as access to an online store and customer database.
In 2016, FORMA announced that they are looking to partner with more New York City-based brands that have up to five years of experience in the fields of skincare, color cosmetics and fragrance businesses. The deadline for application is October 31st.
-What kind of brands do you typically incubate?
We look for beauty product brands that are looking to grow within beauty stores in the United States and Canada. We also offer one-on-one support to all emerging brands, not just those who are accepted into the accelerator program. All of our programs are customized to each client’s needs.
-How long does the program typically last?
The Accelerator Program lasts between 7 – 10 months and is designed after the Incubation Program which lasts 9 – 12 months. The Incubation Program can be adapted for a shorter duration time frame depending on a company’s needs and goals.
-What do you advise brands to keep in mind when applying to the accelerator program?
The main thing is to be prepared. It’s a highly competitive program and companies must be ready with their products and strategy before they apply online. The interview process starts with getting to know applicants and their products, so please make sure when you apply that you have your best product, packaging photo and marketing information ready for us beforehand.
Forma provides opportunities for emerging beauty product brands to join a network of other companies, meet with expert advisors and retailers, launch products in major U.S. and Canadian retail stores, participate in business plans workshops, train on effective sales techniques and connect with investors. Forma is an incubator not only for its architectural spaces but also for its innovative business strategy which includes the fellowship program that offers coaching and mentorship to young founders who are looking to build their businesses within the beauty industry through the selling of their products.