The beauty scene is alive and well in San Francisco: Geltor’s evening with Fashion and Beauty Tech SF

The beauty industry may not be the first one that comes to mind in association with the Bay Area, but a growing community of entrepreneurs is rapidly changing that.

On June 25th I had the pleasure of attending the 6th gathering of the FaB Fashion and Beauty Tech community meetup — my first since relocating to the west coast, as the event is notorious for selling out quickly. The biannual meetup of founders, entrepreneurs, and investors takes the form of an intimate evening mini-conference, held this time at Salesforce Tower.

The community was founded by beauty industry veteran Odile Roujol, who previously served as an executive for L’Oreal, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bourjois (formerly owned by Chanel). Roujol, a prolific and generous mentor to women and minority entrepreneurs, identified the need for a safe, candid environment for founders to share insights and learn from investors and fellow entrepreneurs soon after moving to San Francisco from Paris. FaB (then known as Beauty Tech SF) was founded in 2017, and the global community has since grown to 12 chapters and over 1500 members.

As a young consumer biology company selling biodesigned ingredients like collagen to established beauty brands, it was extraordinary for us at Geltor to experience firsthand and in one place just how vibrant the San Francisco beauty ecosystem truly is. Beyond a first glance, it turns out that this city has so much more to offer than tech! The attendees represented a vast array of innovations occurring across fashion and beauty, including online personal styling services (Stichfix); sustainable, luxury fragrances (Pinrose); and clean, science-based skincare (ELSI Beauty), just to name a few — all at various stages from pre-seed to Series A and beyond. For Geltor, it was incredibly meaningful to meet with entrepreneurs who had heard of and were inspired by our story, and who shared their excitement for our particular approach to biodesign in the future of beauty.

Best of all, the atmosphere was warm and synergistic. This is an environment where young stealth mode startup founders can exchange ideas on equal footing with beauty executives with decades of industry experience, and where each and every attendee shared a balance of insights to offer and learnings to take home.

If you are an innovator or a supporter of innovation in the world of beauty, I highly recommend getting involved with your local FaB chapter. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake I made in January by snoozing on a registration, and have already made sure to reserve a ticket for October.

See you there!