ghd and CW (Cambridge Wireless) announce a partnership that brings a new form of accelerator to the technology start-up scene. The ghd Innovation Hive will contribute to the design of the next era of beauty and hair electronics, and the call for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to enter is now open.

“ghd is the best known hair styling brand in the world whose successful entrepreneurial heritage led to an acquisition by the third largest global beauty company, Coty,” says Abhi Naha, Chief Commercial Officer at CW. “Now, with the support of the CW community and the upcoming generation of technology entrepreneurs, ghd is entering the connected devices market, and they are offering an unmissable opportunity for start-ups to contribute to the next stage of a massively successful product line.”

Five chosen companies will be invited to spend three months from October 2018 working alongside ghd R&D, the CW community and local technology mentors to co-design a prototype connected hair styling device. The work will be funded and if intellectual property from the ghd Innovation Hive is taken to market, start-ups may negotiate commercial terms. The ghd Innovation Hive is looking for start-ups with experience and skills in (but not restricted to):

• Connected and smart devices
• Sensor technology
• Internet of things
• Mobile applications
• User experience
• Machine learning and data processing
• Data security

“Putting the capabilities of digital connectivity into the hands of users is the next step for beauty electronics”, said Tim Moore, VP Smart Devices, Coty, “and the best ideas always come from diverse, inclusive teams. By nurturing start-ups in the ghd Innovation Hive and aligning their creativity and agility with the experience of the ghd product development team, we will be able to design advanced device prototypes in a shorter period of time.”

Based in the Bradfield Centre, a Cambridge co-working space for scale-ups, the ghd Innovation Hive will offer a supportive and fast-paced environment for talented engineers, software developers and user experience designers. It will immerse participants in the user requirements of the beauty industry and involve experts from across the supply chain, from device designers to salon technicians.

Start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs interested in applying to be part of the ghd Innovation Hive should apply HERE.