Iva, tell us about the Good Face Project!
At the Good Face Project, we are building the innovation platform for the next generation of beauty, serving personal care and cosmetics innovators. We provide brands, manufacturers, ingredients suppliers, and retailers an R&D lab in the cloud, that powers formulation intelligence, regulatory compliance, claims validation, category and consumer insights, and go-to-market support.
My co-founder, Lena Skliarova-Mordvinova, and I launched the Good Face Project back in 2018, when conscious consumerism for clean and sustainable beauty was starting to trend in the beauty industry. Today, we are fortunate to work with a team of over 40 colleagues from across the world to provide the leading transparency and innovation solution for the full ecosystem of beauty creators.
Can you give us bit of background on yourself and Co-Founder, Lena Skliarova-Mordvinova?
Lena and I couldn’t be more different in terms of professional expertise but similar in values and sense of purpose, and that’s what makes us a strong team.
My own background, as a Michigan Engineer and Harvard MBA, is in scaling tech startups and advising Big Beauty c-suites. Lena is the only rocket scientist currently working in the cosmetics vertical. Earning an MS in Computer Science with AI concentration, she worked at the Ukrainian Space Research Institute and published papers on neural networks for image recognition.
I am originally from Bulgaria and Lena is from Ukraine. We are both first generation immigrants to the United States. We are also both mothers of two kids, and we both believe it’s our duty to leave people and the planet better than we found them.
Why did you choose to found the Good Face Project?
As mothers, Lena and I wanted to build something impactful for the next generation while also bringing together our backgrounds in engineering and data science.
In 2018, we began building what is now the world’s largest ingredients-level cosmetics ontology. As we spoke with beauty industry innovators and did consumer research, we realized there was a large gap between consumer demands for sustainable and “safe” products and the internal R&D capabilities of companies to create these products. We ultimately decided to address this gap with a solution that would help product creators meet the consumer and regulatory requirements faster by optimizing formulations real-time.
What problems in the industry were you seeing?
We found that at the core of the inefficient product development cycles in the beauty and personal care industry was the scarcity of real-time ingredient intelligence that could enable R&D chemists to formulate competitive and compliant products. This lack of immediate ingredient insight resulted in a suboptimal and outdated product offering for the market.
What has been the most rewarding part about being an entrepreneur?
At our core, we are builders, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing delight in the eyes of our customers. Users of the Good Face Formulator feel like gladiators in their field. We put the power of science-backed AI at their fingertips, and make them the hero of the day.
We consistently receive the feedback that GF Formulator saves R&D teams time and money from inefficient processes, and, what is more, it is bringing back the joy of creativity and innovation that drives this industry. We are so proud of our team who has taken a highly collaborative approach in building our technology in partnership with a number of beauty creators themselves. This very special form of listening, not just for the things that are wanted, but for the unrecognized needs, is a Good Face Project super power. Continuing to reinforce it gives us purpose.
Where do you see the beauty industry headed and what trends are you most excited about?
Consumers are becoming more and more keen on understanding the products they use, and the downstream impacts on their health and on the planet. Particularly, for beauty and personal care, they are paying attention to what they are putting on their skin down to the ingredient level and holding beauty companies to a higher standard.
The Good Face Project’s team has a front seat into the most innovative minds in formulation and cosmetic chemistry. I’m excited to see how beauty companies are now pushing the possibilities of sustainable beauty through eco-conscious formulation, biodegradable packaging, biotech ingredients, and more.
What have you found to be the biggest benefit of joining the EvoNexus incubator?
The EvoNexus incubator has been a true partner on our startup journey, from hosting our team on-site, to providing us with mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs themselves, to presenting us with opportunities for funding. Most importantly, EvoNexus provides us with the energy of innovation and collaboration that fuels the very heartbeat of our organization, and of San Diego. We are so lucky to be a part of the thriving entrepreneurial community at EvoNexus, surrounded by other startup founders and teams that are building truly exciting products, and who are generously helping each other along the way. Creating something from nothing is tough, and being able to lean on peers for anything from funding to product building advice has made a world of difference.
Learn more here: https://thegoodfaceproject.com/
Iva Teixeria’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iva-yovchev-teixeira/
Lena Skliarova-Mordvinova’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hskliarovamordvinova/