Corporate Challenges

Consumer Skincare Diagnostics

NCET2 is working with No7 Beauty Company's R&D Team to find effective and personalized products to address the needs of their customers. No7 aims to drive progress by developing and commercializing science and technology to deliver market breakthroughs for consumers through their brands.

The R&D team is seeking partners to work collaboratively to overcome barriers (ie cost, safety, regulation) to bring clinical treatments to the mass consumer market. Working with the R&D team will give you access to their expertise in skin science and the capability to test technologies and products on volunteers through their global panel.

No7 Beauty Company is a company under the umbrella of Walgreens Boots Alliance. No7 Beauty Company's heritage dates back to 1935 and ever since No7 has been dedicated to beauty and skincare innovation. Today, powered by rich customer insights, their collection of beauty brands connects with and is trusted by customers everywhere. With leading brands including No7, Liz Earle Beauty Company, and Soap & Glory, they make premium beauty accessible with products and services available online and in over 20,000 stores in 16 markets worldwide.

Intake Dates

We review the submissions on an ongoing basis. Startups that submit before each intake date will be assessed and will receive a response within 2-3 weeks of submission.
  • Intake 1: May 27
  • Intake 2: TBA

About the Challenge

The objective of this challenge is to respond to rapidly-evolving consumer wants and needs to create physical products and the services and digital ecosystem that surrounds them. In addition, leveraging digital footprints created by consumers will enable a more data-driven approach to creating better-performing and more personalized products and services for consumers.

Successful technologies could be implemented within Walgreens Boots Alliance products and services in over 20,000 retail stores and online across 16 markets worldwide.

We are interested in technologies that feature an ecosystem of physical and digital diagnostics that can be combined to model the current status of the skin, its external and internal stressors, and how/what products can be used to protect and rejuvenate it. The technology should be easy enough for use by a consumer at home or by a beauty advisor in-store.

The technology should be able to perform complex diagnostics of the skin status and enable accurate prediction of future skin conditions and product benefits.

Diagnostic areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Imaging/detection of subsurface skin features such as collagen, epidermal thickness etc.
  • Monitoring of vital skin processes such as epidermal cell turnover or skin barrier quality
  • Genetic/epigenetic predisposition to ageing and skin health issues
  • Serum levels of skin critical hormones and nutrients, and their impact on skin performance
  • Presence of biomarkers known to impact skin health e.g. inflammatory cytokines.
  • Sensitivity to topical ingredients for prediction of product success potential
  • Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, sleep etc. and their impact on skin
  • Environmental factors such as UV, temperature, humidity and pollution

There is also interest in services that can help combine and model the data collected from a range of different diagnostic sources.

Strategic Intent

To bring together consumer & market understanding and technical expertise to develop new technologies which can be incorporated into new best-in-class services and products. These will transform the way consumers can learn about their skin and the way to care for and treat it, to give the best results for them throughout their lives.

Each individual consumer’s skin is impacted by many factors both internal and external and the combination of these factors will influence how the skin appears and performs both now and in the future. Providing truly personalized skincare products requires an intimate knowledge of these factors for each consumer and an understanding of what impact they are having on the skin.

Current strategies for consumer diagnostics and education focuses on image analysis from smart device images; which is limited to detecting surface features such as wrinkles, irritation & pigmentation (e.g. Revieve, Modiface, PerfectCorp, Hi Mirror etc.). While providing a valuable consumer service these solutions miss what is happening beneath the surface of the skin and often do not consider environmental factors, therefore they have limited capability to accurately predict the future of a consumer’s skin.


  • No7 Beauty Company is looking for startups that are at a TRL 3-4 or have received initial early-stage funding to create a prototype.
  • The startup should have a team in place and have studies that show the efficacy of the technology
  • The technology should be non-prescription and that consumers can purchase themselves

    For questions, email