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BeautyLynk startup wins MassChallenge prize

Karen Morales
BeautyLynk startup wins MassChallenge prize
BeautyLynk founder and CEO Rica Elysée (Photo: Yawu Miller)

You don’t have to be a celebrity to have at-home glam services on call, at your convenience. Boston-based startup BeautyLynk, an online platform connecting local beauty professionals with customers, was awarded $50,000 in prize money as a 2016 Gold winner in the MassChallenge accelerator program.

On the web

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Through a pitching process, 128 companies were selected to participate in the four-month MassChallenge program, which began in June and ended in October. One-and-a-half million dollars in zero-equity prizes were awarded to 16 of the highest-impact startups during an awards ceremony held earlier this month. With 1,700 applicants, this year’s cohort was the most competitive to date.

“We’re going to use the funding to grow our business deeper into the four cities that we operate in,” said BeautyLynk founder and CEO, Rica Elysée. Customers can request personalized hair and makeup services in Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York. Her plans for expansion include marketing and strategic partnerships.

Beauty service match-up

Elysée launched the beauty tech company in February 2015 for busy professional women, such as herself, who may not have time to take a trip to the salon. For skilled beauty stylists who may be underemployed, the platform allows them to identify and serve customers.

The mobile-friendly website lets a client request personalized beauty services, as well as the date and time of the appointment. This information is communicated to all the beauty professionals in the area, who are able to accept the job and meet the client at her home, office or hotel. The customer enters credit or debit card information to book the appointment, but is not charged until after it is completed.

The on-demand service has 150 beauty professionals and 2,000 customers in the four cities.

The 30-year-old entrepreneur said that although BeautyLynk is primarily geared toward professionals, parents and seniors, people of all backgrounds have utilized the service.

“The fun part about working with BeautyLynk is that everyone needs beauty services,” said Elysée. “For the past year we’ve been able to see different stories and different people.” Among those using BeautyLynk are brides and wheelchair-bound people.

New features

With natural hair services like sew-in extensions, single two-strand twists, locs and box braids, BeautyLynk provides services for women of all hair textures. Makeup artists who can work with all skin colors also are available on the platform.

In the upcoming new year, the BeautyLynk team will focus on adding more transactional features on the platform, such as record keeping. “We’ll be working on providing beauty professionals the opportunity to financially figure out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it,” said Elysée.

As part of its MassChallenge prize, BeautyLynk will operate from the MassChallenge co-working office space in the Seaport District through May 2017.