Allergan Aesthetics is once again looking to support the most promising asthetics startups.

For the second consecutive year, the company is partnering with University Lab Partners (ULP) on the Golden Ticket Pitch competition, where early-stage aesthetics startups apply for the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and gain both operational and mentorship support.

The company pitches are ranked by the competition’s judges, who utilize criteria including the concept’s science, an unmet need, market size and CEO readiness.

The winning entry will receive a one-year lab bench and mentorship from leaders at Allergan as well as access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment at ULP.

Interested aesthetics startups have until July 8 to send in applications for the competition.

Chinmay Kanuga, senior director and head of Allergan Aesthetics search and evaluation and S&E operations at AbbVie, told MM+M the goal of the competition is to foster innovation in the fast-growing aesthetics field by supporting promising new companies with novel scientific approaches to addressing unmet needs in the market. 

He added that the competition underscores the importance of strong science, safety and efficacy in potential treatments for the space. 

Though the competition is expected to attract around 20 to 30 companies, Kanuga said last year convinced him that those who enjoy the most success tend to focus on solving problems from an aesthetics perspective.

“At the same time, companies which are willing to take advice and feedback from companies like Allergan or their mentors are usually more successful and able to pivot quickly,” he said.

Through the Golden Ticket competition, the AbbVie subsidiary continues to build on its efforts to support up-and-coming organizations in the aesthetics sector and use its profile to address longstanding issues.

Last year, Allergan backed Project Accelerate, an initiative that aims to boost women’s careers through high school and college into career leadership, specifically in STEM. This marked an extension of its partnership with the nonprofit Girls, Inc.

One year prior, Allergan teamed with Skinbetter Science and Shutterstock to launch the Driving Racial Equity in Aesthetic Medicine (DREAM) initiative to root out systemic racism in the industry and make aesthetic products more inclusive for an increasingly diverse consumer base.

The DREAM initiative involved Shutterstock creating a gallery of royalty-free images that showcased beauty across different racial backgrounds.

Allergan has also operated its Limitless initiative in partnership with the American Society of Professional Surgeons and the Aesthetic Society.