digitalundivided’s BIG Extension People’s Choice Winner Shares Her Aspirations With You — digitalundivided

digitalundivided’s BIG Extension founders sit for a portrait at the BIG Extension pitch competition. Image via digitalundivided.

Did you know that the average business requires $10,000 in startup capital? In reality, though, as many as 33% of companies start with less than $5,000. The Wells Fargo Small Business Index study reveals a wide disparity between startup funding for businesses at the starting line, with many companies beginning with less than optimal capital. Further, the difference in startup funding needs can vary dramatically after factoring in the budget to launch in industries like biotech, manufacturing, and other cost-intensive spaces.

digitalundivided’s BIG Extension — is a selective MetLife Foundation-sponsored program for five high-performing startups identified in digitalundivided BIG startup cohort. BIG Extension supports new-to-market companies to build unique assets and intellectual property, influence their valuations, and develop their businesses further. The program includes 1:1 mentorship, a speaker series, and $5,000 in grant money to support the launch of these businesses.

This year’s BIG Extension, People’s Choice Award, was awarded to Melanin IS — a natural skin care product line using ingredients scientifically shown to benefit multicultural skin. Find out below how the BIG Extension program successfully launched Melanin IS and their plans for their bright future.

Big Extension People’s Choice Winner Melanin IS meets digitalundivided interim CEO Brittany S. Hale. Image via digitalundivided.

Melanin IS: The BIG Extension experience brought us immense value. The mentorship provided helped us make essential connections and gain valuable insights. Additionally, the program focused on scalability, equipping us with the tools to grow our business effectively. We are grateful for the support and opportunities provided by the BIG Extension program!

digitalundivided: What Melanin IS product are you most excited to share with consumers and why?
Melanin IS: We are excited to introduce our Sunless Melanin Enhancer as this summer’s must-have product. It offers a range of benefits: a natural sun-kissed glow, non-comedogenic formula for acne-prone skin, reduction of cellulite appearance, improved skin texture, and fading of discoloration. Now people of color can experience a radiant complexion and a beautiful summer glow with our Sunless Melanin Enhancer.

digitalundivided: Where do you see Melanin IS in five years?
Melanin IS: Our dream extends beyond mere accessibility. We envision Melanin-IS products adorning the shelves of esteemed retailers such as Ulta, Sephora, Thirteen Loon, and many more. We aim to be present in luxury destination hotels, ensuring that even while away from home, individuals can access premium skincare explicitly catered to their melanin-rich skin.

Big Extension People’s Choice Winner Melanin IS showcases their products at digitalundivided’s BIG Extension pitch competition. Image via digitalundivided.

digitalundivided: What impact do you hope Melanin IS has on the world?
Melanin IS: We envision Melanin IS making a transformative impact on the world in the coming years. Our ultimate aspiration is to empower people of color globally by providing accessible and effective skincare solutions tailored to their unique needs. We are determined to become the premier choice for individuals seeking melanin-focused skincare, transcending borders and cultures.

By accomplishing these milestones, we aspire to create a paradigm shift in the perception of melanin skincare. We want the world to recognize that melanin matters and that our products are meticulously crafted to address people’s unique concerns and aspirations with melanin-rich skin. We hope to inspire confidence, self-love, and a sense of empowerment among individuals who have long been underserved in the skincare industry.