NERD Skincare, a team that’s currently participating in SOSV’s synthetic biology accelerator IndieBio, recently received $1M funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan to further accelerate their company.
“I feel great that we’ll be able to invest a lot more into research,” says Evelyn Chen, NERD’s founder and CEO. Chen and the team have also been working to clarify the company’s vision.
“We want to bring real science to beauty, from microbiology to nanotechnology. Now we are tapping into the science of the microbiome, and with that we’ll be able to create 21st-Century beauty products, “ says Chen. Microbiomes are highly localized ecosystems in a particular environment, like an individual’s face, for example.
“With our technology, we can build an in-house sequencing machine that will allow us to collect skin microbiome profiles from our customers. Then we’ll be able to let our customers monitor the difference before and after they use our products,” explains Chen.
Ryan Bethencourt, program director at IndieBio SF, first connected NERD Skincare with the Taiwan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Since a member of NERD’s team is Taiwanese, he suggested they apply for the funding, and they won first place.
“Evelyn’s focus as a bioengineer was to bring real science to beauty, and she’s achieved that with her first two products: microbially-grown beauty masks and her soon-to-be-launched nanoparticle line,” says Bethencourt. “I’m most excited about the real science she’s bringing to understanding the microbiome of the skin and face, which I think will revolutionize our view of the value of cosmetics, beyond just beauty into a deeper understanding of skin health.”
NERD Skincare will be finishing up their run at IndieBio in February.
“Our experience at IndieBio has been invaluable,” says Chen. The advisors like Ryan, Arvind, Ron and Mat, really helped me clear my mind. Now we see a very clear path of what we want to do and where we want to go.
“It’s so good to have a coworking lab space with all the smartest scientists in the same room. We can exchange crazy ideas, and sometimes those ideas are very practical and useful. For example, Devon Cayer, the co-founder of MYi, is going to be our mentor and help us set up hardware.”
The personal connections made by NERD Skincare have proven to pay off, and now with an added $1M in their pocket, the company’s future is looking bright, and clear.