Embracing beauty tech innovation: My Launch Club journey

July 9, 2023
Jessica Durrington, Founder of Dowē - Launch Club - Startmate


Launch Club is not just a program; it is a springboard for innovation. It gives you the momentum, connections, and guidance you need to turn a problem into a business solution with serious potential - and fast! The resources and continued access to a community of the country’s cleverest innovators and investors is truly invaluable.

My startup

As a seasoned beauty publicist, I've spent over a decade immersed in the world of skincare, armed with a deep understanding of the industry's intricacies and the burning problems faced by consumers.

Throughout my professional journey, I often encountered individuals struggling with skin conditions or simply looking to improve their skin health, yet experiencing a general overwhelm of skincare information in a saturated industry – I too, battled for many years with rosacea, investing thousands trying to keep it at bay.

The overwhelming challenge of finding unbiased guidance and affordable solutions plagued not only me but countless others facing similar issues. 

Accessible and affordable advice seemed elusive or overly expensive. Driven by my firsthand experience, both professionally and personally, and armed with a burning problem to solve, I was determined to bring affordable tools and accessible guidance to the masses, digitizing and revolutionizing the beauty industry.

Lacking the technical expertise (and honestly, borderline clueless about where to begin), I was determined to shake up the skincare landscape and embarked on Startmate’s Launch Club program. Seeking the advice and industry connections necessary to turn my vision into reality, my journey with Startmate Launch Club began, promising to unravel the secrets of the start-up world while providing the tools to build a successful business.

Just Start, Mate


The structure of Startmate Launch Club is ingeniously designed to empower early-stage founders.

Over the course of 10 weeks, I was connected with world-class resources, visionary founders, and insightful investors, all driven by a common desire to innovate. The program kicked off with an opportunity to connect with like-minded founders, engaging in co-founder roulettes and building a network that would prove invaluable.

Each week, we delved into various themes, ranging from finding co-founders and understanding customer obsession to building an MVP and navigating the complexities of fundraising and legalities. Whether you had a problem to solve, an idea in its infancy, or were actively developing an MVP, Launch Club welcomed all aspiring founders. 

The most striking aspect was the overwhelmingly supportive and positive energy radiating from every interaction at Startmate. Feedback was consistently constructive, and the entire community was always eager and available to connect. 

Launch Club is built to encourage momentum, educate you on the often intense startup world and guide you into the next steps while giving you the community to do so. Whether that be diving head first into an MVP, speaking to customers to understand the problem further, or deciding that the world isn't ready for you just yet, ultimately you learn some pretty incredible business insights to guide you in your career no matter where that takes you next. 

Customer-centric problem solving


When I joined Launch Club, I brought with me an ambitious startup idea centered around addressing the overwhelming saturation and unsustainable purchase habits in the skincare market.

Recognising the challenges of accessibility and affordability in the industry, as well as the confusion faced by 70% of beauty consumers due to a plethora of product choices, I conceived Dowē – the pocketbook of beauty.

Dowē aims to provide everyone with the tools and affordable access to expert skincare advice, empowering individuals to achieve personalized and tangible results. Launch Club played an instrumental role in helping me refine and iterate my idea. 

Through invaluable guidance and consistent accountability, Startmate enabled me to pivot my solution and focus on the areas that truly mattered. The program's emphasis on the problem rather than the solution, taking action, and moving swiftly proved transformative. 

In just a few short weeks, I surveyed over 100 customers, established an engaging Instagram account, developed branding, built a pitch deck, fleshed out a cohesive business model, created a basic (yet very scrappy) MVP, and even found a CTO.

The continued connection with the Startmate community, regular feedback sessions, and ongoing connection with fellow founders and industry experts on similar paths provided a plethora of insights and opportunities - A consistent way of “expanding our surface area for luck to strike," as Michael Batko so eloquently put it during one of the program's sessions. Interacting with other early-stage startup founders became a vital source of accountability and a space for bouncing ideas. 

Startmate truly creates a cohesive and vibrant community where individuals come together to connect and grow.

Go for it


Startmate Launch Club is the ultimate catalyst for early-stage startups, offering unparalleled opportunities to kickstart and propel your venture forward. It demystifies the startup journey and makes it accessible to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, the indispensable insights from each of the sessions and speakers provide you with business knowledge that is adaptable and beneficial for any career path.

Through the program, I found the technical guidance, resources, and connections necessary to address the critical challenges of my business and bring “Dowē - skin health, at the touch of a button” to life - and keep it there. 

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