The Lubrizol Life Science Accelerator
Interview with Brandon L. Ford, Chief Accelerator Director at
Lubrizol Life Science
What is (the role of) an Accelerator?
An accelerator typically works with a start-up or brand for a short, fixed period to help quickly make an idea reality. For example, the Lubrizol Accelerator acts as a beauty science partner that works at the speed of a start-up, while responding with the reach, resources and delivery of a global leader. Our team is committed to not only elevating beauty, but also a company’s need for consumer-driven formulation solutions at high speed. We’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs launch and develop their beauty and home care brands by leveraging our technology, manufacturing and beauty and home care science expertise to provide market-ready solutions, brand development and quick innovation.
What are some of the focuses?
The Lubrizol Accelerator’s focus is on combining our beauty science knowledge, formulation expertise and global manufacturing capabilities with one of the most advanced and substantiated portfolios of active ingredients in the beauty industry to create custom, shelf-ready products at surprising speed. Brands rely on our expertise in polymer science, peptides, marine biotechnology, delivery systems and botanical extracts to deliver excellent anti-aging and skin health benefits, along with trending textures that deliver exceptional sensorial experiences for both beauty and home care products. From consumer insights to formulation expertise to manufacturing, we focus on streamlining flow through every stage, speeding a brand toward product launch in as little as five months.
How can trends be quickly incorporated in Personal Care (Indie, Diversity)? As well as Home Care (cleaning, disinfection)?
Finding the right beauty science partner is key to incorporating trends quickly into new product formulations. For example, Lubrizol has researchers and scientists located around the world forecasting upcoming trends and testing out how they can be incorporated into new formulations. These insights combined with a brand’s own perspective allow for fast development of shelf-ready products. Our R&D capabilities allow us to quicky test and adjust formulations until the right one is found.
About Brandon L. Ford
Motto: Don't aim to be the next, aim to be the new
Brandon L. Ford, Chief Accelerator Director of the Lubrizol Life Science Accelerator Program, brings his entrepreneurial mindset, passion for learning and curiosity toward life to his role operating a startup within the walls of a 90-year-old company. He is a transformational leader who has the ability to encourage agile thinking that results in brand and product launches with less fear and more speed.
Beginning his career in pediatric intensive care nursing, Brandon went on to earn law and business degrees. In search of a hobby during law school, he landed on the study of wine, earning certifications from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London, teaching on the subject and then combining his passion for wine with tea. He launched and sold a successful specialty tea business that he built while simultaneously pursuing his law career at a corporate firm. It was through that firm that Brandon was introduced to Lubrizol, joining the company in 2007.
For the past three years, Brandon has led the Accelerator, a program that leverages Lubrizol technology, manufacturing and beauty and home care science expertise to provide market-ready solutions, brand development, and quick innovation. In his role, he is known for his innovative spirit and willingness to push boundaries and think outside the box. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have benefitted from his charismatic leadership to launch and develop their beauty and home care brands.
A love of learning and a desire to push the envelope and challenge the norms within the walls of Lubrizol brought him to the Accelerator.
“I know my life has taken a scenic route to get to my current role, I’ll detour here and take a stop and I’ll learn something because I really like to learn and then I’ll get back on the road and move to the next thing,” Brandon said. “But what I’ve figured out is in this role, this current role with the Accelerator, all of that is coming into play.”
Pediatric intensive care nursing provided science knowledge; his love of wine gave him an understanding of texture, fragrance and nuance; and launching a specialty tea business provided insights into successful entrepreneurship. Law and business degrees opened the door to working with Lubrizol, where his initiative within the company as corporate counsel and later working on the sales team brought him to his current role.
“I literally knocked on people’s doors, I sat in their garages, I held their babies while they worked, in the name of selling peptides and marine ingredients to folks,” he said of his sales experience that was focused on small beauty accounts and really taught him the beauty industry.
Today Brandon is responsible for the growth and strategy of the Accelerator and manages its investments.
The Accelerator has launched over 100 products globally.
Brandon currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.