How This Music Power Couple Is Rocking the Skincare Industry | Entrepreneur

Recently, the incredible husband and wife team of Mike Einziger and Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger joined Entrepreneur+ members for an intimate Subscribers-Only Call where they answered live questions from the audience about the genesis, launch and growth of their biotech skincare brand Mother Science.

Mike is the co-founder and lead guitarist of the band Incubus and has also co-written songs with the likes of Pharell Williams and Avicii, and Ann Marie is an internationally acclaimed violinist who has performed with an array of artists including Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews, Hans Zimmer, and, of course, Incubus.

They’re both incredibly creative and at the same time big thinkers when it comes to science and business, so we were lucky to get their insights on how they are able to focus their energies and accomplish so much in seemingly disparate arenas. Read on to go deeper into how the pair approaches both creative and business endeavors and what drives their passions. And be sure to sign up for Entrepreneur+ to get involved in the next exclusive Subscribers-Only Call.

Give us the elevator pitch on your business.

We are Michael Einziger and Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger, the co-founders of Mother Science. Mother Science is a consumer skincare brand that leverages the power of a totally novel anti-aging molecule called Malassezin, which targets dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

What inspired you to create Mother Science?

We started the business after six years of characterizing Malassezin which is an antioxidant 10 times more powerful than vitamin C (and far more stable). The highest and best use of Malassezin was for us to formulate it into an anti-aging product for consumer skin care.

What was your “aha moment”?

Back in 2015 when Ann Marie developed a common, harmless skin condition called tinea versicolor on her back, which resulted in lightened patches of skin that would not burn in the sun. We wondered if we could leverage those temporary changes into a safe product that would target dark spots and help protect the skin from other issues related to sun damage and aging.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you pivot to overcome it?

Our biggest challenge is in educating consumers about Malassezin. True molecular innovation is rare in the beauty world, and we have to cut through a lot of noise to reach a rightfully skeptical audience. However, we enjoy this challenge because we believe in creating a community of citizen scientists who love to learn and share. Skeptics become our best customers because when you ask questions and find strong answers, you are converted into a believer. We’ve published papers in the leading peer-reviewed dermatology journals, curated information on our website, and embraced every media opportunity to talk about our discovery. Eventually, our customers will be the ones educating their network when they share their good results, and we love that our challenge of education is something that brings our community together.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?

Be brave. Courage counts for a lot. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Be forthcoming with your greatest challenges and investors will ultimately respect you more for it, and many times they will want to help. Start with friendlies who will give you the most constructive, honest feedback.

What is your advice for preparing a pitch?

Make sure that your pitch is brief and concise, and inspires questions. The vast majority of the time should be spent with the (hopefully curious) investor asking questions. That way, the discussion stays focused on topics that the investor is curious about. The worst thing that can happen is if you pull out a deck and read it to them like a script. They’ll glaze over and instantly lose interest.

What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?

Being an entrepreneur means being a problem solver. You are solving a problem that speaks to your customer, but you are also agile enough to problem-solve as a leader of your company.

What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don’t?

People often think they need an office and lots of employees. Some of the most successful startups are very lean, and everyone works together to create a sum that is greater than its parts. We have a remote business culture, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t build community or have close working relationships by not having an office.

What is a book you always recommend?

Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank. This is a must-read for anyone starting a business of any kind!

Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?

“Culture eats strategy for lunch.” Right now, it is table stakes in beauty culture to be sustainable, cruelty-free, and clean. Our company abides by these principles while also being on trend with the new emphasis on clinical efficacy. Our brand is timed perfectly with the cultural trends in beauty, and we’ve done it in an authentic way. We love how our idea fits into the natural evolution of the beauty world.

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