How Unilever is getting cozy with startups
Unilever has taken another step on its voyage into the tech world by launching the Unilever Foundry, where startups can apply to pitch their technology solutions.
With the Foundry, Unilever hopes to plug start-up creativity into its own global network, providing scale and support start-ups can’t easily find on their own. In exchange for working on a Foundry project, selected start-ups receive a minimum of $50,000 in initial funding and access to Unilever’s 7,000 marketing expertise via a three-month mentoring program through which the start-ups can develop their brand, marketing strategy and product roadmap.
“Through mentoring, we hope to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and build businesses who might eventually become our global strategic partners,” said Luis Di Como, senior vice president for media. “Mentoring also enables our marketers across the organization to engage directly with start-ups and be inspired by new ideas and ways of working.”
Current projects, all of which can be found on f6s, include one called “Smart Kitchens”, which includes this description: “We want to enable families to plan, organize and cook their food more efficiently and enjoyably by creating ‘Smart Kitchens’. We’re seeking partners to develop an ecosystem of digital tools to give households intelligent insights into their family’s eating habits.”
Unilever has long experimented with emerging technology through its venture capital arm, Unilever Ventures, which shares digital marketing as focus with the Unilever Foundry. Ventures has been around a lot longer, and has invested in startups like Brain Juicer, Yummly and Brandtone. It also seeks startups with digital marketing solutions, and so the two will work together closely.
According to a company representative, there are currently no caps on funding or amount of time Unilever will give start-ups to do their work. “We want strategic partners but it is not possible to put a strict limit on investment or time as the level of collaboration is likely to be very different, start-up to start-up”.
The Foundry team is led by Jeremy Basset, global marketing strategy & new ventures director, and was devised by Unilever and various agencies as well as technology scouts.
‘Endless digital shelf’: Why some DTC brands are doubling efforts on Amazon
DTC brands are shifting ad and marketing dollars that were set aside for in-field marketing efforts to e-commerce.
The future office: Businesses mull blending residential units with office real estate
As companies reinvent their offices and employees demand flexibility, a rethought work-living space could become the new normal.
‘Nothing makes sense anymore’: What’s driving ad tech’s latest consolidation wave
Online ad spending is accelerating and valuations for ad tech companies are at all time highs with renewed interest among investors.
SponsoredThe advanced marketing degree has become a remote-work option for marketers
Uncertainty has been the name of the game for marketers since March 2020. Even before the onset of the pandemic, senior marketers faced increased scrutiny: With an average tenure of only two years, they’re typically under pressure to be the business’s driving engine by securing a viable lead stream with high conversion rates. In some […]
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: ‘Poor track record of growing talent’: Why agencies need to focus on retaining diverse workforce
Getting diverse talent into the industry is just the beginning of the issue, according to industry analysts.
Bosses share burdens of leadership during a pandemic and its effect on their mental health
Everyone has suffered some form of mental health issue as a result of the pandemic. For c-suite executives, the burden of leading through it has taken its own toll.