Unilever Foundry and Lions Innovation are partnering to launch “Foundry 50 at Cannes” – a search for the world’s top 50 marketing technology startups that are innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with people.
The Foundry 50 will be chosen by a panel of experts, including Brent Hoberman – serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Founders Forum, Rose Lewis ¬– co-founder of startup accelerator Collider, Rob Dembitz, Head of Lions Innovation, Caitlin Ryan, Group Executive Creative Director from Karmarama, Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures and Marc Mathieu, Senior VP of Global Marketing Unilever.
Each winning startup will receive a ticket, including accommodation, to the inaugural Lions Innovation – a new two-day event that brings together the worlds of data, technology and ideas during the 62nd annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
At the event, to be held 25 – 26 June, startups will have the unique opportunity to speed-date with industry leaders, pitch on the Unilever demo platform and introductions to organisations attending Cannes Lions Innovation.
“Startups are pioneering the future of marketing. As an industry, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to support, scale and invest behind these innovators” said Marc Mathieu.
“Through working collectively with startups, we can supercharge the transformation of our industry, and that’s good for consumers, for brands and for entrepreneurs. By partnering with Lions Innovation, a fellow leader in fostering innovation in the creative space, we’re raising the profile of these startups amongst industry leaders with the ambition of catalysing new partnerships.”
“Lions Innovation is the bridge between start-ups, marketers and the creative community that our industry has been looking for,” said Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions. “The Festival was created because of the incredible alchemy that happens when innovative tech is partnered with the right brand and the right idea, and Foundry 50 is dedicated to kick-starting those kinds of relationships – ones that we believe will be instrumental to the future of the industry.”
Brent Hoberman agreed, commenting, “This is a unique opportunity for startups and scaleups to get in front of some of the world’s leading and most creative brands. At Founders Forum we are delighted to be partnering with Unilever to unearth and select these startups. I have no doubt that the Foundry 50 at Cannes will result in surprising and disruptive success stories of the future.”
To be chosen for the Global Top 50, startups need to meet the following criteria:
1. Be innovative and truly disruptive, clearly differentiated from competitors already in the market
2. Be relevant and interesting to the Brand & Marketing industry
3. Incorporation within the last 5 years
4. Raised less than $10 million in equity funding.
Startups can apply at http://foundry.unilever.com/foundry50/. Entries will close at 23:59 GMT, 30 April 2015. The final Foundry 50 will be revealed on Monday 25 May 2015.
Unilever Foundry is Unilever’s global platform for innovation through collaboration. It provides a single entry point for startups and scaleups to connect with its 400 brands and champions their role in the industry. Its unique Pitch-Pilot-Partner approach dramatically cuts the time it takes to get a new initiative to market, with the average project going from brief to pilot in nine months.