Unilever Foundry and Lions Innovation launch search for world’s top 50 marketing technology startups

The Foundry 50 will be chosen 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

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 1, 2015 8:20 AM
Unilever Foundry and Lions Innovation launch search for world’s top 50 marketing technology startups

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 unique, 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 from today at foundry.unilever.com/top50. 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.


For further information, please contact:
Lisa Shetabi – Kaper; lisa@kaper.uk.com +447843 433515
Sebastian Tully-Middleton – Kaper; seb@kaper.uk.com, +4420 3301 2261

About The Unilever Foundry

The Unilever Foundry (www.unilever.com/foundry) provides a single entry-point for innovative startups seeking to partner with Unilever, enabling the company’s global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily. It provides startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures. Startups are invited to apply to be part of the Unilever Foundry through visiting http://foundry.unilever.com/projects/. More details on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan can be found here: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014/

The Foundry (Unilever.com/foundry) works closely with Unilever Ventures, the Venture capital arm of Unilever. Unilever Ventures invests in early stage companies that could become strategically relevant to Unilever and can benefit from access to Unilever’s assets and capabilities. One of the key areas of investment for Unilever Ventures is Digital Marketing, encompassing marketing services business with a focus on mobile marketing, digital media and video, social media, content creation, eCommerce, shopper marketing and big data. Recent examples include Yummly and Brandtone.

About Lions Innovation and Cannes Lions

Lions Innovation takes place 25 – 26 June, Cannes France. It explores data and technology as catalysts for creativity in communications and celebrates the work leading the way. Held during Cannes Lions, this intense, inspiring “festival within The Festival” will ignite ideas and initiate the partnerships that bring them to life. It includes two days of talks, demonstrations and networking events that culminates in the awarding of Innovation Lions and the inaugural Creative Data Lions.

The 62nd International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions, takes place 21 – 27 June and is the world's leading celebration of creativity in communications.

As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 35,500 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, a global benchmark of creative excellence in Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Product Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR and Creative Effectiveness. The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers and communication professionals.  More than 12,000 delegates from 95 countries attend a week-long programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks by worldwide thought leaders. As the networking and learning opportunity of the year, Cannes Lions is the must-attend event for anyone involved in brand communications.

About Founders Forum

Founders Forum is a community of the best global entrepreneurs, select CEOs and key investors in media and technology. It also consults to a range of corporate clients, helping them to gain early access to the latest technologies and set innovative digital strategies. Strong relationships with digital entrepreneurs, leading angel investors, technology accelerators and venture firms let Founders Forum track the global technology start-up ecosystem in detail.

About Karmarama

Karmarama is one of the largest independent marketing communications companies in the UK. It was named as the No.1 Independent Agency in The Drum Independent Elite Agency census in 2014. The company is made up of 250 specialists in advertising, direct, data, digital, content, social media and public relations. Karmarama works with global clients such as Honda, Nintendo and Costa Coffee internationally – and in the UK its clients include BT, Cobra, Iceland and Plusnet.

About Collider

Collider is an accelerator dedicated to marketing and advertising startups, who help brands and agencies identify, understand, engage with and sell to their consumers. We invest capital in these startups, we coach them through a highly structured programme and we connect them to potential corporate customers and investors. The aim of the game is to help these startups become sustainable, rapidly growing businesses. We also partner with brilliant brands and agencies to help them work closely with game-changing tech and introduce their teams to new ways of working.

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