2. ChallengesThrough the platform, Unilever brands and functional teams post briefs looking for innovative technology solutions. Companies with proven technology are invited to pitch their solution and, if selected, pilot their technology with Unilever. The pitch-pilot-partner process enables Unilever to embed experimentation at the heart of the marketing function. Since starting the Foundry in the United Kingdom 18 months ago, Unilever has already launched 75 pilots with different start-ups around the world. On November 17 th, Unilever North America brands will also launch challenges to start-ups from across the region. 3. Investment Unilever Foundry also gives companies the option to apply for funding through Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever. One of the investment focus areas for Unilever Ventures is 'digital marketing'; and it has already made several successful investments in this space, including Olapic, Yummly and Brandtone. "Through Unilever Foundry, we hope to make more start-ups aware of this opportunity to receive investment from the world's second largest advertiser. In combining our business and marketing knowledge with the expertise available in venture capital through Unilever Foundry, we are in a position to provide the best of both worlds," explains Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures. 4. Be part of the launch event The Unilever Foundry launch in North America will be celebrated with an event where more than 150 Unilever Marketers and leaders from the NA start-up community will come together to network, see pitches from leading start-ups, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Start-ups who would like to attend the event as a guest are invited to apply here: https://foundry.unilever.com/events. "Technology companies continue to lead and shape the future of marketing and Unilever has been a pioneer in establishing global partnerships with the largest digital players. However, as the speed of innovation increases and disruptions seemingly occur overnight, Unilever understands the importance of recognizing these trends and connecting with the start-up ecosystem as well," said Babs Rangaiah, Unilever Vice President of Global Media Innovation and Ventures.
Briefs detailing requirements and the innovative technology solutions that can help will be posted on https://foundry.unilever.com.About Unilever Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 172,000 employees and generated sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half (57%) of the company's footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann's, Lipton, Wall's, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry's, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx. Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) commits to:
- Decoupling growth from environmental impact.
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.