Unilever Foundry does an excellent job of discovering the best new talent in the world of marketing and advertising technology, which you'll know if you've watched our coverage of their Next Best Thing competition. Now, the accelerator has begun its search for the world's top 50 marketing tech startups, who will be taken to Lions Innovation in Cannes later this year to pitch to industry startups.
Unilever launched the Foundry 50 project in 2015 to bring innovative entrepreneurs to meet market leaders at Cannes Lions, where many major decision makers are on the lookout for cutting edge technology. This year, the Foundry 50 Initiative is being scaled up to provide even more opportunities for startups.
The companies involved will have an exclusive opportunity to showcase their technology at Cannes, pitching their solutions to brand and agency leaders, and formulating new partnerships with publishers, marketers and brand representatives from around the world.
"The Unilever Foundry has a knack of identifying and supporting the most innovative startups in the world," said Edward Pearse Wheately, co-founder of Seenit, a 2015 Foundry 50 finalist. "Being selected as part of the Foundry 50 gave us validation in the eyes of the industry that is unparalleled. We had access to people and opportunities that would not have been possible alone."
The Foundry 50 will be looking for startups formed in the last five years who are clearly differentiated from competitors thanks to their innovative and truly disruptive solutions for the brand, marketing and advertising industry. The competition will be judged by a panel of experts including Rob Dembitz, the head of Lions Innovation and Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com.
"Start-ups are the lifeblood of Lions Innovation and we are delighted to be welcoming back the Unilever Foundry 50 to the festival," said Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals. "This is a unique opportunity for the most promising international crop of innovators to get their ideas in front of the brands and agencies who can really bring them to life, a process we believe is fundamental to the future of the industry."