Unilever has launched its latest "The Next Big Thing" initiative, offering marketing and ad tech startups the chance to compete for a $50,000 (£32,000) pilot award as part of its Unilever Foundry hub for collaborative innovation.
The scheme, run in partnership with Ad:tech London and Collider, will see 15 startups chosen to pitch at Ad:tech in October for the chance at developing a pilot scheme within the Unilever Foundry.
The 15 startups will undergo a mentoring process led by top brands, agencies, entrepreneurs, incubators and investors in order to prepare their pitches, and will be given free exhibition space in the Ad:tech marketplace.
Last year's Next Big Thing pitch was won by content crowdsourcing platform Seenit, which has gone on to run a number of global campaigns with Unilever and build a client list that includes Bacardi and the BBC.
"Unprecedented evolutions in marketing and technology require global brands to embrace innovation," said Keith Weed, chief marketing & communications officer at Unilever. "We are determined to stay ahead of the game by experimenting with tech through initiatives such as The Next Big Thing."
Applying startups have to be incorporated within the last five years and have raised less than $10m in equity funding, and more importantly must be innovative, disruptive and relevant to the brand and marketing industry.