Over 200 Unilever marketers from around the world are now offering to share their expertise and experience with innovative technology startups. The Unilever Foundry launched in May with marketers from around the world joining the platform to start mentoring entrepreneurs in their local cities.
“As the second largest advertiser in the world we’re always looking to pioneer new ways of connecting with the people we serve. The Unilever Foundry mentorship program allows us to support and cultivate new businesses that might grow into being Unilever’s long-term strategic partners,” explained Marc Mathieu, SVP-marketing.
Over the past 18 months, Unilever has been piloting the mentorship programme through start-up accelerators around the world. In the UK, Unilever has partnered with Collider, a B2Brand accelerator. Through this partnership, Unilever Mentors working with Collider’s marketing and advertising tech startups to help them develop their propositions and secure pilots. Both parties are seeing the benefits: Unilever gets access to the latest marketing technology and exposes its team to new ways of working while to date, five Collider startups have signed revenue-generating deals with Unilever brands.
“At Collider we are focused on helping our startups become sustainable businesses, supporting them to develop their propositions, business plans, tech roadmaps and prepare them for future fundraising. Unilever’s input is crucial; ensuring that our startups are solving brands’ real challenges,” explained Marc Mathieu, SVP-marketing.
The Unilever Foundry provides a single entry-point for innovative start-ups 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 start-ups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures.
Collider is an accelerator dedicated to startups which help brands understand, engage with and sell to customers. By mobilizing a pot of cash, a crack team of coaches, and an intensive programme, we support our startups in becoming sustainable businesses. Over the course of the year-long program, the teams transform from startups to businesses, from cash burning to revenue earning, putting them on the road from MVP to IPO.