To show its continued commitment to Asia Pacific, Unilever Foundry is on the lookout for 30 innovative startups in South East Asia and Australasia (SEAA), and will feature selected applicants at the Millennial 20/20 2017 APAC Summit in October.
Companies can apply to compete in five categories that include retail, media and advertising, brand and content innovation, data, insights and personalisation, and sustainability and social impact enterprises.
In an interview with The Drum, Barbara Guerpillon, Unilever Foundry manager for Southeast Asia and Australia, says that this is right time for the programme to launch this search as rapid digital transformation is changing how people live and work around the world, as well as to ensure continuous learning in environments that builds talent and new organizational capabilities.
“Startups are the heroes and Millennial 20/20 is an extremely timely and relevant event via which to give them visibility,” she adds.
According to Guerpillon, Unilever Foundry is looking for startups in the media and advertising category that are scalable at a regional level first and then at a global level, disruptive and bring innovative solutions to marketers, brands and functions.
“For example, we look closely at ecommerce B2B and B2C solutions, as well as influencer marketing: How can we develop personalised relationships with influencers at scale?” she explains.
“We also see technologies like AI, real-time data analytics and programmatic solutions expanding the possibility of creating personalised consumer journeys.”
Winning startups will be able to base themselves at Level3, a coworking space that Unilever Foundry launched earlier this year in February inside the Singapore headquarters.
Level3, which started with 15 startups that includes Adludio, ConnectedLife, Datacraft, EcoHub, GetCraft, Next Billion, Olapic, Snapcart, TaskSpotting and Try and Review, has grown to 40 startups, just 10 short of its target of 50.
“Since our launch in February 2017, we have about 40 startups housed at Level3 and we are collaborating on projects with about 15 of them,” says Guerpillon.
“All startups based at Level3 have access to a wide range of executives, experts and peers and can avail of our mentorship program and rich event calendar.
“Startups chosen to be part of Unilever Foundry 30 SEAA will be invited to join us at Level3 during the whole week of the Millennial 20/20 event in October”
Guerpillon also revealed that Try and Review, which provides online reviews for ecommerce, ran a pilot with Unilever brand Lux and the first pilot projects were successful and Unilever Foundry is now scaling Try and Review’s solution across other brands in SEAA.