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Unilever and Cannes Lions partner to search 50 marketing tech start-ups

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MUMBAI: Unilever Foundry and Lions Innovation have partnered to launch “Foundry 50 at Cannes” – a search for the world’s top 50 marketing technology startups that are innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with people.

The Foundry 50 will be chosen by a panel of experts, including Founders Forum serial entrepreneur and co-founder Brent Hoberman, start up accelerator Collider co-founder Rose Lewis, Lions Innovation head Rob Dembitz, Karmarama group executive and creative director Caitlin Ryan, Unilever Ventures head Olivier Garel and Unilever senior VP global marketing Marc Mathieu.

Each winning startup will receive a ticket, including accommodation, to the inaugural Lions Innovation - a unique, new two-day event that brings together the worlds of data, technology and ideas during the 62nd annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

At the event, to be held on 25 – 26 June, startups will have the unique opportunity to speed-date with industry leaders, pitch on the Unilever demo platform and introductions to organisations attending Cannes Lions Innovation.

“Through working collectively with startups, we can supercharge the transformation of our industry, and that’s good for consumers, for brands and for entrepreneurs. By partnering with Lions Innovation, a fellow leader in fostering innovation in the creative space, we’re raising the profile of these startups amongst industry leaders with the ambition of catalysing new partnerships,” said Mathieu.

“The Festival was created because of the incredible alchemy that happens when innovative tech is partnered with the right brand and the right idea, and Foundry 50 is dedicated to kick-starting those kinds of relationships – ones that we believe will be instrumental to the future of the industry,” said Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas.

To be chosen for the Global Top 50, startups need to meet the following criteria:

1) Be innovative and truly disruptive, clearly differentiated from competitors already in the market

2) Be relevant and interesting to the Brand & Marketing industry

3) Incorporation within the last five years

4) Raised less than $ 10 million in equity funding.

Startups can apply from 31 March at foundry.unilever.com/top50. Entries will close at 23:59 GMT, 30 April, 2015. The final Foundry 50 will be revealed on 25 May, 2015.

Unilever Foundry is Unilever’s global platform for innovation through collaboration. It provides a single entry point for startups and scaleups to connect with its 400 brands and champions their role in the industry. Its unique Pitch-Pilot-Partner approach dramatically cuts the time it takes to get a new initiative to market, with the average project going from brief to pilot in nine months.

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