Innovative marketing and media tech startups will pitch to a panel of leading brand, agency and Venture Capital decision makers for the chance to be crowned The Next Big Thing at ad:tech London after Unilever agreed to partner the initiative and the trade show s Future Media & Technology Summit.
In this new move, Unilever becomes the first consumer brand to partner the conference and exhibition which this year celebrates its 10th birthday with a Digital Decade: Past, Present, Future's' theme.
The Next Big Thing, created in collaboration with Collider, will be working with some of the UK s leading tech startup hubs to showcase the country's rising tech stars. The initiative will provide the opportunity to pitch to a panel of leading industry players with the winner being crowned The Next Big Thing a prestigious accolade won last year by mobile native advertising network Avocarrot. Shortlisted startups will also secure free ad:tech exhibition space in a Unilever Foundry show floor feature.
This partnership underlines Unilever s commitment to innovation through collaborating with start-ups. The Unilever Foundry(Link opens in a new window) enables innovative companies to pilot their technology with Unilever brands, tap into talent and expertise through the mentoring programme and apply for investment through Unilever Ventures.
The partnership will see Unilever take headline sponsorship of ad:tech London s Future Media & Technology Summit in which Marc Mathieu, Unilever s SVP Marketing will reveal Unilever s strategic marketing and media investment plans.
The partnership will also see ad:tech host up to 50 Unilever marketers who will participate in guided tours and special networking events designed to connect startups and technology providers with investment decision makers at Unilever.
Marc Mathieu, SVP Global Marketing explains: Startups are pioneering the future of marketing. Our partnership with ad:tech enables us to showcase these technologies to the wider marketing community and challenge our existing partners to collaborate with these innovators.
As event organisers our job is to connect people and this partnership is a great example of how we can do that in a more effective and efficient way. Unilever s enthusiasm and drive to make this happen shows their commitment to forging the way when it comes to embracing digital, technology and new forms of community engagement, says James Drake-Brockman, Head of ad:tech in EMEA & India.