Marketers from brands including Microsoft and Direct Line have selected a 15-strong shortlist of “disruptive” tech start-ups, each of which will take part in Unilever’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ project, pitching their ideas at this month’s ad:tech London event.
The Next Big Thing has been devised to connect fledgling but innovative start-ups with advertisers. The companies have proposed ideas based on subjects including AI, programmatic platforms and video tech, and will present their ideas for the chance to win a $50,000 Unilever pilot on 13-14 October.
The finalists are Relative Insight, Adimo, Adverdose, Cablato, EyeSee, Pixoneye, Reacful, Smartzer, Verticly, Watch My Competitor, Buzzoole, Kochava, Phrasee, Real Life Analytics and SoPost.
The shortlist was whittled down from an original 120 start-ups, each of which answered Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed’s brief to put forward “truly disruptive ideas” that can help Unilever “deliver the right tech, to the right brands, right now”.
The judges are Philippa Snare, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, Mark Evans, Direct Line’s marketing director and Jeremy Bassett, head of Unilever Foundry.
M&M Global has also been supporting tech start-up culture, identifying advertising technology specialists from across the globe, and showcasing them on the website’s dedicated Emerge channel.
Commenting on The Next Big Thing, Bassett said: “This year’s list features an exciting mix of ideas ranging from twists on established marketing tools to the truly experimental. The Next Big Thing puts not only the tech to the test, but also the commercial skills of entrepreneurs.
“Through Unilever Foundry, we’re constantly looking for innovative technology and brand communications to better engage with the people we serve. We strongly believe that combining the innovation, enthusiasm and energy of tech entrepreneurs with Unilever’s global scale is a win-win scenario for startup and Unilever alike.”
Complimentary tickets to the event can be ordered here