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Unilever lanceert mondiaal mentorprogramma voor start-ups

Meer dan 200 Unilever-marketeers wereldwijd willen hun expertise en ervaring delen met innovatieve start-ups op het gebied van technologie. (Bericht alleen uitgegeven in het Engels.)

Unilever unveils global mentoring programme for startups

London/Rotterdam, July 2nd 2014. Over 200 Unilever marketers from around the world are now offering to share their expertise and experience with innovative technology startups. The Unilever Foundry (www.unilever.com/foundry) launched in May with marketers from around the world joining the platform to start mentoring entrepreneurs in their local cities.

Marc Mathieu, SVP Marketing explains: “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 programme allows us to support and cultivate new businesses that might grow into being Unilever’s long-term strategic partners.”

Over the last 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 whilst to date, five Collider startups have signed revenue-generating deals with Unilever brands.

Rose Lewis, founder of Collider, highlights the importance of Unilever’s mentoring to startups: “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.”

One of the Collider startups is Sumo Insight, an innovative market research company. Tina Newport, Co-Founder of Sumo Insight shared her mentorship experience: “Unilever has been instrumental in helping us to fine-tune our product positioning and prioritise the next stage of development on our roadmap. We are now in a great position to be able to take our business forward to the next stage.”

Sam Oakley from Stashmetrics, also a Collider startup explains: “Through our Unilever Mentors we were able to get a real understanding of how Unilever works, where and when to push and importantly, when to let opportunities pass. They’ve been a huge help in setting us going on what I hope will be a rewarding journey for both parties.”

The Unilever Foundry mentorship programme typically spans a period of three months, and during this time Unilever mentors will work individually with start-ups and entrepreneurs to craft their brand vision, marketing strategy and product roadmap. Mentorship generally involves meeting for one hour every two-to-three weeks over three months. Start-ups can request to be part of a structured marketing mentorship curriculum, or engage in more tailored one-on-one dialogue with their mentor.

Marc Mathieu, SVP Global Marketing concludes: “Through The Unilever Foundry mentorship programme, we are simultaneously contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, whilst also enabling our marketers to engage directly with start-ups and be inspired by new ideas and ways of working.”

For more information, please contact: Adam Fisher, Unilever Corporate Media Relations on +44 (0)207 822 5082 or adam.fisher@unilever.com

About Collider

Collider (www.collider.io) is an accelerator dedicated to startups which help brands understand, engage with and sell to customers. By mobilising 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 our year-long programme, our teams transform from startups to businesses, from cash burning to revenue earning, putting them on the road from MVP to IPO. We fuse ambitious founders with progressive brands and specialist investors. 

We inject smart capital, expert coaching and forge commercial connections. Through productive collaboration, we foster the fastest route to product-market fit, follow-on funding, competitive edge and revenue.

About The Unilever Foundry

The Unilever Foundry (www.unilever.com/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. Start-ups are invited to find a mentor through visiting http://foundry.unilever.com/mentors/. Simply select a mentor based on their skills and geography, then message that marketer to request their mentorship.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). 

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2013 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the third year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

http://www.unilever.nl

+31(0)10 217 4844 (na 17.30 +31(0)10 2174000)
mediarelations.rotterdam@Unilever.com

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