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UNILEVER HELPS SINGAPORE ENTREPRENEURS GO FROM STARTUP TO SCALE UP

THE FOUNDRY IS UNILEVER'S GLOBAL A PLATFORM TO CONNECT UNILEVER BRANDS WITH INNOVATIVE STARTUPS SEEKING TO PARTNER WITH THE WORLD'S SECOND LARGEST ADVERTISER.

Singapore, DEC 22nd 2014.

Unilever announced today that the Unilever Foundry will launch in Singapore on January 15th 2015. The Foundry is Unilever's global a platform to connect Unilever brands with innovative startups seeking to partner with the world's second largest advertiser. The Unilever Foundry enables the company's global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies more efficiently, effectively and speedily.

It also provides startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into a new source of funding through Unilever Ventures.

Marc Mathieu, Unilever Senior Vice President Global Marketing, explains "We strive to be at the forefront of marketing and media innovation; to have our brands engage in the most creative, efficient and effective ways with the people we serve. Although we have been working with startups for years, we're now seeking to engage even more deeply with startups in Singapore and across the Asian region."

"The Unilever Foundry is our platform to harness, nurture and evolve thousands of innovative ideas from the entrepreneurial community. It has simplified the way in which small start-ups and entrepreneurs engage with a company of our size, offering an exciting opportunity for the best and brightest to pilot their technology with us.

Through The Unilever Foundry, we continue the Crafting Brands for Life journey to make our brands more human and more purposeful, while also empowering our marketers to pioneer the future."

The Unilever Foundry offers three key opportunities for start-ups and entrepreneurs:

  1. Marketing Mentors

    Over a period of three months, Unilever mentors work individually with start-ups and entrepreneurs to craft their brand vision, marketing strategy and product roadmap. Marc Mathieu, Senior Vice President, Marketing, explains, "Through the Foundry Academy, we hope to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and build businesses who might eventually become our global strategic partners. Mentoring also enables our marketers across the organisation to engage directly with start-ups and be inspired by new ideas and ways of working."

  2. Projects

    Through The Unilever Foundry Projects, Unilever brands and functional teams will post briefs where they are looking for innovative technology solutions. Companies with proven technology are invited to pitch their solution and, if selected, pilot their technology with Unilever. The pitch-pilot-partner process has enabled Unilever to embed experimentation at the heart of the marketing function, allowing new technologies to be piloted and new partnerships to be cultivated. Since launching the Foundry in the UK earlier this year, Unilever has already launched, or committed to launching 50 pilots with different startups around the world.

  3. Investment

    The Unilever Foundry also gives companies the option to apply for funding through Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever. One of the investment focus areas for Unilever Ventures is ‘digital marketing'; and it has already made several successful investments in this space, including Brain Juicer, Yummly and Brandtone. "Through The Unilever Foundry, we hope to make more start-ups aware of this opportunity to receive investment from the world's second largest advertiser. In combining our business and marketing knowledge with the expertise available in venture capital through The Unilever Foundry, we are in a position to provide the best of both worlds," explains Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures.

"In an always-on, data-driven and connected world, innovative and forward-thinking technology companies will play a vital role in helping our brands continue to engage meaningfully with people everywhere. Through launching the Unilever Foundry in Singapore, we're opening a direct line of communication with startups in Singapore and across the region, enabling us to work together and mutually benefit." concludes Peter Ter Kulve, President Unilever ASEAN & ANZ.

Briefs detailing requirements and the innovative technology solutions that can help will be posted on www.unilever.com/foundry.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Campbell Hodgetts, Unilever Media Relations on +65 6643 4999 or Campbell.Hodgetts@unilever.com

Notes to editor

  • The Unilever Foundry was launched globally in May 2014, and since launching Unilever has launched or committed to launching over 50 pilots with innovative tech startups around the world. For examples of these projects, see the following case studies:
  • The launch in Singapore will be celebrated with an event where over 300 Unilever Marketers and leaders from Asia's startup community will come together to network, see pitches from leading startups, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Leaders from the startup community are invited to RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-foundry-singapore-launch-event-tickets-14720024991

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

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