Press Release 13 Jul 2017

Unilever/Dogpatch Labs
  • Unilever has over 400 brands used by over 2 billion people daily and is one of the biggest advertisers in the world -
  • Unilever Foundry is a global platform for startups and innovators to engage, collaborate and explore business ideas -
  • The initial focus will be  on Retail Tech, Marketing-Tech, and Sustainable Living solutions

Today, Unilever announces a new partnership between its global startup collaboration platform, Unilever Foundry, and Dogpatch Labs, Ireland’s leading startup hub. The Unilever Foundry is a platform for startups and innovators to engage, collaborate and explore business ideas with Unilever and its 400+ brands. This partnership will provide a clear path for Irish startups to gain access to the company’s marketing expertise, massive global scale and in some instances, investment funding.

Unilever is increasingly finding that innovation in the marketing-tech, ad-tech and sustainable living solutions is being led by startups from across the globe. Originally launched in London in 2014, The Unilever Foundry also has a presence in Singapore, New York, India, Brazil and China and so is now bringing their global startup platform to Ireland to help identify, partner, invest and grow with top Irish startups in these areas. Past successes include US startup Discuss.io which enables brands to rapidly conduct real-time consumer interviews and focus groups and just last month secured investment from the company's Venture arm.

Irish startups can register their interest to collaborate on dogpatchlabs.com/unilever.

Speaking at the event, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD said she "warmly welcomes the initiative, which brings together the global expertise and resources of Unilever and the dynamic creativity of Dublin's Dogpatch labs. Ireland strongly supports new initiatives to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship within new technologies and I am delighted to support this exciting development."

Patrick Walsh, Managing Director of Dogpatch Labs said: “As we evolve as a startup hub and platform for innovation, we have chosen to focus our efforts on  fostering key industries where we see growth prospects. There is big opportunity in the FMCG space and Unilever is a natural partner for us to foster startups and help drive innovation and progress in the industry. Our location in the CHQ building, which has live retailers and consumers and a growing reputation for retail and tech innovation in itself, means there is access to a unique environment to rapidly deploy and test new technology.”

Jonathan Hammond, Head of  Unilever Foundry, said: “Unilever Foundry provides a single entry point for startups seeking to partner with Unilever, enabling the company’s brands and functions to experiment and pilot new technologies effectively. Born through Unilever Foundry’s own mission to collaborate, experiment, and pioneer for a sustainable future, The Unilever Foundry at Dogpatch Labs is a physical manifestation of this ethos and gives Unilever access to a growing European startup community.” 

Nick Johnson, ‎Managing Director at Unilever Ireland, said: “Unilever has been prominent among industry cultivating new collaborations with startups and this new partnership with Dogpatch Labs enables us to expand on our efforts to date in Ireland. Working with Irish startups such as ‘Laundrie’ (an on-demand cleaning service app) or ‘BuyMie’ (a same-day grocery delivery) is helping us address a growing imperative to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways, to leverage data and to embed our products in new app enabled services. Ireland in particular is an ideal test bed and can play a unique role within the global Unilever innovation eco-system while at the same time helping shift our corporate mindset and bringing more dynamism into our company culture.”

CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said: “IDA welcomes and is pleased to support this exciting new collaboration between Unilever Foundry and Dogpatch Labs. The benefits for both parties are considerable; it will allow startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on projects on a global scale with this world leader in the consumer goods sector and, at the same time allow Unilever to drive innovation and develop new technologies for sustainable growth. I wish Unilever Foundry and Dogpatch Labs a very successful partnership.”

Irish startups can sign up to get involved at dogpatchlabs.com/unilever

Industry Trends
The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is being increasingly disrupted by new technologies,  innovative business models and social consciousness. The traditionally linear path to purchase has grown increasingly fragmented with consumers benefitting from ‘always-on’ instant connectivity that is offering them greater choice and control than ever before as well as a heightened awareness on where their brands are sourced from and what they stand for. As market leader in CPG globally, Unilever has a responsibility to co-create and accelerate insights that respond to exponential change in consumer expectations.

About Dogpatch Labs
Dogpatch Labs is one of Ireland’s leading startup hubs located in the historic CHQ Building in the heart of the Dublin Docklands. It supports startups and the tech community by providing a space to grow, share knowledge and form connections and is home to over 45 startups and over 350 members.  Alumni include many of Ireland’s fastest growing tech companies including Intercom and actively supports social technology initiatives like CoderDojo who teach kids how to code.

dogpatchlabs.com/press/  | Twitter: @dogpatchlabs |
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dogpatchlabs   

Unilever

About The Unilever Foundry

‘The Unilever Foundry’ is a global platform for partnering with the world's best startups to accelerate innovation on a global scale. It brings together Unilever, startups, and entrepreneurs to encourage innovation and create new partnerships that deliver real and meaningful business impact. The Unilever Foundry focuses on the following areas: Marketing Tech & Ad Tech, Enterprise Tech, Products & Ingredients, New Business Model Innovation and Social Impact. Dogpatch Labs members will now also have access to the Unilever Foundry Network in seven locations globally, including London, Singapore and Brazil.

The Unilever Foundry provides a single entry-point for innovative startups 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 startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into funding through Unilever Ventures. Startups are invited to apply to be part of the Unilever Foundry through visiting http://foundry.unilever.com . More details on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan can be found here: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living-2014/

The Unilever Foundry (Unilever.com/foundry) works closely with Unilever Ventures, the Venture capital arm of Unilever. Unilever Ventures invests in early stage companies that could become strategically relevant to Unilever and can benefit from access to Unilever’s assets and capabilities. One of the key areas of investment for Unilever Ventures is Digital Marketing, encompassing marketing services business with a focus on mobile marketing, digital media and video, social media, content creation, e-commerce, shopper marketing and big data. Recent examples include Olapic and Blissmedia.

https://foundry.unilever.com/  | Twitter: @UnileverFoundry |

 

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