Unilever Foundry, the consumer goods company's innovation platform, has teamed up with Ad:tech to launch its latest startup accelerator program for marketing and advertising tech influencers, The Next Big Thing 2016.
The pitch and award initiative will see startups competing to win a $50,ooo (£39,ooo) in Unilever Foundry pilot funding, as well as the coveted innovation award.
A panel of brands, agencies, venture capitalists and technology experts will select 30 startups from those who apply to the program, who will attend a mentoring day in London where industry leaders will help them develop their pitch.
The next day, 15 finalists will pitch to Unilever in front of over 750 brands, agencies and media owners at the Ad:tech conference in London.
"We all know that the explosion of new marketing technology and game-changing consumer trends has had a profound impact on our industry and how we take products to market," said Aline Santos, executive vice president of global marketing at Unilever. "Our commitment to sourcing and integrating the most cutting-edge technology is fundamental to securing our future success.
"The Next Big Thing creates a framework for bringing new technology into the business and exposing our teams to the latest innovation in the market. This years we're looking for the startups that will be powering our future and paving the way for consumers and brands. We're extremely excited to once again partner with The Next Big Thing and work with an exciting array of tech pioneers."
This year will be the third iteration of The Next Big Thing, with previous winners including Seenit and Relative Insight, both of whom have since undertaken a series of pilots with Unilever across the globe. You can watch our coverage of last year's Next Big Thing here.
Don’t forget to enter the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. The Early Bird deadline for submissions is 22 July. More details here.