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Mondelez International, Inc., a global maker of chocolate, biscuits, gum and candy, has selected nine start-ups to participate in the company's Mobile Futures program.
A first-of-its-kind program, Mobile Futures aims to shape the future of mobile by teaming power brands with some of the brightest minds in the space: start-up entrepreneurs. "We look forward to working together over the next 90 days to bring new technologies to market," said Bonin Bough, VP of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez International. "Our marketers were truly impressed by the caliber of innovation they saw at our pitch event. They are now eager to continue to work with start-ups to drive high-impact experiences, beyond Mobile Futures, as we continue to march towards a mobile-first strategy."
Mondelez received hundreds of applications and after a two-day presentation event with the program's top applicants, nine start-up companies were selected to partner with Mondelez International brand teams to create and launch new mobile pilots in just 90 days. Pilots will focus on driving impulse purchases and mobile-at-retail consumer experiences, with additional pilots in the important areas of social TV and SoLoMo (social/location/mobile). Brands and start-ups will work together as follows:
- Trident & Lisnr (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Roximity (Denver, Colo.)
- Stride & Waze (Palo Alto, Calif.)
- Chips Ahoy! & Shelby.tv (New York, N.Y.)
- Halls & Dailybreak (Boston, Mass.)
- belVita & inMarket (Venice, Calif.)
- Multi-brand program & Endorse (San Mateo, Calif.)
- Sour Patch Kids & Kiip (San Francisco, Calif.)
- OREO & Banjo (Redwood City, Calif.)
Multi-day cultural immersion sessions will kick-start the process of brands and start-ups working together. Brand teams will spend time at the start-up's location and see firsthand how a start-up operates, thereby creating strong relationships and fostering understanding of how each other thinks. Throughout the Mobile Futures program, Mondelez International hopes to ultimately spark “intrapreneurship” within the organization.
"We see the Mobile Futures program as a wonderful opportunity to infuse a bit of the start-up entrepreneurial spirit into our organization," said Steve Doan, senior associate brand manager, Oreo at Mondelez International.
In late Q1 2013, brand marketers and their start-up partners will work together to create and incubate entirely new mobile ventures that address broader business challenges. At the end of 90 days, Mondelez International brand teams will pitch those new venture concepts to angel investors and venture capitalists in mid-2013 with the hopes of securing seed funding.
The latest members to join the Mobile Futures Network are convenience store retailers Quick Chek and Kum & Go, demonstrating the importance of mobile marketing and the impact on the consumer path to purchase.
"As an organization, we are increasingly focused on connecting with our customers closer to the point of purchase," said Edward Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology at Mondelez International. "By partnering with Quick Chek and Kum & Go, we have an even larger opportunity to drive relevant engagement and impulse purchases, and we believe that this will ultimately change the marketplace."
In addition to these new convenience retailers, the Mobile Futures Network comprises organizations that will play a key role in various stages of the program by bringing their unique expertise, perspective and scale. This includes: Viacom and AT&T AdWorks; incubator partners Prehype, Kicklabs, Sandbox Industries and Excelerate Labs; angel and venture capital investors First Round Capital, New World Ventures, Commerce Ventures, OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Transmedia Capital; the Mobile Marketing Association and Location-Based Marketing Association; the Boston Consulting Group; and agency partners Ruder Finn, Horizon Media and MediaVest.
Mondelez comprises the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. following the spin-off of its North American grocery operations in Oct. 2012. Mondelez International's portfolio includes several billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gums. Mondelez International has annual revenue of approximately $36 billion and operations in more than 80 countries.