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Unilever announced the launch of Go Global, a program that aims to partner innovative digital companies that are ready for international expansion with seven of Unilever’s global flagship brands. Unilever will contribute $100,000 in cash, mentorship, and in-kind services in exchange for a customized digital marketing pilot in the area of content, mobile or connected devices.
"Every day, across 182 countries, over two billion people use a Unilever product. This means that we are in an unrivalled position to help smaller businesses expand into new markets," Marc Mathieu, SVP marketing, Unilever, explains. "In turn, Go Global will enable us to continue to pioneer new technologies and platforms, which can help our brands engage more meaningfully with people around the world."
The aim of Go Global with Unilever is to help small to medium-sized, established businesses to expand their global reach. Interested companies should have a proven technology that is being used in at least one market and are now looking to scale that technology into other markets. The program focuses on three digital spaces: content, mobile and connected devices. ‘Content’ includes technology that can help brands create, curate and distribute content that informs and inspires consumers. ‘Mobile’ includes both advanced mobile solutions for developed markets and innovative ways to connect with the billions of people in emerging markets who are typically using feature phones. The third area of ‘Connected Devices’ explores opportunities which help people track and leverage their personal data, to improve their livelihoods.
"We are seeing a lot of really exciting digital marketing businesses, which—with the right resources—have the potential to rapidly become global players. Go Global will allow us to identify the best among these, to work closely with them and help them take their business to the next level," adds Olivier Garel, managing director, Unilever Ventures.
The seven brands that Unilever selected for the Go Global program are: Unilever, Clear, Surf, Magnum, Flora/Becel Pro.Activ, Hellmann’s and Vaseline.
Applications for the program are open until January 17, 2014. A shortlisted number of companies will be invited to pitch to seven of Unilever’s brands at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the companies selected to pilot their technology will be notified on March 1, 2014. Pilots are expected to begin in Q2 2014.