PURCHASE, N.Y., June 4 /PRNewswire/ — PepsiCo today launched an innovation incubator program called PepsiCo10, an open call for promising start-ups in media, communications and technology. In this unprecedented initiative, PepsiCo will select up to 10 aspiring entrepreneurial groups, match them with industry mentors, and join with them to activate pilot programs with PepsiCo brands. Entrepreneurs can find out more information about the PepsiCo10 and apply online now through June 24, 2010: www.pepsico10.com.
PepsiCo is partnering on the program with global venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners and premiere social media publication Mashable and is connecting selected entrepreneurs with other business partners, including OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, dmg :: events and Weber Shandwick.
"The PepsiCo10 initiative is our chance to identify, support and team up with some of the most original emerging technologies and to connect those entrepreneurs with some of the top companies in media and technology to develop innovative marketing ideas," said PepsiCo's Director of Digital and Social Media B. Bonin Bough.
Entrepreneurs are asked to focus PepsiCo10 submissions on one of four innovation segments: social media, mobile marketing, place-based and retail experiential marketing, or digital video or gaming. Proposals will also be evaluated on their ability to impact brands and/or further PepsiCo's corporate Performance with Purpose priorities, which include health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and talent development.
"With this program, we are championing outside innovation and welcoming it into the organization to push our marketing and communications expertise to new levels, including how to leverage innovative tools to better connect with and engage our consumers," said Seth Kaufman, Director of Media Strategy and Investment for PepsiCo North America Beverages.
Following two rounds of rigorous assessment, 20 finalists will be invited to PepsiCo headquarters for a two-day PepsiCo10 event, during which they will present their ideas to PepsiCo marketing executives and a variety of partner media and investment agencies. PepsiCo teams will then evaluate the presentations and potential of each company and hear keynote addresses and panel discussions from top media, communications and technology visionaries. Following the presentations, up to 10 entrepreneurs will be named the inaugural PepsiCo10. These organizations will have the opportunity to execute a pilot project with one of the elite PepsiCo brand teams.
"The PepsiCo10 offers an outstanding opportunity to identify and work with emerging start-ups that are driving the next wave of innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe," added Bob Davis, General Partner with Highland Capital Partners. "We're excited to work with PepsiCo and lend our expertise to the program."
While PepsiCo10 is a new vehicle for the company, PepsiCo's track record of partnership with innovative start-ups is healthy. Recently, PepsiCo has inked contracts with location-based social networking site Foursquare, endorsement marketing firm Brand Affinity, and Twitter advertising platform Ad.ly.
For the social media release visit http://pepsico.presslift.com/pepsico10.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. In recognition of its continued sustainability efforts, PepsiCo was named for the third time to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and for the fourth time to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) in 2009. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. For over twenty years, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional healthcare, internet & digital media and technology companies. With 3 billion of committed capital and offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Geneva, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, Continental Cable, lululemon athletica, Lycos, MapQuest, Navic Networks, New York Times Digital, Ocular Networks, P.A. Semi, Quattro Wireless, Quigo, Renal Treatment Centers, Staples.com, Starent Networks, Sybase, Telica and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland's web site at www.hcp.com.
Founded in July 2005, Mashable is the world's largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. With more than 25 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific blog reviewing new Web sites and services, publishing breaking news on what's new on the web and offering social media resources and guides. Mashable's audience includes early adopters, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, influencers, brands and corporations, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, Web 2.0 aficionados and technology journalists. Mashable is also popular with bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users — an increasingly influential demographic.