PepsiCo10 Finalists Pitch Digital Start-Ups
The second stage of "PepsiCo10," a program to identify and incubate up to 10 promising start-ups in technology, media and communications, is underway this week.
Twenty entrepreneurial finalists, chosen from among nearly 500 online submissions, are presenting their concepts to PepsiCo brand and marketing teams during a two-day summit at the company's Purchase, N.Y. headquarters.
Five submissions in each of four areas -- social media, mobile marketing, place-based/retail experiential marketing and digital video/gaming -- are being evaluated based on their ability to impact brands and/or advance PepsiCo's "Performance with a Purpose" priorities, which include environmental sustainability and talent development.
The start-ups selected will be given the opportunity to execute a pilot project with PepsiCo brand teams. PepsiCo has partnered with venture capitalist firm Highland Capital Partners and social media publication Mashable, and will connect some entrepreneurs with other business partners, including OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, DMG::Events and Weber Shandwick.
The finalists include several connected TV technologies, mobile couponing solutions for packaged goods companies and retailers, and social networking platforms in niches such as sports and music.
Here are capsule descriptions of the 20 beta project finalists (all have .com sites):
- Social media and marketing: BreakoutBand enables users to start a band or write a song. FanFeedr acts as a hub for sports fans to update one another with all kinds of information about their favorite sports (including games they're currently watching) via Facebook and Twitter (94,000+ followers to date), and also offers sports videos, blogs and other content.
Pixable lets users select photos housed on Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or a PC to be turned into physical photo books that are then shipped to them. RealGifts enables users to use Facebook (no postal address needed) to send gifts. Tongal serves as a collaborative hub through which consumers and brand fans can participate in creating original video content for corporate projects, with the chance to win monetary rewards.
- Mobile marketing: Evil Genius Designs designs and implements themed technology solutions, interactive media experiences, and extended branding through targeted online marketing (such as audiences standing in theater or other lines). MotiveCast is designing innovations in the intersection of mobile gaming and augmented reality.
MyCypher lets users record and discover freestyle verses and use their cell phones as a microphone. WeReward is a mobile, social network-based incentive platform that rewards consumers, through sponsored check-ins, with cash for making purchases at local businesses. Zazu lets consumers who use their cell phones as alarm clocks wake up to an automated voice message summarizing local weather and news.
- Place-based and retail experiential marketing: AisleBuyer lets shoppers use smartphones to scan product barcodes, access product information and discount offers, and complete their purchases on the phone (no checkout needed). MobeStream uses barcode scanner technology to create and store a digital copy of a consumer's various loyalty cards, which can then be scanned by the retailer from the phone screen (special offers can also be stored for redemption). PushPins allows consumers to access on-the-spot coupons through smartphones.
ScanBuy is the developer of ScanLife, an end-to-end mobile barcode platform that helps marketers and content providers link their media to mobile for measurable barcode campaigns. TableTop Media offers the first interactive tabletop experience/next-generation pay-at-the-table functionality (consumers use a touchscreen device in restaurants and other locations to pay checks, access interactive promotions, play games, watch movie trailers, and more).
- Digital video and gaming: Affine Systems is a targeting platform for video that enables advertisers to safely and effectively employ broadband video for in-stream campaigns. BizGreet powers video ads that are personalized to the individual, based on all available data on that user. i.TV (a free download from the iTunes App Store) is a TV and movie guide for the iPhone and iPod touch, which also enables functions such as buying movie tickets, remotely scheduling a TiVo DVR, accessing streaming videos for iPhone viewing, and networking through Facebook and Twitter about shows being watched.
Miso is a social platform that makes it easy for people to share what they're watching on TV. Spot411 developed Fox's FoxPop app, which uses the microphone on an iPhone or laptop to pick up the audio signal from a movie being watched, responds with pop-ups about the movie, and intersects with Facebook and Twitter for discussions about the movie.