Mondelez Launches Mobile Startup Program
Snack food giant Mondelez International on Wednesday announced a new program aimed at accelerating mobile development for key brands like Oreo and Trident by teaming with startups to launch innovative marketing concepts.
Mondelez, which split off as a separate, publicly-traded entity from Kraft Foods this week, also committed to investing 10% of its global marketing budget to mobile. Under its Mobile Futures program, the company will select startups to pair with brands that also include Ritz and iDGum to brainstorm and launch branded pilots within 90 days.
The goal is for up to 10 Mondelez brands to participate, each working with a separate startup.
As part of that process, the brands will spend a week working side-by-side with startups at each company's own offices. The companies will be chosen through an open call for applications starting Oct. 10, followed by a pitch for finalists in late November.
Startups must be under four years old, have working technology, and have received more than a $1 million in funding or have come through an incubator program. Following the initial 90-day period, Mondelez will work with the startups and incubator PreHype to come up with and develop completely new mobile ventures that Mondelez will pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists to secure seed funding at the end of a second 90-day period.
The initiative is supported by a network of corporate partners that include Viacom, ATT AdWorks, the Boston Consulting Group, Horizon Media, MediaVest and several VCs and investors including Intel Capital and New World Ventures.
“Mobile Futures is a first of its kind program because it begins and ends with startups. Startups are the innovative lifeblood for the digital world and we are committed to supporting them,” said Bonin Bough, VP, global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, in a statement. “At the same time, this program will further drive innovation within our own organization and create a culture of “intrapreneurship.”’
Bough, until the split of Kraft Foods this week into Mondelez and Kraft Foods Group—the North American grocery business—into separate companies, held a similar position at the former Kraft Foods. The key mobile areas Mondelez is focusing on are at retail, social TV, and SoLoMo, or the intersection of social, local and mobile.