Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 11:41 AM
Patagonia, a trailblazer in high-end outdoor apparel and environmental advocacy, is stepping up its corporate responsibility commitment to sustainability with $20 Million and Change, a venture capital fund to invest in startups with innovative solutions involving food, water, energy or waste.
“We believe in our company’s long-term vision around the environment and areas we want to make change in,” said Rose Marcario, CEO of the newly created holding company Patagonia Works. “We know there are great entrepreneurs out there with really great ideas and resources and they could be the next Patagonia.”
Already in the business of providing grants, Patagonia is hoping to nurture the next movement leader, Marcario said. "I do think business is an untapped well for change."
The company has just reorganized into a new umbrella holding company, Patagonia Works, through which it's earmarking the initial $20 million for investment in early-stage small businesses, ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The plan has only one prerequisite—that a company must already have $1 million in revenue or capitalization.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 17, 2013 07:35 PM
Mondelez International's first-of-its-kind Mobile Futures Network is teaming brands with top entrepreneurial minds to bring pilots to market in as little as 90 days.
"The Mobile Futures program has been an extraordinary experience for all of us at Mondelez International,” said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement. “It has given us the opportunity to work with and learn from leading mobile innovators to enhance how we engage with our consumers.”
The pilots, focused on mobile-at-retail, social TV and SoLoMo (social/ location/ mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases have launched across multiple brands under the Mondelez umbrella. The global company hopes that the service-y and social tie-ins will help build brand relevance beyond obvious user engagements for brands like Chips Ahoy! and Stride Gum.Continue reading...
Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 26, 2013 05:26 PM
This is not your grandfather’s retail environment.
In fact, with Target joining the likes of Nike, BMW and Mondelez in launching a mobile incubator/accelerator and funding developers to come up with apps that will take shopping into the future, it might seem more like your grandkids’. Target announced a contest earlier this month called “Co. Labs & Target Retail Accelerator,” that dangles a $75,000 prize to whoever develops the best new mobile experience for the company.
Target is looking for “transformative, technology-driven” ideas that should incorporate at least one of the company’s four priorities:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 06:16 PM
Nike introduced the FuelBand wristband in January 2012, and it has apparently sold well enough for the company to further invest in its growth as the device at the center of the connected universe it envisions. News on how Nike plans to boost its mobile/digital offering sets the stage for the company's quarterly earnings call on Thursday.
The athletic-wear giant's inaugural Nike Accelerator mobile development incubator, announced late last year, this week awarded $20,000 to 10 different startups that are building apps for its Nike+ products. The hope, CNET reports, is “to create a platform in much the same way that Apple has created a platform with iTunes and Microsoft with Windows.”
Hundreds of app ideas were proposed to Nike and its partner, TechStars, and the 10 that will receive funding as well as mentoring from Nike include “games that encourage users to exercise and a corporate wellness app that espouses healthy living habits,” CNET notes. The companies will work on their apps in Portland, Oregon, near Nike’s campus, and then pitch them to Nike bigwigs, venture capitalists and angel investors in June.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2013 10:07 AM
Banks are always crowing about how they aren’t going to have fees for this or that, but somehow, over time, the monthly bank statement comes and there are a load of fees on there. And most of them are worded in such a way that the consumer has absolutely no idea what they are for.
Australian Josh Reich has certainly felt the bewilderment. “Banks make money by keeping customers confused,” Reich told the New York Times. “There’s no incentives to make the experience better.”
So what did Reich do? He partnered with a pal, Shamir Karkal, and started an online bank, Simple, a “worry-free alternative to traditional banking” that doesn't charge any fees.
Formerly known as BankSimple, the Portland, Ore.-based startup which has now processed more than $200 million in transactions, offers its 20,000 customers data-rich analysis of expenditures as well.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2012 01:34 PM
Mondelez International is stepping up its investments and innovation in marketing and product development. The Kraft global-snacks spinoff may have stumbled a bit since its Oct. 1st debut as a new company on the world stage. But give it time.
Today it's hosting a Mobile Futures conference (follow on Twitter at #MobileFutures), taking pitches from "SoLoMo, mobile at retail, and social TV" startups as part of its commitment, under digital strategist Bonin Bough, to invest in mobile startups.
The company aso is crowdsourcing ideas for creating a new chocolate bar "that would deliver a fresh and unique experience to the chocolate lover" through its Cadbury, Milka and other confectionery brands. "Of particular interest are cutting-edge product concepts that expand upon the special qualities that make the chocolate bar so wonderful, comforting and fun to eat," a Mondelez press release put it.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2012 03:06 PM
New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been bullish on having his city rival Silicon Valley as a hub of high-tech innovation. As the Associated Press just noted, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, eBay, Yelp, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Tumblr, Kickstarter and Gilt Groupe have set up shop in the Big Apple. Between 2005 and 2010, the city’s tech workforce grew 10 times faster than city employment according to the Center for an Urban Future.
The city's Economic Development Corp. set-up a $22.5 million startup investment fund and most recently offered 12 acres of land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million in improvements for a state-of-the-art graduate school, CornellNYC Tech, to be run by Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which is slated to open in January. Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will serve as on-campus patent officer. But it hasn't been an easy road.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 3, 2012 06:53 PM
Collaborating with startups is becoming popular these days. GE funds a startup incubator program; PepsiCo is expanding its PepsiCo10 initiative, which pairs startups with brands such as Quaker; BMW's iVentures arm is a $100 million venture capital fund that's investing in mobile innovation; and Lexus is getting into the startup funding business. Now you can add Mondelēz International to that list.
With a tagline of "The Future in 90 Days," the two-day old company's new Mobile Futures program was announced at the Mobile Marketing Association's Advertising Week conference in New York. The program is structured in two phases: scaling startup innovation, and creating entirely new mobile ventures by partnering entrepreneurs in the mobile space with "up to 10" Mondelez brands, as Mondelēz VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement Bonin Bough told Ad Age.
Bough is bringing a solid track record to the task. He oversaw digital and consumer engagement at PepsiCo, including the now wrapped Pepsi Refresh Project crowdsourced community project-funding platform, before joining Kraft Foods in February. He's tapping that experience to spur mobile innovation at Mondelēz, the just-launched global corporate identity for Kraft Foods following Monday's spin-off of Kraft's North American consumer packaged brands.Continue reading...