Unilever Foundry launches in Ireland
Unilever has announced a new partnership between its global startup collaboration platform, Unilever Foundry and Dogpatch Labs, Ireland’s leading startup hub. The Unilever Foundry is a platform for startups and innovators to engage, collaborate and explore business ideas with Unilever and its 400+ brands. This partnership will provide a clear path for Irish startups to gain access to the company’s marketing expertise, massive global scale and in some instances, investment funding.
Unilever is increasingly finding that innovation in the marketing-tech, ad-tech and sustainable living solutions is being led by startups from across the globe. Originally launched in London in 2014, The Unilever Foundry also has a presence in Singapore, New York, India, Brazil and China and so is now bringing their global startup platform to Ireland to help identify, partner, invest and grow with top Irish startups in these areas. Past successes include US startup Discuss.io which enables brands to rapidly conduct real-time consumer interviews and focus groups and just last month secured investment from the company’s Venture arm.
Irish startups can register their interest to collaborate on dogpatchlabs.com/unilever.
Speaking at the event, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD said she “warmly welcomes the initiative, which brings together the global expertise and resources of Unilever and the dynamic creativity of Dublin’s Dogpatch labs. Ireland strongly supports new initiatives to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship within new technologies and I am delighted to support this exciting development.”
Patrick Walsh, Managing Director of Dogpatch Labs said: “As we evolve as a startup hub and platform for innovation, we have chosen to focus our efforts on fostering key industries where we see growth prospects. There is big opportunity in the FMCG space and Unilever is a natural partner for us to foster startups and help drive innovation and progress in the industry. Our location in the CHQ building, which has live retailers and consumers and a growing reputation for retail and tech innovation in itself, means there is access to a unique environment to rapidly deploy and test new technology.”
Jonathan Hammond, Head of Unilever Foundry, said: “Unilever Foundry provides a single entry point for startups seeking to partner with Unilever, enabling the company’s brands and functions to experiment and pilot new technologies effectively. Born through Unilever Foundry’s own mission to collaborate, experiment, and pioneer for a sustainable future, The Unilever Foundry at Dogpatch Labs is a physical manifestation of this ethos and gives Unilever access to a growing European startup community.”
Nick Johnson, Managing Director at Unilever Ireland, said: “Unilever has been prominent among industry cultivating new collaborations with startups and this new partnership with Dogpatch Labs enables us to expand on our efforts to date in Ireland. Working with Irish startups such as ‘Laundrie’ (an on-demand cleaning service app) or ‘BuyMie’ (a same-day grocery delivery) is helping us address a growing imperative to connect with consumers in more meaningful ways, to leverage data and to embed our products in new app enabled services. Ireland in particular is an ideal test bed and can play a unique role within the global Unilever innovation eco-system while at the same time helping shift our corporate mindset and bringing more dynamism into our company culture.”
CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said: “IDA welcomes and is pleased to support this exciting new collaboration between Unilever Foundry and Dogpatch Labs. The benefits for both parties are considerable; it will allow startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on projects on a global scale with this world leader in the consumer goods sector and, at the same time allow Unilever to drive innovation and develop new technologies for sustainable growth. I wish Unilever Foundry and Dogpatch Labs a very successful partnership.”