Pepsico: from Crisps to “Innovation Incubator”

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PepsiCo UK, the company behind famous CPG brands such as Gatorade, 7up or Walkers may not be a high-tech giant as such but it has a knack for joint innovation anyway. The company indeed created an innovation challenge entitled PepsiCo10, the aim of which is to reward 10 digital entrepreneurs in the fields of social commerce and mobile technologies out of 130 applicants.

The challenge gives these 10 startups a unique opportunity to boost their businesses as well as “drive business value for PepsiCo“. The challenge is about creating social commerce or mobile applications related to PepsiCo products; each of these 10 business ventures will be granted the status of a “strategic business partner, working closely with [PepsiCo] teams, internally and externally”. Winners will also be awarded £10,000 in cash but PepsiCo will take no equity in those businesses.

It’s such a clever idea, one wonders why a high tech giant hasn’t yet thought about it! While launching this programme in Europe (after last year’s successful creation of the US contest), PepsiCo is promoting itself as an “innovation incubator”.

There are 5 suggested categories in this challenge:

  • Social Media Community-based Marketing,
  • Mobile Marketing: On the Phone, Tablets and Beyond,
  • Place-based Technology,
  • Online Video and Advertising,
  • Gaming / Learning Platforms.

Partners of this campaign include high tech experts from OMD UK, Highland Capital Partners, Wired and Mashable. Last but not least, through this challenge, PepsiCo will be saving on the development of innovative technologies which will help them promote their own brands … a win-win challenge and a clever Marketing trick!

more information about the 10 selected start-ups at

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