The programme, dubbed Mobile Futures, will pair Mondelez’s “power brands” – such as Oreo, Trident and Ritz – with startups to scale existing mobile products and incubate new projects, each within 90 days.
The company is particularly looking to partner with startups working across social TV, m-commerce and SoLoMo (social/location/mobile).
Marketers from Mondelez’s brands will also spend one week working with their chosen startups as the company looks to embrace more of a startup culture, the company says in a statement. It has the goal of becoming “one of the top mobile marketers in the world” and says Mobile Futures demonstrates its commitment to this ambition.
At the end of the three month incubator period, Mondelez will pitch the new concepts to angel investors and venture capitalists in a bid to secure early funding.
Companies such as Viacom, AT&T and MediaVest and trade bodies including the Mobile Marketing Association will advise and back the Mobile Futures Network in various stages of the programme.
Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez International, says: “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.”
At the same time, he adds, the programme will help drive innovation within Mondelez and create a culture of “intrapreneurship” within the organisation.
Greg Stuart, global CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, says: “This initiative demonstrates to the world the level of mobile innovation and scale that can be delivered through an organisation of Mondelez International’s size…Mondelez International’s Mobile Futures programme is truly raising the bar for the rest of the industry to follow and shaping the future of media with mobile leading the charge.”
Earlier this year Mondelez’s chocolate brand Cadbury rolled out a series of developer gatherings to crowdsource digital initiatives for its marketing activity.
At the time, Sonia Carter, head of digital at Kraft Foods Europe, said the company would continue to roll out programmes with entrepreneurs and startups “until [its] culture changed”.