Big brands participate in ‘first’ UK ad tech hub

BMW, Ab-Inbev, Heinz, Panasonic and Ideal Standard are the first brands to take part in an accelerator scheme supported by the IPA, Tech City Investment Organisation and UK Trade & Investment to fund marketing technology startups.


“The Bakery” – which is also supported agencies including Vizeum, Havas Worldwide, MBA, Karmarama and KttCattNohr Digitas – is inviting marketing and advertising technology companies to take part in its first competition for the opportunity to work with one of the participating brands, which will cover the cost to trial their products.

Brands will be able to set the winners of the competition specific briefs to solve business or marketing problems within their companies, rather than just simply investing or acquiring the startups. The Bakery says it has up to $500,000 worth of contracts to award to the 10 best start-ups who are chosen for the initial Spring 2013 launch.

On winning the competition, startups can choose whether to do a 2 to 5 per cent equity deal with The Bakery – a smaller percentage than some other accelerators which tend to ask for 5 to 10 per cent equity in exchange for office space, mentoring and other help in building their business – or for The Bakery to take commission on the contracts they are awarded by the participating brands and agencies.

Other events planned for The Bakery, which is based in East London, include hack days for marketing technologies, presentations on new advertising techniques and exhibitions of innovation in digital and creative media.

The launch of The Bakery will provide “proof-positive” of the “can-do attitude and pioneering spirit” of the UK advertising creative and digital media sector, says IPA director of marketing and reputation management Janet Hull.

AB-Inbev has already launched its own innovation lab in “Silicon Valley” in California in order to gain access to the leading technology companies in the region. Other brands including Marks & Spencer, Cadbury, Heineken, Nike have also launched their own incubator schemes in a big to tap into the latest technology to better their marketing and product output.

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