Diageo drinks up with start-ups

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 19 September 2014

Diageo is dipping its toe into the start-up world with the launch of a global program to work more closely with tech start-ups. Like Mondelez, Telstra and Coca-Cola, Diageo has now recognised the potential in working with small, nimble tech firms.

Diageo is working with start-up communities in London and San Francisco and is also working with the Collider group with helps brands and start-ups work together. There are no immediate plans for a local start-ups partnership but a spokesperson for Diageo Australia said the idea is that Diageo will find the best parents to work with “regardless of geography”.

Technology Ventures is being launched by Diageo global CMO Syl Saller and is designed to make it easier for emerging tech companies to work with the global drinks maker on pilot projects.

Diageo will post working briefs for innovation projects on the Technology Ventures page and start-ups from around the world are invited to submit ideas. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to pitch.

Each pilot project will have a budget of US$100,000 and will be backed by a Diageo team to work with the successful tech firm.

Saller said that the idea is for pilot projects to become long-term strategic initiatives.

Briefs will be focused on two areas – tapping into existing digital and social behaviours, and tackling theft – consumer, employee or supply chain.

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