Here’s a different take on startup acceleration; rather than working with a diverse range of companies, The Bakery is working to focus on advertising and marketing, matching big name brands with new technologies.
The Bakery is supported by The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the Tech CIty Investment Organisation (TCIO) and UK Trade and Investment. Its first ad-based round is about to begin in March and co-founder Andrew Humphries has big hopes for the work.
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“The Bakery is the first dedicated program that offers the world’s best advertising and marketing tech developers direct access to and mentoring from top brands and agencies so they can get their first big clients quickly,” he says. “It’s an evolution that benefits everyone, the brands and their agencies, the innovators and their investors, and ultimately all of us as consumers.”
“As a business we’re really fascinated by all the stuff that’s happening at the moment in and around what people call Silicon Roundabout or Tech City. We were always looking with brands in the past – we would be testing innovation across media. This was technology that has already emerged, so we thought, what are the ways in which you can get involved with and access to interesting entrepreneurs and developers early on and do it in a way that is risk free?”
Vizeum was considering ways to approach startups with new technologies when the firm made a connection with Andrew Humphries. “It was brilliant timing to talk to Andrew about The Bakery,” says Affleck. “We thought, we’ve got a collection of brands within Vizeum that would be really interested in getting involved. For the purposes of an agency like ourselves, we’re a modern communications agency, so this is an opportunity to get involved in something quite unique.”
Those who are interested can register on The Bakery site. Following this there will be a day where brand representatives, people from agencies and startups can all meet and talk about what might be possible and which people might be best working together.
When matches have been made, there will be a 60 day accelerator period and finally ideas will be presented. Companies that manage to meet an exact brief with a successful idea may be able to nail down funding up to £50,000.
“The clients we have taken in include BMW, Heinz, InBev and Panasonic,” explains Affleck. “We’ve designed a set of challenges including design and business tasks and we hope to marry these up with the businesses to find solutions”.
Affleck pointed out that this is the first round and a test-bed of sorts but he is hopeful that there will be more in future.
“The way I see it is, all these people are doing really interesting stuff, and I think these brands and businesses like us should be proud of supporting the next generation of people who are working on what could be the next major thing. Could it be the next major Spotify or Facebook? That’s very exciting and it’s worth showing support at this stage for their potential.”
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