Collaborative Innovation made simple

by | Oct 7, 2022 | Blog Post

To remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing world, it’s vital that corporates have strong conduits to the disruptors at the forefront of change. At Unilever, we called this the ‘Foundry’ – Unilever’s platform to connect and engage with innovative tech startups.

After three years, Unilever Foundry engaged over 1500 Unilever employees, 300+ have been involved in mentoring startups and Unilever brands have run pilots with over 150 startups. About half the startups that were piloted with Unilever are now being scaled across the company and Unilever brands have now put tens of millions of ad-budgets into these startups who are delivering solutions which are half the cost of traditional solutions, in half the time and with twice the impact.

With the pace of change only accelerating, there has never been a more important time to connect with pioneers, and as demonstrated by Unilever, there’s a strong business case for doing so.

However, despite the simplicity of the Foundry’s ‘pitch-pilot-partner’ process, the reality is that it’s difficult for other corporates to replicate. It demands headcount, requires a large network and involves a large back-office that doesn’t come from or need to belong within the corporate. You could say that it’s better delivered as a service.

CO:CUBED is the business I would have loved when I was leading the Foundry. We white-label everything, no co-branding or ‘powered by.’ It’s your corporate platform – we just turbocharge what you’re doing. Think of us as your wingman. We provide a white-labelled web-platform, we help you write briefs, we bring access to 500,000 startups and we help you curate and select the best scaleup solutions to solve your challenges. We develop and organise an engagement programme for your employees, and we work with your procurement and legal teams to simplify internal processes. We make this simple, fast and impactful. Our clients call it ‘Foundry as a Service’. 

We work with Fortune 200 companies to help them define, build and execute their startup collaboration programme. For some of the clients we’re working with, that involves some upfront strategy work to define what their platform might look like. For others who want to jump straight in, we’re delivering a series of events to connect their employees with startups and expose their leaders to new technology areas. Some companies simply want curated access to our network of 500,000+ startups, while others need our white-labelled online platform for collaboration which provides them with a front door to engage with startups and workflow management back-end.

Regardless of where you are on the journey of engaging with startups, we’re here to accelerate it. As a team, we have deep domain experience, having launched and led initiatives at companies like Unilever, Tesco & Diageo. We’d love to meet and understand where you’re at and how we can help. Let’s talk.

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