The following post is an excerpt from my forthcoming book: A Five Step Process to Digital Marketing

PepsiCo launched PepsiCo10, an incubator program in Brazil, UK and the US to take a leadership position in identifying innovative digital start-ups and pairing them with its brands to execute marketing programs. With the accelerated pace of digital media, this offers PepsiCo the opportunity to understand what new trends are happening in mobile marketing. The company hopes that the initiative will drive growth while offering these start-ups visibility and experience working with a major marketer.

PepsiCo10 started as an experimental program in the US in 2010, expanded to the UK in 2011, and launched in Brazil during year three in September 2012, its first program in Latin America. Brazil represents a market of strategic importance for PepsiCo where it is the #1 snacks player.

PepsiCo10 invites young entrepreneurs and tech-savvy university students in Brazil to submit business ideas for its digital incubator program. The four submission categories include entertainment, mobile, retail, and sustainability, all four of which are priorities for the company in Brazil.

The inaugural 2010 PepsiCo10 initiative in the U.S. received more than 500 submissions from entrepreneurs that provided insights into important trends such as social TV, experience-based gaming, and crowd-sourced content creation. In addition, the initiative also supports the company’s strategy for attracting and retaining top talent by giving it the chance to communicate with some of the brightest and most creative and entrepreneurial minds.

How PepsiCo10 works

Pepsi invited start-up companies and students to apply for the Fall 2012 phase via a tab on PepsiCo Brazil’s Facebook page. Pepsi evaluated proposals based on an applicant’s ability to partner with PepsiCo brands and commercial viability. Judges included executives from PepsiCo, venture capital firm Highland Capital, and PepsiCo’s advertising agency partners iThink and Omnicom. The PepsiCo10 Brazil winners were then offered an all-expenses paid trip to New York City in 2013 for the opportunity to meet with PepsiCo’s marketing leadership team and network with US-based digital influencers.

Previous Winners

Some of the companies previously funded companies in the US and the UK include:

AisleBuyer, a Boston-based start-up, provides a mobile self-checkout solution that aims to improve in-store shopping by eliminating the need to wait in line. In April 2012, AisleBuyer was acquired by Intuit for a reported $100 million USD.

Tongal combines crowd-sourcing and performance games to harvest content from a worldwide community of creators. Tongal worked with Brisk to crowd-source concepts and production needs for an animated commercial. Brisk engaged 1,500 Tongal users from over 50 countries.

Slingshot, a software program that allows consumers to place items within an online shopping basket via Facebook or a mobile device, teamed up with Doritos on a pilot project to drive online sales through a Facebook page integration. It resulted in a 49 percent conversion rate where nearly half of the consumers who put an item in their digital shopping basket actually purchased the product.

These three start-ups enabled PepsiCo to move ahead of the curve and develop innovative, attention-getting ideas using: in-store mobile checkout, crowd-sourced animated commercials, and shopping on Facebook.

And Here’s a Visual Overview of the PepsiCo10…

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