‘Pitch, Pilot, Partner’: How the Unilever Foundry works with startups

By Stephen Ellison, Contributing Writer

Most large companies have no trouble finding startups to work with. The challenge is getting real value out of the collaboration.

jbasset-unileverSince its inception in May 2014, an incubator at Unilever, the $59 billion Anglo-Dutch consumer packaged goods company, has employed a simple three-stage process — pitch, pilot, partner — that has led to the launch of more than 90 pilots with 90 different startups. The company has subsequently decided to scale about half of those. It’s a model that pushes startups hardest and gets results for the multinational company the quickest, says Jeremy Basset, head of the incubator, known as Unilever Foundry.

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