Diageo launches competition for start-up firms

14th October, 2019 by Melita Kiely

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has created a competition to discover start-up companies that can create innovative experiences across its drinks portfolio.

Diageo Park Royal HQ

Diageo will host its Pitch//It competition at Mad//Fest London in November

Diageo will launch Pitch//It at Mad//Fest London on 13-14 November, as it seeks to find start-ups that can improve the engagement and experience of its brands, which include Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin, with particular focus on personalisation, loyalty and smart packaging.

Once the entries have been received, Diageo will select 15 start-ups to pitch at Mad//Fest on 13 November.

Three heat winners and one wild card will be chosen by the judges to take part in the final on 14 November, which will also feature a keynote speech from Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts CBE.

The winning start-up will receive a Diageo pilot valued at upwards of £20,000 (US$25,000), subject to Diageo regulatory approval, as well as free exhibition space at Mad//Fest 2020.

Start-up companies have until 25 October to enter online at surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8GPFLFT.

Benni Lickfett, head of technology and innovation at Diageo, said: “Innovation is at the heart of how we do business at Diageo – whether that’s product development in our six innovation labs around the world or investing in the most exciting founder-led drinks brands via Distil Ventures.

“We’re also focused on innovation outside of the bottle that can add a new dimension to the experience of our brads – so we’re excited to discover new innovations and lay the foundations for future collaborations by getting behind the Pitch//It start-up at Mad//Fest.”

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