Diageo’s start-up liquidity

Diageo’s start-up liquidity

Diageo is never going to be able to behave like the fabled entrepreneur in a garage, which is why the drinks giant leans on its Distill Ventures, Futures Team and Digital Technology Ventures units to tap into start-up spirit, says Steve Mullins. The latter, for example, works up innovation briefs with a committed $100,000 pilot budget for applicants coming up with the best solutions to a challenge. Diageo teams work with startups to develop plans for initiatives that might just get to move through to pilot-testing.

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K-Swiss looks for kik kick

K-Swiss looks for kik kick

Tennis brand K-Swiss has allied with DJ Diplo to launch its The Board campaign on IM app kik. It what is essentially a crowdsourcing project, Diplo will serve as director of a board of 100 creative and connected types who will work on tasks to bring the K-Swiss brand ‘back to prominence’. Submissions are open on kik for young entrepreneurs until end-April, and successful applicants will head to the initiative’s members-only website with a six-course curriculum aimed at connecting the group with industry insiders.

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Uber's Indian Times

Uber's Indian Times

Uber has cut a marketing and distribution deal with Indian media giant the Times Group and is looking to get traction on its new partner’s online platforms. In addition, Times Group’s Times Internet unit will invest $24 million in the car-sharing outfit and plans to support its new ally with market insights and product localisations. Uber says India is its second-largest market.

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Gimme house

Gimme house

Start-up watch: UK-based Property Partner has just snagged £5.2 million in funding led by VC blue chip Index Ventures. Is that a good thing? It depends whether you think placing bets on London’s overheated property market is what the UK capital’s residents need right now. “We are bringing accessibility, flexibility and simplicity to an industry that has traditionally had high barriers to entry,” says the start-up. “Invest in individual residential properties with as much or little as you like, through property crowdfunding.”

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Teaching OOH tech

Teaching OOH tech

Innovation is one of the leading buying considerations of UK marketers under pressure to find new ways to reach mass audiences, according to Clear Channel UK’s Look Again research. And among the tech dubbed most exciting are environmentally friendly technology (70% of respondents), motion detection (67%), contactless tech (70%) and of NFC/QR code technology (72%).

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Truckers close up

Truckers close up

At the MRS Impact conference 2015 Andy Cooper* stressed the importance of understanding the person behind decision-making, particularly in B2B research: While fleet managers hang out in comfortable offices and head out to commercial lunches, their truckers may have an €15 expense budget for the entire trip, worry where to find secure parking for the night, and hope they can get to the place with great sausages before being timed out by the tacho.

 

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UK financial creative

UK financial creative

IC tomorrow, Innovate UK’s digital innovation programme, has launched a financial technology contest to enable SMEs to test new ideas in partnership with the likes of American Express, Accenture, Lloyds Banking Group, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills with RBS Group, Money Advice Service and Experian. Five firms will be awarded up to £35,000 each for digital innovations across themes such as education, cyber security and personal finance. 

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That street feeling

That street feeling

Toyota has launched its Feeling the Street global street music initiative, a showcase for some of the world's leading urban performers. The car maker is also giving the public a chance to vote for their favourite artists with a view to creating the ultimate ‘Global Street Band’. Musicians can sign up by submitting a video to FeelingTheStreet.com featuring them playing an original song on their street corner.

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Apple lacks luxury smarts

Apple lacks luxury smarts

Apple is the company sent to define and create the smartwatch market, according to the latest WorldWatchReport from the Digital Luxury Group. However, Apple won’t quite crack it as a premium watch brand. “The Apple Watch Edition Collection - starting at $10,000 - is an attempt to convey the image of Apple as a true luxury brand but the business reality is different,” David Sadigh, CEO at Digital Luxury. “We anticipate Apple to generate 80% of their sales with Apple Watches priced less than $700, a segment that will have more impact on American and Japanese watchmakers than Swiss ones.” 

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