The Unilever Foundry is how one of today's largest global marketers prepares for the future.

Its presence as a resourced incubator – participants in the program receive counsel and mentorship from Unilever employees – is to encourage "startups, creatives, designers, innovators and inventors" to partner with Unilever brands and business functions. And the reward comes in the marketplace.

"If you successfully respond to one of our brand briefs and progress to a pilot," the Foundry reports, "Unilever may pay for the pilot up to the amount stated on each brief. The amount is intended to help cover the cost of developing the pilot, which we hope will result in a successful longer term partnership with Unilever."

Kristy Vance, Unilever's Global Director/Media Insights, told delegates at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) 2017 Annual Conference that great ideas often fail to become great products or services because of an ongoing fear of failure, both from the entrepreneur and the larger company that may want to partner with the startup.

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