Publicis Groupe to fund 90 digital startups as it marks 90th anniversary

CGlobal communications firm Publicis Groupe has announced its intention to offer funding and mentorship to 90 digital startups as it celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

The owner of Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom Mediavest Group is inviting submissions via the Publicis90 portal which went live recently.

“As we turn 90, we celebrate our story by looking to the future. We wish to celebrate the pioneers of tomorrow just as our founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, was a pioneer and we at Publicis Groupe continue to transform. Through Publicis90, we will support 90 digital projects and start-ups with the most business potential through funding and mentoring,” stated the firm via the announcement posted on the portal.

“Are you a student, a start-up founder, an employee of Publicis Groupe or simply someone with a great idea? If you have what it takes to be a digital entrepreneur, we want to give you the opportunity to participate in Publicis90 and build the next 90 years with us.”

Those successful will also receive funding, ranging from € 10,000 for projects about to be launched to €500,000 for start-ups that are already up and running.

The Publicis90 platform will be open for submissions until February 28 and all Publicis Groupe employees will be able to vote for the startups that receive further consideration. A regional jury will then draw up a shortlist, with the best 90 selected by a global jury. The selected projects will be mentored by Publicis Groupe experts in marketing, communications, management, and technology.

To participate in the Publicis90 contest, which is open to both Publicis Groupe staff and outsiders, one needs to meet the following criteria:  have a business idea related to digital and need some help to implement it; commit to develop the project in a country where one of Publis Groupe agencies operates or be up and running but in need of additional resources to take the project to the next level.

The projects will be selected 
based on their business potential and there are two levels of selection – at a regional level (Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe-Middle East and Africa), all the over 76,000 employees of Publicis Groupe will be invited to vote on the most promising projects while in the second phase, a jury of experts in each region will then shortlist the best projects selected by the employees. Next, a global jury will review the shortlisted projects and select the 90 which will be a part of Publicis90. Finally, the 90 selected Publicis90 projects will be announced at Viva Technology Paris in June 2016.

Publicis Groupe, which has close to 80,000 employees, was founded by Bleustein-Blanchet in 1926, in his Paris apartment.

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