Part of the Lions Innovation programme at Cannes Lions 2015 will be a Start-up Academy, developed in partnership with digital agency R/GA.
The academy will provide places to two representatives from up to 10 hand-picked start-ups. They'll receive complimentary accommodation and passes to the festival, take part in a programme of 'intensive mentorship' and get an introduction to the community of leading creatives, senior marketers and high-level decision-makers that the festival attracts.
Rob Dembitz, head, Lions Innovation, said, "The Start-up Academy has been designed to help innovative new companies sharpen their brand identity, focus business plans and market their products or services more effectively. Start-ups are integral to the industry. But what those in the early to mid-stages of development often need to take the next step is guidance on how to position themselves to the world’s biggest brands. As the global meeting place for those in marketing and communications, we’re ideally placed to provide access to that expertise.”
Stephen Plumlee, global chief operating officer, EVP, R/GA, said, “Our experience with the community has shown that what start-ups need most is help with strategy, positioning and exposure to key decision makers. By bringing talented companies to Lions Innovation, we’re giving them access to mentors, creatives and marketers that have the ability to transform their businesses.”
Paul Woolmington, investor, board member, advisor and communications entrepreneur has been appointed dean of the Start-up Academy. He said, "I’m honoured to be a part of this first-of-its-kind programme. The Start-up Academy will provide amazing inspiration and access for the cream of the world's start-ups, but also a much-needed bridge to the future for brands, media companies and agencies.”
Dembitz added, "The Start-up Academy is an amazing opportunity for the most talented innovators to be in exactly the right place, at the right time, getting the right advice to help them take their next step."
Applications to the Start-up Academy are now open to companies at early to growth-stage with a working prototype or product in the market, ‘looking to accelerate their growth through partnerships with consumer-focused brands’. Successful applicants will need to be in Cannes from Sunday, 21 June. They will take part in the Start-up Academy from 22 to 24 June and attend Lions Innovation from 25 to 26 June. Accommodation will also be provided for the duration.