One of the main challenges that startups face as they grow their businesses is the difficulty of gaining access to large customers. If a startup can find the right contact, convincing that customer to take a chance on a new and innovative technology can be even harder.

That’s why MaRS’ Retail and Digital Commerce Cluster has partnered with Mondelēz International’s Shopper Futures program to give retail startups an opportunity to work side-by-side with some of the world’s top retail food brands to design and launch a market-ready pilot in 90 days.

Mondelēz International, one of the world’s largest snack companies, is looking for entrepreneurs from the United States and Canada who are developing technology platforms and mobile solutions that are solving business challenges in the retail sector.

The Shopper Futures program will pair entrepreneurs with brand marketers from participating Mondelēz International brands, such as Oreo, Ritz and Cadbury. The program will cover areas including the checkout experience, mobile payments, shopper analytics, inventory optimization, loyalty programs, interactive displays and more.

A group of finalists will be selected to participate in a pitch day in August, where the brands will select their final startup partners for pilot planning.

Who can participate?

  • The startup must be less than four years old.
  • The startup must be based in Canada or the US.
  • The startup’s technology must be at a stage where it can be live in market.

What’s in it for you?

  • The Shopper Futures program is a unique opportunity to collaborate with top brands and retailers.
  • You’ll gain access to consumer insights and marketing expertise to help develop your product and go-to-market strategy.
  • You’ll receive support through extensive consumer base, marketing communications and retail partnerships.
  • Within 90 days you’ll launch a pilot program in market with a retail partner.

How to apply?

Applications are open until June 27. Head to the Shopper Futures website to learn more about the program, including how to apply.

Robin Whittall

Robin Whittall was an associate in the Information & Communications Technology sector at MaRS. She has an extensive background working with and for startup companies, and is passionate about innovation. See more…