Startup opportunities with Visa, Nestle, Comcast NBCUniversal, Nike, Disney, BBVA, BMW & more

March 30th, 2018

As more and more Global 2000 corporations seek innovation outside their walls, startup opportunities abound. Turning opportunities into relationships (and revenue) requires understanding corporate innovation leaders, their objectives and their obstacles. Indeed, getting inside their heads provides you with a strategic advantage far beyond generic business advice.

That’s why we’re thrilled to share full-length videos from our SXSW 2018 programming, which focused on startup innovation and featured executives from BBVA, Comcast NBCUniversal, Unilever, Molson Coors, Volkswagen and more. Here is our session on fixing corporate innovation and our session on scaling startup innovation globally.

With these insights in mind, check out the startup opportunities in KITE’s latest monthly newsletter (below) and sign up for updates so you don’t miss something that could change your company’s trajectory.


You know a corporate innovation leader gets it when they say, “We can’t treat startups like an agency.” That’s Benni Lickfett, Diageo’s head of technology and innovation, who recently told Digiday how they’re approaching dynamic creative in advertising.

Now, pursue these partnership opportunities before they close:

  • Apply Today for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative ($100k)
  • Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator: Apply by April 8
  • $1.5MM+ in Challenges: BBVA, Purina, Nike, NFL & more
  • 2 Nestle Pilots for Measuring Wellness and Sustainable Pouches ($100k))
  • Event opps: Cannes Lions Startup Academy, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology
  • 8 Techstars Accelerators: Barclays, Statoil, MetLife, Cargill & Ecolab & more
  • Corporate Accelerators: Disney, BMW Japan Innovation Lab, Sixers Innovation Lab & more

Apply Today for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative ($100k)

Visa has launched the 4th annual Visa’s Everywhere Initiative (VEI) to find emerging-tech companies in the US that can help it solve three business challenges. Winners of each challenge receive $25k each, and the overall winner up to $25k more plus the chance to work with Visa.

Apply for one or more of these challenges by April 23:

  • Challenge 1: Deepening Partnerships – How can startups help merchants drive greater loyalty and conversion with new and existing customers?
  • Challenge 2: Expanding Access – How can startups help small and medium businesses accept digital payments and other related digital solutions?
  • Challenge 3: Driving Digital – How can startups augment their products with voice, messaging and artificial intelligence solutions to drive more powerful financial management or commerce experiences?

Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so don’t wait.

Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator: Apply by April 8

The Philadelphia-based LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, seeks startups across 5 areas:

  • Connected Life – Empowering users to connect with the people, places and things that matter most.
  • Entertainment Everywhere – Connecting consumers with engaging content in any form, on any device, anywhere.
  • Next Gen Marketing – Transforming marketing and advertising to meet shifting consumer behavior in a digital world.
  • Smart “Cities” – Making physical spaces more intelligent through advanced sensors, devices and networks.
  • Digital Wellness – Enabling better health care through enhanced content, communication and connectivity.

Those selected for the 13-week program will work with mentors and product experts from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including broadcast networks, film studios, cable networks, and Xfinity products and services.

Apply by April 8.

$1.5MM+ in Challenges: BBVA, Purina, Nike, NFL & more

BBVA Open Talent 2018 (€150,000 total prize fund)
Seeks solutions to improve the way people and companies manage their finances. 3 prizes (€50k each): Fintech for Future, Fintech for People, Fintech for Business. Open to fintech or fintech-related startups that at least have a demo/beta prototype & incorporated after 1/1/2012.
Deadline: May 3

Purina BetterWithPets Prize 2018 (up to 100,000CHF, ~$105k)
Answer the challenge (How can we harness the mutual positive power of the pet–human bond for the health and wellbeing of society?) and address one of three categories (Healthier together, Connecting together, Enjoying spaces together). Open to companies based in the EU, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and Norway.
Deadline: April 15

NFL HeadHealthTECH Challenge V (multiple awards w/ cumulative value of up to $1MM/yr)
Invites proposals focused on helmet technologies and surfaces that helmets contact, including turf, grass, other helmets and opponent padding.
Deadline: June 6

MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge – North America (4 regional champions win $20k, 8 finalists $5k)
Seek to identify and promote entrepreneurial organizations that are using technology to improve economic opportunity for low and moderate income earners.
Deadline: May 29

Nike Circular Innovation Challenge ($30k grand prize; up to four $5k prizes)
Seeks solutions that will take us closer to a sustainable future. Two calls for proposals: 1) Design with Grind (create new products using Nike Grind materials) and 2) Material Recovery (develop new technologies to advance footwear recycling).
Deadline: May 1

MetLife collab 3.0 EMEA ($100k)
Solve 1 of 15 challenges across the insurance value chain as articulated by MetLife’s businesses across EMEA. Open to all startups globally. 8 finalists pitch in London in July.
Deadline: April 20

WeDo Open Innovation (€5k Amazon gift card)
Seeks new business ideas, products and/or services relevant to risk management and data analytics. Interested in blockchain, GDPR & data privacy, 5G, machine learning. Open to anyone age 18 & older.
Deadline: April 2

2 Nestle Pilots for Measuring Wellness and Sustainable Pouches ($100k)

How Do You Measure Wellness? ($50k)
Seeks ways to qualify the perception of “wellness.” Solutions can be physiological indicators or any other quantifiable, regulatory-compliant and scientifically demonstrable measurement method.
Deadline: July 1

Sustainable Pouches ($50k)
Seeks to create soft food pouch that leads sustainability gains in the baby food market and helps parents reduce their environmental impact.
Deadline: May 5

Event opps: Cannes Lions Startup Academy, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology

Cannes Lions Startup Academy in Partnership with R/GA – Cannes, France
Program in June 2018 for startups to help sharpen brand identity & market themselves to global brands. Encourages applications from female founders. Includes accommodation + 2 passes to Cannes Lions Festival.
Deadline: April 23

Center for Advancing Retail & Technology ($25k investment + $25k in CART services)
Seeks retail tech startups w/ functional prototype for virtual pitch competition. Finalists have opp to connect 1:1 w/ retailers, brand decision makers, food retailing community. Winner pre-qualifies for potential $25k investment from CART partners.
Deadline: April 13

8 Techstars Accelerators: Barclays, Statoil, MetLife, Cargill & Ecolab & more

All Techstars programs with corporate partners are 12-13 weeks long and offer $120k for 6% equity.

Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars – New York
Seeks businesses across all aspects of financial services. Techstars takes 4% equity; and Barclays 2%.
Deadline: May 13

Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil – Oslo
Along with partners KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company seeks solutions within 4 areas in the energy sector: oil and gas, new business models, digitalization and renewables.
Deadline: May 13

Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator – Hartford, CT
Seeks startups in additive manufacturing (tech that builds 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material).
Deadline: April 8

Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator (with Cargill & Ecolab) – Minneapolis
Seeks startups across the entire food value chain (AgTech, manufacturing and supply chains, food safety, waste reduction and traceability).
Deadline: April 8

MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars – Cary, NC
Seeks startups focused on innovations in insurance, including health & wellness, the gig & sharing economy, benefits marketplaces, underwriting, etc.
Deadline: April 8

Rakuten Accelerator, Powered by Techstars – Singapore
Seeks entrepreneurs advancing social messaging technologies, with a focus on the Viber application.
Deadline: April 8

Techstars Retail, in partnership with Target – Minneapolis
Focused on bringing new technology, experiences, products, and solutions to retail.
Deadline: April 8

The Techstars Sustainability Accelerator, in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy – Denver
Seeks entrepreneurs with commercially viable technologies that can rapidly scale to help sustainably provide food and water and address global issues like climate change.
Deadline: April 8

Corporate Accelerators: Disney, BMW Japan Innovation Lab, Sixers Innovation Lab & more

Disney Accelerator – Los Angeles
3-mo program for startups globally at any stage and w/ a vision for making an impact on the future of media and entertainment. Provides investment capital, access to co-working space at Disney’s creative campus, mentor support & guidance from top Disney executives.
Deadline: April 27

BMW Japan Innovation Lab – Tokyo
10-wk program from  BMW Group Financial Services for startups that can help in offering an enhanced experience to BMW customers and dealers. Test products at scale, network with industry experts; potential to access funding from L Marks. Open to startups globally.
Deadline: April 6

Jaguar Land Rover Tech Incubator – Portland
Seeks startups in 5 areas: autonomous driving, connectivity, computing, intelligent interfaces, & 3rd-party services. Up to $250k in direct investment & services. Receive mentorship, office space, engineering support + access to vehicles, labs, electronics.
Deadline: Rolling

SKTA Innovation Accelerator – Sunnyvale
10-wk program for pre-seed/seed stage startups in core technology (telecom, semiconductor & systems, more). SKTA is the BD/VC arm of SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless operator.
Deadline: Rolling

Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball – Camden, NJ
Seeks unique companies (esp those in sports, tech and consumer-facing). Provides office space, housing and food. Equity taken varies. Length of program flexible.
Deadline: Rolling

Honda Xcelerator – Silicon Valley
Seeks startups across all funding stages transforming the mobility experience.  Provides funding for rapid prototyping, collaborative workspace, pairing w/ Honda mentors.
Deadline: Open


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