Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? We answer the most common ones here. If you still can’t find the answer, please email us on the.foundry@unilever.com and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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  • We’ll proactively contact companies that we consider strong potential partners. If you have a proven technology or product which has been tested in market and you are looking to partner with us, you can get in touch via the Contact Us page. 

    If you’re a well-established company and looking for serious venture funding to support your growth ambitions, please visit Unilever Ventures.

  • We’re constantly looking for innovative external partners, startups and scaleups who can collaborate with us to address the strategic priorities of Unilever’s brands and functions.

    Visit our Partnerships page for more information on our strategic priorities. 

  • Yes we do. Unilever Ventures invests in opportunities that are of strategic relevance to Unilever, including digital marketing, digital media, and eCommerce, and will consider investing in relevant companies who work with The Unilever Foundry. 

    Please visit Unilever Ventures to find out more.

  • We proactively seek out exciting companies that we consider strong potential partners. If we approach you, we’ll ask you to answer a few questions about your company, team and fit with the challenge at hand to understand how a partnership could work. 

    If you contact us regarding your product or technology, we’ll review your message and respond to the proposals that best fit our business priorities. Unfortunately we won’t be able to respond to all the messages we receive.  

  • The Unilever Foundry seeks to partner companies with the most relevant brands and functions. In some cases, this may mean working with multiple brands. Where the pilot is successful and the technology scalable, our ambition is that those companies may then be able to scale the partnership with multiple Unilever brands across markets.

  • If you’re successful in pitching your startup to The Foundry there will be a budget connected to the pilot with the brand or function team. 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.

  • The team is headquartered in London with a presence in Poland, the USA, Brazil, Africa, India, China and Singapore.

  • No. Startup companies can manage the pilot remotely without a physical office location in the pilot market. But participating companies are encouraged to spend some time in the market, particularly at the beginning of the project.

  • The Unilever Foundry offers two co-working spaces, LEVEL3 located in Singapore and Dogpatch Labs in Dublin. You can find out more about these innovation hubs on the Workspaces section of the website. 

  • No. We’ll just ask you for some company information and an overview of your capabilities to see how we might be able to work together.

  • The first step is to respond to the basic request for information. Shortlisted startups are encouraged to then pitch in person to the relevant Unilever team. We realise however that this might not always be possible for some companies, so we will set up a video conference for remote presentations where required.

    We do not offer the opportunity to pitch via video conference to our senior business leaders at industry events.

  • Yes. You must be at least 18 years old as this is the legally accepted age for participating in any of our projects.

  • Absolutely. Anyone from anywhere can become one of our partners. The Foundry offers opportunities to connect business startups to global markets, in partnership with our global brands and global support functions.

  • Our ambition is that successful pilots will enable broader collaboration with Unilever, potentially spanning multiple markets and brands. However, unfortunately there is no guarantee of further engagement with Unilever after a pilot.

  • Unilever has a venture capital group called Unilever Ventures which will consider investing in startup partners that have piloted with a Unilever brand or support function. 

    You can find out more about Unilever Ventures here

  • In the event that Unilever wishes to collaborate with a company following a successful pilot, both parties will enter into a new agreement on a case-by-case basis.

  • Throughout the process, we ask only for information that imposes no obligations of confidentiality for Unilever and does not breach any confidentiality obligations that you owe to others. Prior to any confidential discussions, you will be asked to sign a separate, further Confidentiality Agreement with Unilever so that any confidential information that is shared is protected.

    If you submit an idea or suggestion to us, you acknowledge that Unilever, a Unilever Group company or a third party acting on its/their behalf, may have previously worked on or may be working on the same or a similar idea. By submitting your idea, you agree that we may continue to develop the idea (or a similar idea) independently of, and without acknowledging, your idea.

  • Depending on the nature of our collaboration, some form of contract will be required.Companies shortlisted to pitch to be part of a project will be asked to sign an NDA. Companies then selected to pilot will enter into a mutually-agreed contract with Unilever, setting out the commercial terms of the pilot. This will be outlined at the selection stage.

  • As part of the partnership process you are advised to only share non-confidential information. If confidential information is shared, this may result in your application being rejected by third parties responsible for filtering applications before they reach Unilever. You will retain ownership of all protected IP included in your application.