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Mashable and PepsiCo Team Up for PepsiCo10, the Latest Startup Competition

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PespiCo has joined forces with Mashable and Highland Capital to launch a new competition called PepsiCo10. It is a startup challenge that aims to match startup companies in various fields like social media and mobile marketing with industry experts and PepsiCo brands with which they can launch their products and services.

The PepsiCo10 startup challenge aspires to help startup enterprises by giving them the opportunity to accelerate their businesses and challenge their business minds at the same time. PepsiCo believes in challenging people’s visions of marketing, advertising, and communications, in showing dedication to the promising technological movements, employees and business partners, and ultimately, in supporting innovation and potential talent. The competition will surely push the competitors’ creativity and perseverance to the limit as PepsiCo wants entrepreneurs to share the best business ideas and solutions to the best brand marketers and media consultants in the industry and to potential investors who are willing to fund and support the next big thing in media, communications, and technology.

According to Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo North America Beverages’ director of Media Strategy and Investment, the competition will help in “championing outside innovation and welcoming it into [PepsiCo] to push [PepsiCo’s] marketing and communication expertise to new levels, including how to leverage innovative tools to better connect with and engage [PepsiCo’s] consumers.”

Pepsi is looking for up-and-coming technologies and businesses that have a total funding range of $250,000-$10 million and/or annual revenues $250,000 or more. The competition is exclusively for companies in their early stages that are ready or have already launched. To qualify, the companies should also have a product or service available as of June 2010 but have not been out in the market for more than two years.

The competition will be based from four SUBJECT categories of business: social media & marketing; mobile marketing; place-based & retail experiential marketing; and digital media & gaming. Pepsi will gather a pool of applicants in these various fields, and from there only the top 40 companies will be initially shortlisted. The 40 candidates will be invited for a formal RFP and a five-minute video session. Twenty companies will then be chosen to advance to the next round and present business proposals in the PepsiCo10 Summit.

During the summit, business presentations from the 20 startup challenge finalists will be evaluated. From the top 20, up to 10 entrepreneurs will be chosen as winners that will be part of the PepsiCo10. Winners will be given the opportunity to work with a PepsiCo brand team in pursuing a startup project. As a part of the PepsiCo10, a member will become Pepsi’s strategic business partner and will work closely with different Pepsi’s teams and brand mentors, partner agencies, advisors, customers and venture capitalists. The PepsiCo10 members will gain exclusive access to the set of services and solid support network as tools for entrepreneurial success.

Aside from business presentations and the selection of winners, the PepsiCo Summit will showcase PepsiCo brand marketers, venture capital and media partners, technology and communications innovators, and industry experts to address and present ideas about media, communications, and technology.

Mashable, one of the most popular Web 2.0 and Social Media blogs in the world, has taken part in this project as a major media sponsor. Mashable will be providing media coverage for the competition and the blog will feature some of the most innovative ideas from the two rounds of the competition. It will also take part in judging of the 10 winners that will be picked during the two-day PepsiCo10 Summit at PepsiCo’s headquarters on July 27 to 28, 2010.

Applications for the PepsiCo10 startup challenge are being accepted until June 24, 2010.