Digital R&D Initiative to Heighten Brand Communications Innovation


PURCHASE, N.Y. – (September 9, 2010) PepsiCo today announced the 10 start-up companies, which will make up the inaugural PepsiCo10, an innovative incubator program that matches technology, media and communications entrepreneurs with PepsiCo brands to activate pilot programs in digital media and social marketing.

Among the selected 10 start-ups are gaming platforms for consumers in restaurants, amusement parks and retail stores; mobile couponing solutions, a still mostly unrealized consumer engagement point for consumer packaged goods companies and retailers; and niche social networking platforms that bring consumers together around common interests, such as music, TV and sports.

“The PepsiCo10 are an inspiring group of entrepreneurs, who represent the best in emerging trends in technology, media and communications,” said B. Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media at PepsiCo. “With the inaugural PepsiCo10, we are creating a new conduit for digital R&D within PepsiCo and for the industry broadly—an important endeavor as we continue to seek innovative and meaningful ways to connect with our consumers and to transform communications into a business driver.”

Targeted consumers of Gatorade, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Quaker Chewy granola bars and Pepsi beverages in restaurants will see new digital marketing activations as early as the fourth quarter of this year, thanks to the PepsiCo10 pilot programs.

“PepsiCo10 is about outside innovation, celebrating and helping to cultivate emerging start-ups, while at the same time, refreshing our brands and our communications strategy with new perspectives and inspiration,” said Seth Kaufman, Director of Media Strategy and Investment for PepsiCo North America Beverages.

Throughout their pilot programs, the PepsiCo10 will receive support from: a PepsiCo mentor; program partners Highland Capital Partners, a global venture capital firm, and Mashable, a premier social media publication; and communications agency partners OMD Ignition Factory, TracyLocke, dmg :: events and Weber Shandwick.

We’ve been impressed with the passion and quality of innovative companies we’ve seen throughout the PepsioCo10,” said Michael Gaiss, Senior Vice President at Highland Capital Partners.  “The teams have demonstrated deep foresight and understanding of digital and social media, and we look forward to continuing to work with PepsiCo, partners and selected companies going forward.”

The rigorous selection process of the PepsiCo10 began in June with an open call for submissions focused on one of four innovation segments: social media, mobile marketing, place-based and retail experiential marketing, or digital video or gaming. The more than 500 applicants were culled down for a second-round RFP and video submission and from there, to 20 for a two-day oral presentation to PepsiCo brand and marketing teams, agency partners and venture capitalists at PepsiCo headquarters.

Selected PepsiCo10 partners include:

Place-Based and Retail Experiential Marketing

AisleBuyer: Mobile shopping platform aimed to improve users’ in-store retail shopping experiences by leveraging SmartPhone technology to unite the best features of both ‘bricks’ and ‘clicks’ retailing.

TableTop Media: First pay-at-the-table and digital promotion tabletop platform that uses aZiosk™seven-inch wireless touch screen device to provide guests at casual dining restaurants with an interactive and convenient ordering and check-out experience.

Mobile Marketing

MyCypher: Dynamic mobile platform that allows artists world­wide to create new music in real-time by turning every mobile phone into a mi­crophone.

Zazu: Mobile alarm clock and calendar reminder that orally provides users with calendar details, weather, email and news, allowing them to start the day with the information they need to make the right decisions.

Social Media & Marketing

BreakoutBand: Social music experience for teens that allows them to form virtual bands with friends, create original songs and com­pete to top the song charts.

FanFeedr: Real-time personalized sports feed platform, which allows users to pick favorite teams and players, and supplies them with the most-up-to-date collection of relevant news, videos, tweets, scores and information.

Tongal: Online platform that combines crowd-sourc­ing and performance games to harvest content from a worldwide community of creators for businesses’ campaign concepts, tag­lines, slogans, pitches, commercials, music videos, instructional videos, short films, animations and other rich media.

Digital Video and Gaming

Evil Genius Designs: Interactive technology provides mobile game play and entertainment to guests waiting in lines at amusement parks, arenas, conferences and more.

Miso: Social platform that allows users to ‘check-in’ to their favorite television shows to earn points and unlock virtual badges, share what they are watching and see what friends are viewing, and engage with content throughout the course of a program. 

MotiveCast: Loyalty- and reward-based mobile gaming solution that uses augmented reality and location-based services to allow brands to discover and deeply engage with consumers in branded, fun, rewarding and highly interactive game play.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries.  With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  In recognition of its continued sustainability efforts, PepsiCo was named for the third time to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and for the fourth time to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) in 2009. For more information, please visit

About Highland Capital Partners

Highland Capital Partners was founded with the mission of helping great people build great companies. For over twenty years, the firm has taken a sector-focused approach to investing in exceptional healthcare, internet & digital media and technology companies. With $3 billion of committed capital and offices in Boston, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Geneva, Highland has invested in and worked to create such firms as Ask Jeeves, Avid Technology, CheckFree, Conor Medsystems, lululemon athletica, Lycos, MapQuest, Navic Networks, New York Times Digital, Ocular Networks, P.A. Semi, Quattro Wireless, Quigo,, Starent Networks, Sybase, Telica and VistaPrint. For more information, visit Highland's web site at

About Mashable

Founded in 2005, Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. With more than 30 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific news site reporting breaking web news, providing analysis of trends, reviewing new Web sites and services, and offering social media resources and guides. Mashable's audience includes early adopters, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, influencers, brands and corporations, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, Web 2.0 aficionados and technology journalists. Mashable is also popular with bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users — an increasingly influential demographic.

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