NEW YORK, August 18, 2016 - Today R/GA Ventures opens the application process for the R/GA Marketing Tech Venture Studio in partnership with Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). The program will take place at R/GA’s NY headquarters and invites applications from growth-stage and early-stage startups that are leveraging new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to monetize platforms including messaging, voice activation, and nascent software innovations.
Technology continues to disrupt the world of marketing. Engagement on new platforms—particularly messaging services—are already surpassing social media and reshaping the future of digital marketing. This paradigm shift represents the next billion-dollar opportunity to change the way consumers and brands engage with one another. Future digital marketing and products will function as learning systems that self-correct, automatically improving with each consumer interaction. These intelligent agents will enable brands to communicate and transact with individual consumers on a mass scale, opening a world of possibilities for brands to connect with more immediacy, relevancy, context, and ease.
Up to ten startups will be selected to participate in the program, which will emphasize opportunities for business development and partnerships in addition to fundraising, and is designed to enable companies to explore and launch new business models that will reimagine the future of digital marketing and digital products. The program will support companies not only in launching great products and services, but also in creating long-lasting customer experiences with global brands.
As with all R/GA Ventures programs, R/GA will provide each company selected for the R/GA Marketing Tech Venture Studio with its award-winning business transformation, strategic marketing, branding, design, and technology-focused methodology and agency services as well as access to its network of industry partners, mentors, and investors.
“R/GA is especially honored to work with our parent, IPG, to create this program,” said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer of R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. “IPG has been at the forefront of innovation in our industry and will bring to this program unparalleled expertise which will help shape the future of marketing tech and marketing services.”
A unique element of this program is the resources that will come with access to industry-leading experts from across the full range of IPG operating companies. With agencies in more than 100 countries specializing in every aspect of the marketing mix, as well as relationships with many of the world’s largest marketers, IPG provides companies selected for the program unprecedented access and opportunities to tap into a global network of influencers and experts that can accelerate their business development.
“IPG is proud to partner with R/GA on the Marketing Tech Venture Studio. The program benefits our clients and our people, helping us lean into the future of communications,” commented Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic. “The investment we’ll make in these companies is a strategic asset for IPG – it gives our agencies advance knowledge of cutting-edge products, platforms and services that can help clients reach consumers in a connected world. The Studio also gives participating companies access to creative capital from across our organization,” Roth added.
Program areas of interest include AI and Machine Learning, messaging and conversational platforms, natural language processing, predictive analysis, chat bot services and platforms, voice recognition and activation, conversational commerce, face scanning/swapping, productivity automation, marketing automation, dynamic price automation, testing and targeting, content personalization and optimization, predictive customer service and cognitive content development, management and distribution. While the program is particularly interested in these categories, it remains open to any application that can impact the future of digital marketing and digital products on a global scale.
Startups from around the world are encouraged to apply, and can submit their applications beginning on August 18, 2016 through October 24, 2016. The program will start on January 10, 2017. The program will conclude in early April with a Demo Event, at which each company will have the opportunity to present to an invited audience of investors, industry leaders, and press.
R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients’ brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 2,000 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations. R/GA Ventures was founded in 2013 and is a member of the GAN (gan.co), a network of the world's most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup ecosystem. For more information about R/GA, please visit www.rga.com, @rgaventures, and www.rgaaccelerator.com.
About Interpublic Group of Companies
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include BPN, CRAFT, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, MAGNA GLOBAL, McCann, Momentum, MRM//McCann, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Other leading brands include Avrett Free Ginsberg, Campbell Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, ID Media and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.