NEW YORK, April 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — WWD and Unilever Prestige have launched a new, $15,000 grant initiative, Project Connect, designed to support and uplift the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders at the forefront of the movement to humanize technology for the future marketplace.
As COVID-19 triggered unwanted social isolation, this program is looking for innovators whose product or service can create connection by bridging the gap between people and product via technology. The ideal grant applicant, will find technological solutions that allow for more meaningful social interaction, support new ways of exchanging goods and services or simply help enhance people lives during this time.
Project Connect is now accepting applications for this unique grant opportunity. Whether you are a student, a start-up founder or already running an established business, we encourage you to apply.
Project Connect offers a chance for entrepreneurs of all kinds to receive grant funding and access a robust package of resources including access to mentorship, opportunities to help scale business and exposure to new industries and audiences.
Applications must be submitted by May 28, 2021 and will be reviewed by a full panel of industry experts that include: Vasiliki Petrou, EVP of Unilever Prestige; Amanda Smith, President, Fairchild Fashion Media; Vicky Tsai, Founder of Tatcha; Carla Nelson, founder of the Black Fashion World Foundation, Kevin Fried, Director of Retail at Google; and John Webo, President & CEO, Amyris.
Applicants should have:
- A scalable business model that serves to humanize technology for the future.
- Innovative products & services that demonstrate a connection between human touch and virtual communication.
- Social Impact at the core of the business with efforts that promote an inclusive platform and shifting marketplace values.
- A future-focused mindset and clear vision to advance the industry.
Why this initiative, and why now?
COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of technology into every aspect of life – proving that in a post-pandemic world, (remote) technology and virtual communication will be core elements of our daily lives and interactions. Although technology continues to allow progress amid disruption and enable near-constant communication, research shows that 50 percent of people are reporting feeling isolated this year, compared to 23 percent just two years ago.
With Project Connect, Unilever Prestige and WWD aim to harness sector-wide expertise and the power of storytelling to highlight the “heart and soul” behind technology with a human-centered approach to digital integration. With a goal to help bridge the digital divide for the future marketplace, the innovative products and services showcased in this program will serve as solutions to humanize virtual communication and keep us connected even as the pandemic moves us into a more isolated state.
By scaling innovations in technology that help people around the world engage in today’s tech driven market, Project Connect hopes to build a bridge to the future across industries. A post-pandemic world will require collaboration, new connections and partnerships. Together, with a unified goal to bridge the digital divide and strengthen the connection between technology and virtual communication, WWD and Unilever Prestige will guide a journey of connection across all industries.
“Having spent my career raising awareness of future focused brands, I’m excited to find new and innovative entrepreneurs whose business models push the boundaries of what we’re used to,” said Vasiliki Petrou, Executive Vice President of Unilever Prestige. “Brands with passion and purpose tackle a mission bigger than life, and there’s no escaping that digital experiences have been the future for a long time now. But COVID has really expedited that process, and personally for me, coming from brands where human touch and face-to-face interactions are so vital to the customer experience, it’s felt like there is a missing piece. To truly serve our consumers now and in the future, we need to enrich that space at the intersection of our digital lives and our need for human connection.”
“As we look forward to a post-COVID-19 world, we need to pivot and rely on innovative technology more than ever,” said Amanda Smith, president of Fairchild Media, a division of PMC. “There is nothing more exciting for WWD than partnering with Unilever Prestige to power our portfolios with purpose and celebrate trailblazers who are the next generation of business leaders.”
Link to application
For more information about this project, or to schedule an interview with Unilever Prestige’s Vasiliki Petrou or Fairchild Media Group’s Amanda Smith, contact Fairchild Media Group’s VP of Marketing, Stephanie Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org
PMC is a leading independent global media and information services company whose award-winning content attracts a passionate audience. Since 2004, Penske Media has been a pioneer in digital media and a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens across its ever-growing constellation of iconic brands, which includes Variety, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, WWD, SHE Media, Robb Report, Deadline, Sportico, BGR, ARTnews, Fairchild Media, Vibe, IndieWire, Dirt, Gold Derby and Spy.com, among many others. PMC’s journalists and content creators deliver daily the most comprehensive news and information in their industries and areas of coverage, unequaled in ambition, depth and courage. Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with additional offices in 14 countries worldwide, PMC believes companies should not only be profitable but also forces for good.
To learn more about Fairchild Media Group and PMC, visit: https://pmc.com/
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