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TradeDoubler's Acclaimed Digital Business Incubation Scheme, The Zoo Project, announces its first winners
Winners to benefit from more than £1m worth of business resources, including office space and hands-on mentoring and support from TradeDoubler
All six start-ups are based in the UK and were chosen by a panel of "Dragons" - marketing and business experts from some of the UK's top companies, including Tesco, British Gas and BT.
The Zoo Project was launched last December by TradeDoubler to foster grass roots growth and help drive innovation in an industry that drove more than £5bn in e-commerce revenue in 2011. [Source: Econsultancy / A4u UK Affiliate Census 2011, sponsored by Commission Junction and Argos, October 2011]
The Project will eventually offer 20 affiliate marketing start-ups a "home" in the Zoo for one year. They will benefit from more than £1m worth of business resources, including rent- and rates-free office space at TradeDoubler's UK headquarters in Victoria, London; access to TradeDoubler technology; hands-on mentoring from affiliate marketing experts; access to major brand advertisers and partners; and networking opportunities with other companies and entrepreneurs.
The first six winners are: Stylenest, a luxury online magazine for "yummy mummies"; Boomah, a cash rewards site which allows members to donate money to their favourite club, charity or cause as they shop; As Seen on the TV, a site which links consumers with products they've seen on the telly; PicYeah, which is developing a sponsored photo platform to enable consumers to collect rewards via sponsored photo frames; Hot Drops, is a brand new online personalised content platform that delivers relevant content to 18 - 34 year olds on a daily basis, based around their interests and lifestyle; and finally, AWESEM - based in London and Germany - is an online marketing company, specialising in optimising sites so that they can be better detected by search engines and creating WordPress themes and plugins for bloggers and websites.
These first half-dozen - announced at an event in London last week - were chosen after a Dragon's Den-style pitch process which lasted a month. The panel of "dragons" including Tim Jessop, marketing manager for online advertising at Tesco; Steve Wilson, head of online for British Gas Business; Rob Wilson, market unit leader for the North West, at TradeDoubler; strategic advisor and digital agency mentor Mary Keane-Dawson; Paul Bongers, head of paid search at BT/clickbuyclick; and Matthew Wood, founder of the A4U affiliate marketing forums.
"The quality of entries was extremely high, and whittling them down to a top six was a difficult task," said Rob Wilson TradeDoubler's Market Unit Leader North West "But we have a worthy first tranche of winners and we're looking forward immensely to helping them set off on the road to success. We believe the difficult economic climate brings unique opportunities for affiliates as consumers search for better deals online. In the longer term, we see the kind of performance-based marketing practiced by affiliates becoming as important as TV or press advertising - even more so. Combine this with good old British entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that online advertising in the UK is forecast to grow by over 10% this year, and we think that this hugely dynamic business sector will give the UK economy a real shot in the arm."
ABOUT AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate Marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own marketing efforts - for example, Amazon would pay an affiliate a fee for every visitor to, and purchase made from, its site from its affiliates. It is one of the fast-growing forms of marketing, with the sector worth £5.0bn in 2011, according to eConsultancy.
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