Kimberly-Clark Rewards Startup Innovation

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Kimberly-Clark Rewards Startup Innovation

By CGT Staff - 12/09/2014
The Kimberly-Clark Digital Innovation Lab (D'Lab) is bringing open-source innovation to the consumer package goods category with the second annual KChallenge startup competition at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winning startup will receive the opportunity to pilot a project with one of Kimberly-Clark's global brands such as Kleenex, Huggies, Depend, Scott or Kotex.

Consumer adoption of new technologies has increased at an unprecedented rate over the past decade and will only accelerate in the future. Brands across multiple industries are looking to the forward edges of innovation to identify new ways to connect with their digitally savvy consumers. Startups represent a large part of this forward edge and the KChallenge is an ideal interface for these agile entrepreneurs to connect with Kimberly-Clark's global brands.

Kimberly-Clark's D'Lab organized the competition with the support of Mindshare Worldwide, the global media agency network, and its venture capital partners. Startups submitted proposals for the KChallenge that would benefit one or more of Kimberly-Clark's brands in connecting with the omni-channel consumer.

Kimberly-Clark narrowed the submissions down to a short list of startup finalists who will present their ideas to a judging panel of company executives on Monday, January 5, 2015 in conjunction with CES. Kimberly-Clark judges will rate and review the ideas to determine which solutions represent the biggest opportunity for its iconic brands.

"Startups play a crucial role in this new innovation model," said Clive Sirkin, chief marketing officer of Kimberly-Clark. "Although most startups do not yet see why corporations need them, we do. You will start to see not just adoption of startup innovations but also a migration of philosophies, like Lean Startup principles, from this world into the corporate world as we look to find ways to keep pace with the ever-changing, empowered consumer."   

From the latest in wearable devices and sensor technologies, to virtual reality and augmented reality, CES provides a unique opportunity for brands across multiple industries to access cutting-edge trends in technology and explore new opportunities for innovation.

"Our focus is to be the orchestrators and facilitators of innovation by tapping into the outside world," said Sirkin. "We want the world to be our laboratory, and through events such as the KChallenge and CES, we want to tap into all the disruptive ideas that will connect us to the future first."