Why P&G’s Innovation Challenge Going Virtual Isn’t Slowing it Down

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Why P&G’s Innovation Challenge Going Virtual Isn’t Slowing it Down

By Lisa Johnston - 05/28/2020
The CES 2020 Innovation Challenge finalists:  Nicholas Michalak, CEO of SomniFix, Dr. Sanna Gaspard, Founder and CEO of Rubitection, Richard Hanbury, Founder of Sana (winner), and Dr. Bryan Fuller, Founder and CEO of DermaMedics
The CES 2020 Innovation Challenge finalists: Nicholas Michalak, CEO of SomniFix, Dr. Sanna Gaspard, Founder and CEO of Rubitection, Richard Hanbury, Founder of Sana (winner), and Dr. Bryan Fuller, Founder and CEO of DermaMedics

Although Procter & Gamble will hold its next Innovation Challenge virtually, the company says that interest in the program hasn’t waned.

P&G Ventures, the company’s start-up studio, is positioning its third Innovation Challenge as a virtual event to complement live events once they can be implemented safely, P&G Ventures’ Lauren Thaman told CGT, who added that the company was happy to have another platform to access and work with potential partners.

“We believe it’s a great way for us to learn more about the startups in our ecosystem, look for potential partners, and have the opportunity to highlight the finalist and the work they are doing,” she noted.

As in previous years, the Innovation Challenge calls on entrepreneurs and start-ups to pitch consumer goods products they believe can change consumers’ lives. Last year’s winner was Richard Hanbury, founder of the Sana neuromodulation wearable for controlling pain, addiction and anxiety.

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This year, a trio of finalists will deliver their pitches online to a panel of judges on June 24 as part of publically broadcast event, with registration available through Eventbrite.

P&G is once again using the KITE SRM platform and operating system to recruit, evaluate and select the finalists. KITE is also working P&G Ventures to target consumer goods start-ups, and has directly outreached to over 1,000 CGs to invite them to participate, Thaman said.

And as it did during the CES 2020 event in January, KITE will work with the finalists to help them prepare for the event.

“We are excited to share the engagement has been great,” Thaman said. “We continue to reach out through both P&G and P&G Ventures’ networks, partners and their networks, media and KITE. The interest we are seeing indicates that startups are as excited as ever to partner and grow their businesses.”

The Innovation Challenge winner — selected by P&G Ventures VP and general manager Leigh Radford, P&G Ventures VP of R&D Julie Setser, and Cintrifuse CEO Pete Blackshaw — will receive $10,000 and a chance to partner with P&G Ventures, where they’ll receive access to uniquely tailored guidance, resources and networking.

Submissions will be accepted until June 7.

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