Companies Make Mad Dash to Partner With Startups

So Ulukaya is plowing $2 million of Chobani’s into a food incubator in New York City, and planning to choose 10 companies, for which he will provide test kitchens, office space, mentorship and access to chefs and other Chobani resources.

“We’re about creating the future, but also about creating future revenue streams for Diageo that don’t currently exist.”

Meanwhile, spirits giant Diageo, based in the UK with U.S. headquarters in Connecticut, recently launched Diageo Technology Ventures, which is trying to partner with innovative digital and technology companies. Each startup gets $100,000 to support projects that address vital areas of interest for the company, such as responsible-drinking marketing programs.

“We’re about creating the future, but also about creating future revenue streams for Diageo that don’t currently exist,” Helen Michaels, head of Diageo Futures, told CEO Briefing.

Two years ago, Lexus ran a contest called Lexus Ignition in which a Facebook app solicited votes on eight technology startups, whose four winners split up to $100,000 in funding. PepsiCo runs its PepsiCo10 program, which aims to discover, nurture and harness technology, media and communications entrepreneurs in the United States, Brazil, India and other crucial markets in new initiatives that lead to effective digital- and social-marketing efforts for the company.