Publicis Groupe to invest millions in 90 digital start-ups

Publicis Groupe has pledged to provide funding and mentoring for 90 digital start-up projects, as the holding company celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe
Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe

The owner of Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom Mediavest Group is inviting submissions via a Publicis90 platform, which went live online today. 

The holding company said it wants to foster digital entrepreneurship and provide "the support they need to bring their projects to life, or to take it to the next level". 

Those successful will also receive funding, ranging from 10,000 euros for projects about to be launched, to 500,000 euros for start-ups that are already ramping up. 

The Publicis90 platform will be open for submissions until 28 February and all Publicis Groupe employees will be able to vote for which ones are selected for further consideration. A regional jury will then draw up a shortlist, with the best 90 selected by a global jury. The selected projects will be mentored by Publicis Groupe experts in marketing, communications, management and technology. 

Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, said: "Publicis90 is very much in line with the philosophy of Publicis Groupe and its founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet.

"The idea is to help young entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Not just through investment but also by putting Groupe resources at their disposal for a year.

"Rather than look back and pat ourselves on the back for 90 years of history, we have taken the forward-looking approach of extending a helping hand to young entrepreneurs."

Publicis Groupe, which has close to 80,000 employees today, was founded by Bleustein-Blanchet in 1926, from his Paris apartment. 

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