R/GA’s 2019 Innovation Exchange with Kinship focuses on purpose-based, female-founded companies looking to solve global and local problems at scale.
The eight companies in this year’s program (formerly known as the Cannes Startup Academy) include diverse women entrepreneurs from Pakistan, Kenya, Brazil, Uganda and the United States. Kinship, the newly launched ventures, technology, and business innovation arm of Mars Petcare, is partnering with R/GA on the initiative.
Throughout the week at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, each founder is provided with opportunities to network with executives from global brands and agencies. The women - whose companies look to push businesses in FinTech, sustainability, healthcare, diversity and inclusion, virtual reality, transportation and more – are also given the chance to pitch their companies on the Cannes Lions Interactive Stage.
"After uncovering these impressive eight female-led companies, we’re eager to showcase them to the global brand and agency executives that attend the festival," said Stephen Plumlee, vice chairman of R/GA and managing partner of R/GA Ventures. "We have built this program as a discovery vehicle for high-potential companies to partner with us in exploring innovation across all industries. We’re grateful to this year’s group of founders for inviting us into their perspectives, missions, and emerging technologies that serve a greater purpose."
The women will participate in a demo event on June 20 at 10 a.m. on the the Cannes Lions Interactive Stage in Palais II. This year, Lolita Taub, principal and director of strategic initiatives at Backstage Capital, will be joining as the program’s mentor-in-residence.
Liz David, senior director of communications and events at R/GA Ventures, said: "We’re excited to be expanding our focus from marketing and advertising startups into the emerging space of purpose-driven companies this year. We searched far and wide to find the best female founded leaders across a variety of verticals and geographies, challenging each of their industries to rethink how to best innovate."
The companies this year include:
- Beam Impact (USA) is an app that empowers users to easily support the causes they care about by visiting retailers they love.
- CLOQ (Brazil) provides low-cost, accessible, and formal nano-credit to the lower-income and unbanked population through mobile.
- Goodr (USA) is a sustainable surplus food management platform that leverages technology to reduce food waste and combat hunger.
- Medixus (Kenya) is a knowledge-sharing platform for African doctors to connect and discuss challenging patient cases together via a secure online app.
- Pet Parent (USA) is a SaaS platform dedicated to facilitating and transacting end-to-end pet adoption, making it easier for both adopters and rescue organizations.
- Praxis Labs (USA) advances diversity and inclusion outcomes through perspective-taking VR-based unconscious bias trainings.
- SheKab (Pakistan) is a subscription-based carpooling service for women & girls that aims to empower women by providing them with safe, affordable, and reliable transportation solutions.
- Wazi Vision (Uganda) provides upcycled, affordable eyewear in Africa.