McDonald’s, Diageo, Reckitt Benckiser, Boots and Schwartz-owner McCormick are among the brands who will be supplying £20k innovation pilot briefs at MAD//Fest London on 7-8 July at The Old Truman Brewery.

This year’s MAD//Fest event features a dedicated ‘House of Innovation’ hosted by Sky Sports broadcaster and The Room Founder Alex Payne and Co:Cubed Founder Jeremy Basset. Start-ups and scale-ups will have the chance to present their innovations to a diverse range of brand briefs as part of the PITCH//IT competitions.

Selected by a panel of industry judges, 6 pitch winners will be awarded a £20k pilot to scale their innovation with the brand. They will also have the chance to pitch on the main stage as part of a ‘Champion of Champions’ session in which the audience will vote for their favourite MAD//Fest start-up in 2021.

Launched in 2019, PITCH//IT has become an integral part of the MAD//Fest’s in-person and virtual events. Held in partnership with collaborative innovation specialists Co:Cubed, the aim of the initiative is to match real brand challenges with innovative solutions and give start-ups and scale-ups a platform to reach key brand decision makers. Recent pitch winners include TheQ, Spirable, Threedium, Playrcart, Cavai and Miappi

“Marketing, media, technology, business and consumer behaviour have all changed immeasurably in the past year and the things that worked yesterday will not necessarily be what’s effective tomorrow. There’s never been more of a need for start-ups and big brands to collaborate in partnership," said Dan Brain, MAD//Fest's Co-founder.

"We’re excited to expand PITCH//IT and create more opportunities for our brand partners, start-up community and attendees looking to discover the latest emerging innovation. Look out for the briefs shortly!”

Billed as the ‘long overdue industry reunion gathering’, over 4,000 marketers are expected to attend MAD//Fest London, which is the first ever major UK marketing festival to take place mostly outside rather than in a traditional venue. MAD//Fest London is also the first industry event of 2021 to take place in hybrid form, meaning visitors can attend the event in-person or via MAD//Fest London’s virtual platform.

A limited number of preview rate tickets are available here.