Insurance company, AXA UK has launched the next edition of AXA Startup Angel, a nationwide competition providing the opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into exciting new businesses in partnership with the Evening Standard.
The campaign has been brokered by media agency, Starcom, part of Publicis Media.
The competition sees an esteemed panel of judges – the AXA Startup Angels – pick the most inspiring ideas from a selection of entries which includes the submission of an elevator pitch-style video. Three successful entrepreneurs – Ian Theasby and Henry Firth, co-founders of BOSH!, and Raphael Sofoluke, found and CEO of UK Black Business Show – return to their AXA Startup Angels judging and mentorship roles from last year’s inaugural competition. They are joined this year by Sharmadean Reid MBE, founder and CEO of The Stack World.
Launching in May, the competition will run for nine weeks, closing on 17th July. There are six chances to win; two competition winners will each receive the gold prize, which consists of £25,000 to fund the business idea; business mentoring from the AXA Startup Angels; and 12 months of business insurance from AXA for the first year. This year, four further winning entrants will receive the silver and bronze prizes which include a digital advertising campaign with the Evening Standard.
The partnership includes numerous touchpoints across print, digital, social, audio, OOH and experiential. A 4-page cover wrap will run in today’s issue of the Evening Standard paper to launch the competition. Distributed across Standard.co.uk and on social will be a promotional video featuring the four AXA Startup Angels, encouraging entries and with details of how to enter.
In an Evening Standard media first, they have partnered with JCDecaux to amplify the AXA Startup Angel campaign which will feature a Brand Stories creative execution (an Evening Standard digital format that allows users to engage with a tappable series of storytelling scenes). A re-purposed version of this format will be displayed across digital OOH screens nationwide, delivered programmatically to target postcodes that have a higher propensity of startup businesses. The DOOH will also implement dynamic features such as a countdown to when the competition closes and location specific copy.
Audio ads in the Evening Standard’s own podcast, ‘How to be a CEO’ will help drive further entries by directing listeners to a competition page on Standard.co.uk where they can enter.
This year, AXA UK will also be hosting a branded stand at the Evening Standards’ annual business-focused event; SME XPO (25th – 26th May at London Olympia) as part of the experiential element of the campaign in order to drive in person sign ups to the competition.
Gerry Donnachie, Head of Underwriting at AXA Business Insurance said: “Small businesses are at the heart of Britain’s economy and contribute significantly to our society. Unfortunately, not all survive their first year and with high setup costs, getting off the ground can be difficult. This is why we’re running AXA Startup Angel for the second consecutive year.”
Claire Kula, Managing Partner at Starcom, said: “We wanted to make this campaign unmissable for entrepreneurs starting up their businesses, with so many different touchpoints across various channels. We’re so pleased to have been able to extend the partnership and provide more entrepreneurs with a chance to win. We knew from the high level of submissions last year that we were on to a winning idea, coupling this with a chance to reach micro-businesses at the Evening Standard’s SME XPO event this month, will ensure that AXA is forefront for businesses when it comes to starting out.”
Charles Yardley, CEO at Evening Standard said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with AXA for this year’s Startup Angel competition. It’s a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to win valuable financial support and priceless mentoring. From a personal perspective, I’m really looking forward to joining the judges and hearing what these new businesses have to offer.”
The AXA Startup Angel partnership further promotes AXA’s wider ‘Work Hard, Insure Easy’ marketing campaign, created by Publicis Groupe’s designated Power of One team; media by Starcom and creative by Fallon, part of Leo Burnett, to help entrepreneurs ‘Make it easier’ to make their business dream a reality.