Lexus Encourages Startups in Funding Competition

Nowadays, startups are hot. Even luxury carmaker Lexus wants in on the action.

Lexus, with the help of agency Team One, is running a contest for early-stage startups that are creating cool and useful technology to win up to $100,000 in funding to make their prototypes a reality. The contest is part of a campaign for newest Lexus ES, which is equipped with the latest technology.

“We know luxury consumers are digitally connected and gravitate towards aspirational ventures in startups and new technologies,” said Jessica Georgopoulos, Lexus’ digital marketing planner. “Lexus Ignition is intended to be the vehicle for entrepreneurs and their community to engage with us and dialogue about their passion and creativity.”

Working with its partners in various industries, Lexus chose eight startup products that are currently seeking funding to move into production to compete in the contest. According to Georgopoulos, Lexus set out strict criteria for choosing the startup products for the competition, including  time-to-market funding requirements and, “most importantly, a deep connection to style and technology.”

Each week for four weeks Lexus pits two startups’ products against each other for online voting. Fans can visit the custom Facebook application to cast their vote once a day. The contest started Sept. 24 and will continue until Oct. 21. With each round, the startups have a chance to win $25,000.

To promote the contest, Lexus created a video trailer and also has digital and mobile banners pointing to the app and video pre-roll units promoting the competition online. Lexus is using Facebook and Twitter to promote the competition products to drive traffic to the competition.

“Lexus Ignition opens a dialogue between Lexus and a community of tech-savvy, digitally connected, aspirational individuals who want to make a positive difference in the world — just as Lexus does,” said Georgopoulos.

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