Tradedoubler Launches The Zoo Project, UK’s First Affiliate Marketing Incubator
Tradedoubler, the largest UK performance marketing network, announced the launch of the first UK incubator focused on entrepreneurial affiliate marketing companies. The Zoo ProjectÂ will provide Â£1 million of business resources and industry mentoring services for up to 20 affiliate marketing start-up companies that apply between now and January 6, 2012.Â Business resources will include one year of rent-free office space at Tradedoubler’s prestigious UK headquarters in Victoria, hands-on mentoring from industry experts, unique access to major brand advertisers and partners, as well as networking opportunities with other companies and entrepreneurs in the Zoo.
“Affiliate Marketing is inherently entrepreneurial as an industry sector, and we want to mentor and help support grass roots affiliate growth in the UK,” said Rob Wilson, Market Unit Leader North West for TradeDoubler. “We believe the UK is still one of the worldâ€™s biggest gateways for new ideas. Every day we help our clients reach thousands of customers through Affiliate Marketing campaigns, and want to see more affiliates come to market and achieve similar levels of success. We believe the difficult economic climate brings unique opportunities for affiliates as consumers search for better deals online. The Zoo Project will help start-up affiliate businesses harness these opportunities, enabling them to grow into major sustainable companies.”
Tradedoubler has been busy recruiting what they call “dragons,” a panel of business and industry experts who will decide which applicants gain entry into the Zoo.Â So far they have announced seven dragons:
- Rob Wilson – Tradedoubler’s Market Unit Leader responsible for UK and Ireland operations
- Mary Keane-Dawson – Experiences C-Suite business development professional, manager, and consultant
- Paul Bongers – Experienced affiliate marketing manager for BT
- Matt Wood – Founder of affiliates4U.com (A4U) and the a4uexpo
- Jasmine Birtles – Business and personal finance television presenter on BBC and UKTV Style
- Tim Jessop – Experienced affiliate marketing manager for Tesco
- Steve Wilson – Experienced senior online sales and marketing manager for companies like Q2, McAfee, Nokia, and British Gas
Entrepreneurs interested in applying for The Zoo Project, should submit an online application and business plan.Â The requirements for admission include:
- A solid business and marketing plan reflecting the potential to grow the business
- A strong entrepreneurial spirit with experience
- Good understanding of the online marketing industry and at least one full-time employee
- Reasonable credit history and adequate financial resources to remain in business
- No legal claims or lawsuits pending against the business including bankruptcy
Successful applicants will be invited to meet with the Zoo’s panel of dragons before final decisions will be made.
This in an interesting strategy by Tradedoubler, and could be a model that we might see replicated by U.S.-based networks. By investing space and business resources in smart entrepreneurs with good ideas, Tradedoubler isÂ seeding the future market with companies that will continue to drive sales to their advertisers, and insure healthy earnings for Tradedoubler, their advertising partners, and incubated companies for the future.