Class of 2015 Brands+Startups™ Marketing Challenge Application Now Available

Learn how to pitch to multinational corporations. Heartland Mobile offers free program as part of a mission to foster economic development within the high-tech startup community in the Heartland of America.

Chicago, IL, April 10, 2015 --( The Heartland Mobile Foundation (Heartland Mobile or HM) is pleased to announce the 2015 Brands+Startups™ Marketing Challenge (the “Challenge”). In its third year, Brands+Startups brings together brands seeking innovative digital and mobile technology solutions with qualified startups, who can deliver what they need most to prosper. Applications are being accepted until May 21, 2015, and are available at

With the plethora of educational websites and services about fundamental marketing concepts and best practices, entrepreneurs are seeking a way to stand apart and succeed. Brands+Startups gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to stand apart in an innovative format that not only educates, but also informs and supports a startup’s success by reaching out to major brands and leading agencies, to develop wins for all participants.

“We’re unbelievably excited about the process! For startups in our space that have traction, big customers, and have show an ability to consistently generate results, the big thing that we need is the opportunity to engage with brands and continued help and mentorship around how to continue to evolve.”
— Erik Severinghaus, CEO and Founder, SimpleRelevance

A Combination of Shark Tank and The Voice: Each participating startup has 60 seconds to pitch and get one of the brand coaches to turn around. Each brand then selects their favorite startup to coach throughout each round of the Challenge. Brands+Startups will take place during multiple events this Summer, and will culminate in the Fall during Mobile University™ Week. The final teams will have the opportunity to work on a live marketing campaign with their coach’s company and receive the value of the hosting agency's services.

Accepted startups will have the opportunity to participate in:

Classes taught by marketing professors from top universities, as well as marketing executives from leading brands and agencies.

Private team coaching sessions with professors and executive mentors.

A mentoring process with their coaches in preparation for a series of elimination rounds.

“Over the past two years, SimpleRelevance has worked hard to hone its messaging in each of these areas and is seeing the fruits of that labor...this challenge was an interesting opportunity to test our messaging one-on-one with a brand that is the perfect client profile for our service.”
— SimpleRelevance Blogpost, September 2014

Both agency and brand partners form the backbone of the Brands+Startups program, and together receive benefits. Heartland Mobile finds, coordinates, and filters startups to ensure the best match is made to meet the goals of brands and agencies. And for innovative startups, these brands and agencies have the potential to become future customers. Further, startups gain education on best marketing practices, visibility to major corporations, and accept meaningful coaching. By participating, startups gain an exclusive opportunity to leverage their product or service in a live program, in a one-of-a-kind setting, with a brand or an agency made possible only by Heartland Mobile.

“It was really cool watching the companies and the pitches evolve week to week; many of them I’ve known and respected for years...SimpleRelevance has benefitted tremendously from taking part in the Challenge. Probably the biggest impact for us has been around our positioning and messaging. Over the years, we’ve invested a tremendous amount in building a next-generation machine learning platform, but have only recently gotten good at how we succinctly message that to potential clients, investors and others.”
— Erik Severinghaus, CEO and Founder, SimpleRelevance

“I like the brands and startup model because we’re entering a space where there isn’t any branding; it’s mostly white label products. It’s exciting to work with [Brands+Startups] to see how we might introduce ourselves in this space.”
— Paul Rauner, CEO and Founder, SirenGPS

“I love it because you get very, very balanced feedback and it helps us to refine our elevator pitch for our product. And, we get to see what they are doing and get feedback from individuals who are well-versed in the marketplace with established brands.”
— Kevin Swartz, Mobile Security Analyst, viaForensics

Applications are accepted until May 21, 2015, 11:59 CST. For inquiries, contact Jerry Rosenquist at, and apply via

About The Heartland Mobile Foundation™
The Heartland Mobile Foundation™ (Heartland Moible or HM) is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster economic development in the Heartland of America to build the future mobile marketers. Heartland Mobile is dedicated to support the growth of the market of all things mobile with best-in-class mobile marketing educational programs and by promoting mobile best practices. Through its partnership with brands in its main initiatives–Mobile University™ Week, the Brands+Startups™ Marketing Challenge, HMCertification, HMAction–Heartland Mobile serves to grow and guide the industry. Visit and to learn more.
Heartland Mobile
Jerry Rosenquist
+1 (224) 212-0290