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MEC, one of the world’s leading advertising media planning agencies, is offering three lucky digital start-ups a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in partnership with top global brands and receive guidance from its expert business mentors.

MEC Wavemaker, the new content specialist division at MEC in Manchester, is launching a start-up hub competition to give three cutting-edge start-ups the chance to secure a commercial partnership with MEC and its clients, which include, EE, Jet2 and Great Western Rail.

The aim of the competition is to forge strong links between promising entrepreneurs and leading brands, and inspire creative thinking to generate new ideas for the industry.

Digital and tech start-ups are being invited to take part in the competition. To enter, all they need to do is fill out a simple application form detailing information about their company and the reasons why they should be selected.

MEC Manchester will then choose six semi-finalists who will be invited to battle it out in a Dragon’s Den style contest at SAScon, the UK’s finest search, analytics and social media conference, on 17 June 2016. The businesses will have to pitch their business proposition to an expert-judging panel including senior MEC execs, leading figureheads from Tech City North and Jonathan Bowers, managing director at UKFast, which is the event’s headline sponsor.

The winning three start-ups will be chosen based on their pitch, as well as their ability to foster creative thinking and enable innovation. As part of the prize, they will be invited to spend a three-month residency working out of MEC’s Manchester office from 4 July, where they will gain expert business advice and the opportunity to secure commercial partnerships with MEC’s roster of clients.

Hannah Blake, open innovation director at MEC UK, said: “MEC Wavemaker is all about encouraging creative thinking to create compelling content and who better to learn from than those working at the cutting edge of innovation. MEC and our clients have so much to gain from inviting bright entrepreneurs into our environment and I believe we can also add huge value in helping start-ups to scale and prosper. To accelerate this process, we have partnered with SAScon to give the start-ups an excellent platform to present their business and gain wider brand exposure.”

Richard Gregory, co-founder at SAScon said: “SAScon is an event organised by the digital community for the digital community. And so we are proud to play host to the MEC Wavemaker start-up hub as we believe more initiatives like this one are needed to give new emerging digital businesses the support and guidance they need to succeed. We are anticipating that the MEC Wavemaker panel will be one of the highlights of this year’s conference as it will really showcase the exceptional talent that the North West is housing.”

Creative and digital start-ups interested in applying should complete the application form found here and send it to [email protected].

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