Mar 14, 2013 at 03:41 PM
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Purina Sponsors Hackathon For Pets

Cats need apps too. Rather than paying a digital media firm to develop an app, it seems Purina is using sponsorship to come up with the next big thing in cat apps. It's no early April Fools Day prank, the pet food company has teamed up with LA start-up accelerator, Amplify, to sponsor what it's calling the "Games for Cats Hackathon." Purina is spending $20,000 – $15,000 to the winner, and $3,000 and $2,000 to the first and second runners up - who supply Purina, and its Friskies brand with some pet-friendly new apps and possibly it's next big marketing campaign.

“Every time I talk to a big corporation or large marketing agency, they all want to ‘figure out how to tap into this whole startup boom,’ but in the end they never pull the trigger or move with any agility,” Amplify partner Jeff Solomon told PandoDaily. “It’s great that Purina is actually putting their money where their mouth is.”

While it may seem like a crazy idea on the surface, we're seeing sponsorship become an increasingly common way for brands to crowd-source digital innovation around a specific theme that's important to their brand. Got an idea for the next great cat app? Apply here.