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Leeds agency appointed by San Francisco-based Microsoft subsidiary


M12, Microsoft’s venture fund headquartered in San Francisco, has appointed Leeds-based digital agency Bolser to design, develop and promote a new website to drive its ongoing global investment strategy.

It followed a global pitch across its roster of approved suppliers, which includes some of the highest-profile global agencies.

Founded in 2016, M12 – previously known as Microsoft Ventures – is the global software company’s corporate venture capital subsidiary. In its time it has invested between $1 million and $20 million in more than 100 companies worldwide with a focus on applied AI, infrastructure, security technologies and more.

Bolser’s pitch was led by its Head of Design, Hanneka Kilburn (above), with the account handling, design, development and promotion of the website being undertaken by a team which was predominantly female.

Hanneka Kilburn said: “Winning the M12 pitch is a great way for us to mark the start of our 20th year in business. It is testimony to the great work we have previously done with Microsoft and also to the creativity, strategic thinking and excellent implementation we are able to provide.

“M12 is a progressive organisation that is committed to reinventing corporate venture capital. The fund moves with the agility and speed of a startup to get deals done quickly, so it is a very refreshing and exciting firm to be working with.

“We have started the project at pace and are keen to further develop our relationship with Colleen and the rest of the M12 team as we progress.”

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M12 CMO, Colleen O’Brien

Bolser was founded in 2001 and works with a range of UK and international clients including Discovery Channel and Taco Bell.

Colleen O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at M12 (pictured), said: “We invest in a diverse range of entrepreneurs building the next generation of business technology, so we need to be able to provide digital platforms that attract, impress and engage them.

“We were aware of Bolser’s great reputation within Microsoft so we wanted to see how the agency would respond to our brief. They showed an exceptional level of insight and creativity and really understand the importance of diversity, inclusion and accessibility to our strategic objectives.

“This convinced us that Bolser was the ideal partner for us and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

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