By Karen Axelton

PepsiLogoBig corporations are getting behind entrepreneurship in some interesting ways.

MediaPost reports that PepsiCo has launched an incubator dubbed PepsiCo10, where the company will help 10 aspiring marketing entrepreneurs start pilot marketing programs with the company’s brands.

“As it becomes more challenging to engage consumers, and as new [media] platforms emerge, we thought: ‘What better way to get in with them and support them?” Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo’s director of media strategy and investment, told Marketing Daily.

The incubator will accept “up to 10 of the most promising start-ups in media, communications and technology,” PepsiCo’s website says. “The selected entrepreneurs will be mentored by a team of venture capitalists, media experts and PepsiCo brand marketers during pilot programs of their submitted technologies and innovations.”

Global venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners and social media publication Mashable are partnering with PepsiCo on the project. The company is looking for innovative technologies in four marketing segments: social media; mobile; place-based and retail experiential marketing; and digital or video gaming. Submissions will be evaluated based on how well they can impact PepsiCo brands and advance the company’s “Performance with a Purpose” priorities, which include health and wellness, environmental sustainability and talent development. The focus of PepsiCo10 is also on younger consumers aged 18 to 25.

Deadline for submissions is June 24, 2010; 20 semifinalists will go to PepsiCo headquarters in White Plains, New York, to pitch their concepts to Y PepsiCo marketing executives. Visit PepsiCo’s website for more information and to apply.

Is your innovative technology more in the automotive field? Then GM may be able to help you. The automaker recently announced it’s launching a venture capital unit that will invest in new technologies in the automotive and transportation sector. General Motors Ventures LLC is funded with an initial investment of $100 million. “Our goal is to nurture these innovative technologies to help bring them to market, and to ensure our customers have access to the best technology available,” said Stephen J Girsky, GM vice chairman.