The first six winners of TradeDoubler’s affiliate marketing business incubator scheme have been announced, with each startup securing business resources, rent-free office space and mentoring for a year.

Launched in December, the ‘Zoo Project’ will eventually pick 20 affiliate startups to benefit from more than £1m worth of business resources and advice at TradeDoubler’s headquarters in Victoria, London.

The first six winners are: 

  • Stylenest – a luxury online magazine for ‘yummy mummies’.
  • Boomah - a cash rewards site which allows members to donate money to their favourite club, charity or cause as they shop.
  • As Seen on the TV – a site that links consumers with products they have seen on television.
  • PicYeah – which is developing a sponsored photo platform to enable consumers to collect rewards via sponsored photo frames.
  • Hot Drops – a brand new online personalised content platform that delivers relevant content to 18-34 year olds on a daily basis, based around their interests and lifestyle.
  • AWESEM - an online marketing company, specialising in optimising sites so that they can be better detected by search engines and creating WordPress themes and plugins for bloggers and websites.

Affiliate marketing is proving to be a lucrative business model according to the Econsultancy Affiliate Census 2011.

More than half of affiliates (57%) surveyed said that affiliate commissions had increased in the last year, with a fifth of those affiliates (19%) earning higher commissions reporting more than 100% growth in income over that period.

The six Zoo Project winners were chosen after a month-long pitch process – the panel of judges included Tesco marketing manager for online advertising Tim Jessop and TradeDoubler market unit leader for the North West Rob Wilson.

TradeDoubler project manager Marie Dalton said around 60 startups entered the competition with the winners coming top after being judged on five separate criteria.

Really it’s about opening up our doors and making use of our network. The winners will get access to a mentor from TradeDoubler and will get regular advice from a member of the judging panel.

The next round of winners will be selected in May.