Press release wayra telefonica 13.04.2012


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Wayra was launched in the UK last month by Telefonica, parent company of O2. Aimed at early stage tech start-ups and open to entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds, the programme hopes to find and nurture the best technology ideas and talent in the country.
Up until the 22nd April, tech entrepreneurs can submit their projects with view to securing investment of up to €50,000 plus mentoring, access to technology and use of the state of the art Wayra Academy in London - which officially opens in May. (Telefónica will take a 10% stake in return for the investment, which gives them right of first refusal on products but not exclusivity). The opportunity is really fantastic, offering much needed funding to innovative and original tech start-ups that need the boost to take them to the next stage of their development. This press release shows more information on Wayra, .

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Press release wayra telefonica 13.04.2012

  1. 1. PRESS RELEASEMarch 2012   TELEFONICA CALLS ON BUDDING TECH ENTREPRENURS Telefónica’s Wayra initiative arrives in the UK offering entrepreneurs financing, technology and a cutting edge workspace O2 parent Telefónica this month announced the UK launch of its technology accelerator programme, Wayra. Budding technology entrepreneurs and fledgling start-ups can submit their projects at with the best each receiving investments of up to €50,000 and access to a new state-of-the-art workspace in London’s Tottenham Court Road. Wayra is aimed at early stage technology start-ups and is open to entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds*. In addition to financing, up to 20 projects selected during a Wayra Week in May will also receive mentoring, access to technology expertise within Telefónica and O2 and use of a new special Wayra Academy in London which will officially open in May, providing access for the entrepreneurs to a network of Academies across Europe and Latin America. Entrepreneurs have until April 22 to submit their ideas or projects by completing a form at Experts within Wayra, Telefónica and O2 will evaluate each submission and choose a shortlist who will be invited to take part in the Wayra Week. During Wayra Week the shortlisted entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their ideas to an independent panel comprising representatives of Wayra, Telefónica/O2 and independent VCs and technology experts. Up to 20 of the best projects will be invited to move into the new London Wayra Academy and will each receive an investment of up to €50,000 in exchange for an approximate 10% stake in their business. “With so many promising start-ups and great ideas emerging in the UK, Wayra is the perfect vehicle for tech entrepreneurs to take their ideas to the next level.” said Simon Devonshire, Director of Wayra in Europe. “London is a global centre of innovation and through Wayra we hope to find the Facebooks and Zyngas of the future. We believe Wayra is unique in not only providing entrepreneurs with access to a ready-made network of like-minded people across Europe and Latin America, but also in acting as a gateway to Telefónica’s 300 million customers worldwide.” Successful projects initially spend six months in the Wayra Academy, receiving help to accelerate their business and technical support to further develop their ideas. At the end of the six months, projects are either introduced to a growing network of venture capitalists for next stage funding, or they may stay another six months in the Academy. In exchange for initial financing Telefonica receives the right of first refusal on products but it does not require the entrepreneurs to give it exclusivity. The London Wayra Academy will be a cutting edge workspace located just off Tottenham Court Road, providing the ideal space for entrepreneurs to network with each other and grow their businesses. Wayra, which means ‘wind’ in Quechua, a language of the central Andes, is part of Telefónica’s new Digital unit and is set to become the world’s largest technology accelerator programme. Launched last year in Latin America and Spain, Wayra was created to find and nurture the best technology ideas and talent, aiming to become an
  2. 2. accelerator for the development of future ‘Silicon Valleys’ in the countries whereTelefónica is present.The UK becomes the ninth country in which Wayra is present and the London hub will bethe tenth Academy. Launched by Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, former Telefónica LatinAmerica CEO and now CEO of Telefonica Europe, in April 2011 in response to the lack ofavailable support for the growing number of innovative start ups in Latin America, Wayrahas to date received over 6000 submissions and provided financing to 80 start ups. Wayrais a crucial element of Telefónica Digital’s strategy of identifying and working with the mostinnovative companies from start-up through to global multinational.“Launching in Europe is a natural move for Wayra. We have proven that the model worksand we now want to create a global Entrepreneurship Network, with Europe being afundamental part of this network,” said Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Global Director for Wayra. “Ifyou are selected to be in the London Academy you are entering much more than that; youare becoming part of the Wayra global network, which can open doors and markets inLatin America for your start-up”. [ends]Notes to Editors*Entrepreneurs must be aged 18 or overThe Wayra Selection Process Start ups can submit their projects to Wayra from today at uk-call-2012. The deadline for submissions is 22nd April. In particular, Wayra is looking for ideas and projects in the fields of Cloud services, financial services, future communications, user modelling, M2M, security, e-health, mobile applications & games, network/systems, consumer internet services, e- commerce, location-based services, social innovation…or in any other digital field associated with the web environment or mobile software. The projects will be filtered and evaluated to ensure they meet Wayra’s criteria (see website for full details) and a shortlist will be selected An internal group of experts across Telefonica will meet and narrow down the shortlist (to between 30-40) who will then be invited to attend the Wayra Week. They will be notified in early May. The London Wayra Week is scheduled to take place in late-May where the projects will pitch their ideas with up to 20 of the best being invited to join the Academy.About WayraWayra is a Telefónica Digital initiative whose main aim is to promote innovation andidentify talent in Latin America and Europe in the fields of Internet and new informationand communication technologies (ICT). Its global project acceleration model helpsentrepreneurs develop, providing them with technological tools, qualified mentors, acutting edge working space of the financing required to accelerate their growth.Currently present in eight countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico,Peru and Venezuela), Wayra’s nine calls for projects have received more than sixthousand new digital business proposals, making it the world’s leading platform foridentifying technological talent in the ICT world. Its academies in Bogotá, Mexico City,Buenos Aires, Lima, Madrid, Barcelona, Caracas, and soon to be opened in Sao Pauloand Santiago de Chile and other cities of the world, currently host 80 acceleration start-ups.For further information on Wayra, please contact:Liam.Bell@Bluerubicon.comAbout Telefónica Digital
  3. 3. Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize theopportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica throughresearch & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such ascloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. Telefónica Digital will deliverthese innovative products and services to Telefónica’s 300 million customers as well asleveraging the power of the internet to enter new markets. It is headquartered in Londonwith regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paolo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Jajah, Terra, Tuenti,giffgaff and 48 are all part of the Telefónica Digital group of companies.