Wayra Launches New Call to Find 50 New Digital ‘Start-Ups’
27 January 2014
- The company is accepting new business projects to accelerate at its Academies in Latin America and Europe up to 23 February.
- The academies in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Prague, Caracas, Bogotá and Buenos Aires plan to recruit 50 new companies in this call.
Wayra, Telefónica’s international start-up accelerator, today announced a new global call for projects in order to find 50 new business proposals in the fields of Internet and new technologies.
Entrepreneurs from all over the world can put forward their digital projects up to 23 February at http://www.wayra.org/joinus in order to win a place at one of the seven Academies participating in this call: Madrid, Barcelona, London, Prague, Caracas, Bogotá and Buenos Aires.
The common factor in the businesses that Wayra decides to accelerate is that they make the most of the advantages of Internet and new technologies to innovate. In this call, the focal point is products and solutions in the fields of “Internet of Things”, in particular connected sensors and devices applied to Smart Cities, Big Data and mobile technologies targeting new application developed using HTML5 and potentially embeddable as new mobile capabilities for the Firefox OS Initiative, although not exclusively.
After passing an exhaustive selection process, the best projects take part in the acceleration programme which provides them with financing, devoted mentors, a space for their team to work at the Wayra Academy and potential access to the Telefónica Group’s businesses. Entrepreneurs will also join Wayra’s investor, partner and expert network in different parts of the world.
Started up in April 2011 to support the growth of innovation and technological entrepreneurship, in just two years Wayra has consolidated its position as one of the largest accelerators in the world, operating in twelve different countries in Latin America and Europe. It has received over twenty thousand proposals through its calls for technological businesses and has financed over 315 new companies.
With the new search for talent starting today, Wayra expects to recruit more than 50 new companies for its centres in the UK, Spain, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina.
Wayra, nearly in its third year of operations, has a portfolio of 315 companies grouped in 20 digital industries. The total investment is around 43 million euros: 13 million contributed by Telefónica plus another 30 million in outside financing.
Zuzeen and Comenta TV, Two Recent Success Stories
A core aspect of the acceleration model is networking and forging relationships with investors and business partners. In line with this objective, Wayra recently announced the merger of Zuzeen, a start-up accelerated in Madrid, with the US company Rushmore. As part of the operation, the company has obtained 1.2 million dollars in a round of funding led by Kibo Ventures, one of the most active early stage funds in Spain and part of Amérigo, the network of tech funds promoted by Telefónica. Furthermore, on 8 January Wayra also announced the sale of Comenta.TV to the US company Wayin, founded by Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Comenta.TV was accelerated during 2013 at the Wayra Academy in Buenos Aires.
Wayra is a Telefónica initiative whose main aim is to promote innovation and identify talent in Latin America and Europe in the fields of Internet and new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Its global project acceleration model helps entrepreneurs develop, providing them with technological tools, qualified mentors, a cutting edge working space and the financing required to accelerate their growth.
Already present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, Perú, Czech Republic and Venezuela, Wayra’s calls for projects have received more than 20,000 applications from new digital businesses, making it one of the leading global platforms for identifying technological talent in the ICT world. Its academies in Bogotá, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Lima, Madrid, Barcelona, Caracas, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Munich, London, Dublin and Prague, currently host more than 315 startups.