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Wayra opens global call for the best digital start-ups

13 December 2012

Wayra
  • Local entrepreneurs have until 21 January to submit their ideas
  • For the first time, entrepreneurs from all over the world can apply for a place in ten Academies from London to São Paulo, including the new Prague Academy in Czech Republic
  • This global call was announced during the first Wayra “Global demoDay” in Miami, where 17 start-ups from 11 countries pitched their projects to key representatives of the international investor community

Wayra, Telefónica’s global start-up accelerator, today announced the opening of a new call for applications for its London Academy.

From today, worldwide budding technology entrepreneurs can submit their projects at http://www.wayra.org/joinus with the best ideas each receiving a significant boost to their business through investment and access to Wayra’s state-of-the-art workspace and global network.

For the first time, Wayra is holding a global call for applications with each Academy that has places available participating. This means that entrepreneurs can apply to their local Academy or another participating Academy in Europe or Latin America (subject to visa requirements)*.

Wayra Academies in Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Dublin, London, Madrid, Munich, Prague, Santiago and Sao Paulo are now open for applications with the new Prague Academy acting as a hub to attract digital talent from across Eastern Europe.

Successful projects will receive help to grow their business, with technical and commercial support to further develop their ideas. The projects will also get access to other entrepreneurs across the network of Wayra Academies in Europe and Latin America. In exchange for initial financing Telefónica takes a minority stake in their companies, through a convertible note funding option.

Ashley Stockwell, Acting Academy Director of Wayra UK said, “if you have a great idea and your dream has always been to start your own business then make it your new year resolution to apply to Wayra. The support we can provide is significant, not only in terms of mentoring and a place to work, but most importantly through the opportunity to work alongside other like minded entrepreneurs.”

Since joining Wayra London in June 2012, five of the 19 start-up businesses in the first cohort have received significant funding and most are actively pursuing further funding rounds. Most of the businesses have also begun discussions around commercial partnerships with O2 and Telefónica, including Telefónica Digital.

Holding a global call for applications marks a new approach from Wayra to reflect the pace and speed with which start-ups and entrepreneurs emerge by giving greater agility and flexibility to the Academies. Wayra will adopt this global approach for all future calls, simultaneously offering places at any of its Academies that have vacancies.

This first global call was announced at the “Wayra Global demoDay 2012” in Miami (USA) where Wayra London start-up, Cloud 66 got the chance of a lifetime to pitch their ideas to leading US venture capitalists.

-ends-

*Please refer to entry terms & conditions for relevant work permit and visa requirements in participating cities

ABOUT WAYRA

Wayra is an initiative of Telefónica whose main aim is to promote innovation and the detection of new talents in Latin America and Europe in the field of the Internet and the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). By means of its global project acceleration model, it supports entrepreneurs in their development, providing them with the technological tools, qualified mentors, a cutting-edge work space and the funding necessary to accelerate their growth.

With presence in 12 countries (Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom and Venezuela), Wayra has received over thirteen thousand proposals for new digital businesses, making it the largest technological talent spotting platform in the ICT world. Its Academies in Bogotá, Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Sao Paulo, Dublin and Munich are currently home to over one hundred and seventy start-ups going through the acceleration process.