Telefónica starts Wayra Academy funding round for start-ups
Successful projects will receive help to grow their business, with technical and commercial support
By Antony Savvas | Computerworld UK | Published: 12:34, 13 December 2012
Telefónica’s global start-up accelerator has announced the opening of a new call for applications for its London Academy.
And from this week technology entrepreneurs worldwide can submit their projects through Telefónica’s Wayra start-up inititiative, as part of a global call for applications.
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.
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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: “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 have received "significant funding", said Telefónica, and most are actively pursuing further funding rounds.
Most of the businesses have also begun discussions around commercial partnerships with O2, the mobile network brand owned by Telefónica, and other Telefónica businesses like Telefónica Digital.
Wayra London start-up Cloud 66 recently got the chance to pitch its ideas to leading US venture capitalists in Miami, in an event organised by Telefónica.