Open Future_Midlands, powered by Wayra UK at Serendip
Wayra UK, part of Telefónica Open Future_, has opened a regional call inviting digital start-ups to join Open Future_Midlands at the Serendip Smart City Incubator. This is a cross-industry call for any start-up developing innovative digital products, services and technologies that help shape the digital society in which we live. The programme aims to open up a wealth of opportunities for tech start-ups in the United Kingdom’s second city.
If successful, a select number of digital start-ups will gain access to a 2,500 sq ft co-working space and pre-acceleration services such as connectivity services, mentoring, access to Wayra UK’s network and knowhow, training in entrepreneurship and business skills. To complement Serendip®, start-ups will also be able to leverage a state-of-the-art event and meet-up space on the ground floor for up to 500 people.
In total, two cohorts of 10 start-ups will enjoy six months of acceleration each, with the first programme beginning in January 2017. Applications open from 19th September and close on the 17th October. If successful, applicants will need to be available for the semi-finals on Thursday 27th October, with the final being held on Thursday 17th November. Wayra UK will hold an official launch event at Innovation Birmingham Campus on Wednesday 12th October.
Please note: Only start-ups that enter into one of our acceleration programmes receive financial investments. The best start-ups from our pre-acceleration programmes will be asked to join the full acceleration programme and receive a financial investment after such point.
Why have Telefónica Open Future_ opened Open Future_Midlands at Serendip?
The launch of Open Future_Midlands follows that of Wayra North in Greater Manchester and forms part of a wider strategy – led by Telefónica Open Future_ – to work alongside local and regional partners to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ecosystems, energise local economies and democratise entrepreneurship. Wayra UK aims to achieve this by identifying, developing and promoting the breadth of talent and technological entrepreneurship that exists throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.
Wayra UK is part of Telefónica Open Future_, the open programme that integrates the different initiatives of the whole Telefónica Group related to entrepreneurship and innovation.
Wayra UK gives direct funding, acceleration and pre-acceleration services (such as co-working space, connectivity services, mentoring, access to Wayra UK’s network and knowhow, training in entrepreneurship and business skills) to selected start-ups. Since its launch in 2012, Wayra UK start-ups have raised close to $100M in third-party investment.
Wayra UK has partnered with some of the world’s leading organisations to offer a number of verticals that help generate growth, create positive societal impact and fuel innovation across a number of industries. These include Velocity Health with Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD), a global healthcare company transforming healthcare, and ASOS – one of the world’s leading fashion destinations for 20-somethings – which is developing technology that can make the ASOS experience even better for its 11 million customers around the world.
Wayra UK are also working alongside local and regional partners to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ecosystems, energise local economies and democratise entrepreneurship. Start-ups in the Greater Manchester area have the opportunity of joining Wayra North, a new digital enterprise hub and pre-acceleration programme supported by Hack Oldham and the Oldham Council. In Birmingham, start-ups have access to a 2,500 square foot space within Wayra Midlands at the Serendip® Smart City Incubator.
About Telefónica Open Future_
Telefónica Open Future_ is Telefónica’s global commitment to develop the talent and entrepreneurship, and since 2014 it coordinate all the groups of Telefónica’s open innovation initiatives, projects and activities (Think Big, Talentum, crowdworking spaces, Wayra, Telefónica Ventures, Amerigo and CIP’s open innovation factory fund).
Telefónica Open Future_ empowers, and invests in, technology-based people, projects and companies, in any stage of the lifecycle, in open fashion and in connection with private and public organisations. With an investment portfolio of more than 600 startups and offices in 17 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia, Telefónica OpenFuture_ helps turn innovative ideas into successful businesses.