Global operator alliance announces latest startup programme

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Go Ignite, an alliance of four leading global telecoms firms, has launched its second startup development programme at the Four Years From Now (4YFN) technology and startup event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Launched in September 2015 by comprises hub:raum, Orange Fab, Singtel Innov8 and Telefonica Open Future, the open innovation arms of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel and Telefonica, Go Ignite aims to link startup ecosystems across the world and assist small businesses in launching outside their home markets.

For the second time, it is seeking growth stage startups that have market-ready solutions in Consumer Experience Artificial Intelligence (AI), Connected Homes or Internet-of-Things (IoT) Security, with five winners to be provided with mentoring, contacts, office space, event support and access to a combined market of more than 1.2 billion customers.

The alliance members will provide winning startups with a two-day training session with experts in telecoms innovation, technologies and investments practices, to help them refine their solutions and sharpen their strategies. Startups will also be given the opportunity to form business partnerships with the four telecoms. Applications are open until April 30.

“In the telco industry this programme creates an unmatched win-win-situation. The participating teams can gain exclusive knowledge and fast access to new markets and we get insights into innovative solutions and can create new business opportunities,” said Axel Menneking, head of hub:raum.

Edgar Hardless, chief executive officer (CEO) of Singtel Innov8, said the Go Ignite alliance has been working with the winners of the first global call to deploy their solutions across various regions.

“Building on this momentum, we are excited to launch the second global call to engage more start-ups and accelerate the commercialisation of selected solutions. Together with the four telcos’ collective resources and large customer base, we have also enhanced the benefits for selected winners of the Go Ignite Second Global Call to help them bring their innovations quicker to the market,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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