- The final round of the Global Call attracted 128 applicant teams
- 10 start-up business will join the second cohort of Wayra CEE Academy at the end of April: 4 Czech, 3 Slovak, 2 Polish and 1 Bulgarian
- Continued cooperation with O2
Wayra CEE, one of 14 Academies of Telefonica’s global start-up accelerator, finalized the selection of the new cohort for 2014. The ten winning businesses will join the Prague Academy in the second half of April for the eight-month intensive acceleration program to be crowned with the Demo Day for investors. The new group will replace the first cohort of companies that left Wayra at the end of February. The selection committee of 12 judges (investors, business representatives, ICT specialists and Telefónica representatives) picked from 21 finalists from six CEE countries.
From e-health to smart cities
A total of 128 teams from all around the world applied in the Global Call, coming from the CEE region as well as Israel, Russia, Colombia or the USA. Their products and services cover a broad area ranging from e-health and wellness, education, real-estate, travel, communication, digital security, agriculture, shopping, advertising, smart cities, social innovation, social networks, recruitment, finance and others.
The committee evaluated projects according to pre-defined criteria: attractiveness for potential investors, size of the market and scalability of the project on the global market, strategic synergy with the Telefónica business, degree of seniority of the project, innovativeness, team, market risks and competition.
New blood from Czech, Slovakia, Poland and Bulgaria
The Wayra CEE Academy in Prague opened the Global Call for projects that took place between January 27 and February 23. Along with the Prague Academy, six other Wayra Academies participated in this call: Madrid, Barcelona, London, Caracas, Bogota and Buenos Aires.
The selection process was split into several rounds and executed in the cooperation with the Wayra Europe and Wayra Global teams as well as Telefónica S.A. global experts. In the final round for the Prague Academy that took place on April 2 and 3, a total of 21 finalists presented their projects. Out of the 10 winning teams, 4 come from the Czech Republic, 3 from Slovakia, 2 teas are Polish and 1 Bulgarian.
- AudioTrip, Poland: A global GPS-based mobile social application for sightseeing with audioguides, without roaming fees.
- DATY, Czech Republic: Using public databases and innovative big data analyzing tools, the DATY’s IT platform creates an ultimate B2B information feed for business clients about their customers and competitors.
- Ingen.io, Bulgaria: An API-based framework uncovering hidden and valuable information from unstructured text, targeted on business users.
- Lingout, Slovakia: A incredibly useful application for developers – a complex API tool handling the whole mobile application localization process from preparing the app, translating all texts to testing and handling localization errors.
- LiveDispatcher, Slovakia: A logistics application, enabling businesses to control their employees in the field efficiently, usable in multiple business areas.
- Smartsense, Czech Republic: A smart map-based and sensor-connected information system for property management. Knowing what, where and who, it delivers geographical property data in context, anywhere and at anytime.
- Staffino, Slovakia: A mobile and web application intended for improving shopping experience. Staffino aims to become the business standard for receiving appreciation, resolving disappointments and analyzing customer service performance.
- Telmedicin.com, Poland: An e-health platform, bringing a breakthrough in access to medical consultations by allowing patients to contact with specialist at any time and place using webcam.
- UpTAXI, Czech Republic: An innovative link between marketing and taxi services improving user experience and creating a new sales channel with personalized advertising in an innovative way.
Investment, offices, customers
The winning start-ups announced on Thursday evening in the Prague Wayra Academy will join the new acceleration program at the end of April. Besides office space in the center of Prague, the teams will receive an investment of up to €40,000 in cash, access to know-how through mentors and couches, and last but not least access to the 300 million Telefónica customers.
“Unlike other accelerators, Wayra offers the start-ups an opportunity to utilize its global network of academies, thus addressing investors and business partners on a platform much broader than other accelerators,” says Jarmila Placha, Wayra CEE director.
Part of global initiative
Wayra, nearly in its third year of operations, has consolidated its position as one of the largest accelerators in the world, having 14 academies and operating in twelve different countries in Latin America and Europe. Wayra CEE was opened in the summer of 2013 with the objective to build a center of innovative ICT projects for the whole Central and Eastern Europe region.
Across all the 14 Academies, Wayra currently has a portfolio of 318 companies grouped in 20 digital industries. The total investment for the time being is around 45 million euros: €12.6 million contributed by Telefónica plus another €32.3 million in follow-on financing. But this number grows constantly as new investors enter into our start-up businesses.
Continued cooperation with O2
“We are really happy that also Wayra CEE already contributed to the total amount of Wayra’s gained external investments – the biggest investment of €500,000 was attracted by one of our most successful start-ups from the first cohort Datamolino, but there is a number of smaller seed investment for other companies as well,” added Lenka Kucerova, Head of Acceleration program of Wayra CEE.
Managers of O2 Czech Republic also took part in the selection process. Although the Prague Wayra Academy is directly linked to the Wayra Global ecosystem with its headquarters in Madrid and no longer to the local O2 that was taken over by a new investor recently, both parties agreed on continued cooperation. Their common aim is to enable talented project teams develop and try out their innovative start-up ideas in real settings. Where interesting, Wayra CEE will exploit the knowledge and experience of experts among O2 employees who will continue in mentoring of the start-up teams in a similar way as the last year.