DEMAND GENERATION NEWS: Telefonica to support UK tech entrepreneurs

Telefónica has launched a search for UK technology entrepreneurs to take part in its technology accelerator programme, Wayra.

The parent company of o2, is looking for ‘early-stage’ technology start-ups to submit their business plans and projects and will choose the best 20 to nurture over a six month period.

The chosen entrepreneurs will receive up to €50,000 as well as advice from Telefónica and external experts. The telecommunications company will take a 10 per cent share in each business and will begin the process again with new entrepreneurs after the six month nurture period.

Wayra launched in April 2011 in Latin America and Spain, after the UK roll-out, Telefónica is taking the initiative to Germany, Dublin and the Czech Republic.

The launch began with a PR launch at the initiatives new UK home, Shropshire House in London but Simon Devonshire, director Wayra Europe insisted it would mainly be using word of mouth and some social media to push the initiative.

Devonshire  said, “London is a global centre of innovation and through Wayra we hope to find the Facebooks and Zyngas of the future. We believe Wayra is unique in not only providing entrepreneurs with access to a ready-made network of like-minded people across Europe and Latin America, but also in acting as a gateway to Telefónica’s 300 million customers worldwide.”