Feeds

Telefonica chooses stable of young ones to make it money in London

I pay the rent, baby, now bring me some sugar

The essential guide to IT transformation

Telefonica's desks-for-shareholding deal, Wayra, has picked the lucky sixteen startups who'll benefit from central London office space, logistics support and business development, in exchange for percentage holding in the resulting business.

In exchange for ten per cent of the company the selected sixteen get get an average investment of €50,000, along with the free accommodation for the next six months. Companies can pitch for an extension of another six months, after which they're out on their ear as the purpose of Wayra isn't to build the UK economy or inspire a new generation, but to make money for Telefonica.

The sweet sixteen were selected, Dragon's Den style, from ten-minute pitches made by 30 startups over the week. The final list includes the usual social timelines and Twitter-trawling applications, along with an app store for enterprises and our old friends Blue Butterfly who won the Isobar NFC competition back in March with a wi-fi-configuration-by-bonk app.

They'll have to move out of Norwich though, Wayra requires it's companies to move into the Tottenham-Court-Road site in order to cross-fertilise ideas.

Despite being profit driven Telefonica isn't averse to the hyperbole which normally accompanies such incubator efforts. The operation's Director explains: "The old economy, that is familiar to many of us, is disintegrating ... What makes Wayra, and this judging process, so fascinating is that it gives a tangible glimpse into what that new digital economy might look like."

So the new economy involves panels of celebrity judges making token awards of oligopoly cash to eager students, in exchange for first refusal on the product and a decent shareholding in the company - like VCs only more television-friendly.

But at least the profit motive should keep Wayra focused, startups which can't stand on their own feet within a year will have to make way for the next generation. Telefonica promises to help companies develop, providing contacts and opportunities as well as resources. We'll have to revisit in a year to see if that happens. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.