It helps to have friends in high places. Go Ignite, an alliance that is comprised of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel and Telefónica, announced the winners of a global contest for startups on Monday.
In its second competition for startups, Go Ignite was looking for market-ready implementations across the consumer experience AI, connected homes and IoT cybersecurity sectors. This year's winners and their respective categories were: Sparkcognition and NanoLock Security, IoT cybersecurity; Cujo and Vayyar Imaging, Connected Homes; and SafeToNet for consumer experience AI.
The winners will be able to jumpstart their businesses by being able to form business partnerships with the four telcos, as well as being able to tap into the alliance partners' customer base of more than 1.2 billion mobile phone subscribers across five continents.
"Also in this second edition we received numerous applications from strong teams," said Axel Menneking, managing director of Deutsche Telekom’s hub:raum, in a prepared statement. "The five winners were able to convince us with their ideas on artificial intelligence and security issues. The topics range from helping to protect children from bullying, protect critical infrastructure and secure management platforms. I'm sure these teams will be doing good pilots with us and the other three telecom companies."
In order to improve their chances in those pilots, the winners are attending a two-day workshop that started Monday in Madrid, Spain to help them improve their solutions and sharpen their business strategies. In addition, each start-up is in line to receive additional support, such as access to mentoring and expertise, co-working space and invitations to community events and networking opportunities.
"For us and our partners we have a firm belief that working collectively and in an open manner with the startup community is critical to accelerate our innovation in these three key areas," said Bertrand Rojat, deputy director of Orange's Technocentre, in the press release. "These are exciting times and we are delighted to be working with these 'scale-ups' to jointly deliver something truly remarkable to our customers."
Go Ignite focuses on startup ecosystems across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The alliance also helps startups make pitches to venture capital firms so they can secure the funding needed to grow their respective businesses.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation