"Services that capture and translate events into meaningful information will play an invaluable role in this market"
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
The deadline to apply for Telefónica's tech accelerator programme, Wayra, comes to an end this week. The programme, which aims to help the development of innovative projects, has made special emphasis in M2M and Big Data projects. We have spoken with Hugo de Los Santos, Head of Wayra Global Business, to find out more about this year's edition.
What is Wayra's goal for this new global Call?
As always, in Wayra we are open to any kind of proposal in the fields of technological innovation. During these years we have received more than 17,000 ideas from very different technologies and solutions. However, we are also aware of new trends, investment opportunities and potential fit with projects in Telefónica pipeline. That’s the reason behind why for this Wayra Call we have decided to give priority to certain areas in which we believe there is special potential for growth. We will pay special attention during the preliminary assessments to new products or solutions in the field of Analytics (Big Data and M2M), mobile (applications for HTML5 ecosystem) or cloud solutions (virtualization or XaaS),
You have mentioned m2m technologies. What's your opinion about this market?
In Wayra we see M2M as a huge potential market with a size of $136 billion by 2018. M2M is really dynamic with fast changes and new scenarios emerging day by day. The market is not only looking for new data sources but also valuable data extracted from analytics and algorithms. That’s the reason we think the product and services that help capture and translate events into meaningful information will play an invaluable role in this market, and entrepreneurs, with their speed, innovation and leading-egde approach, have a huge potential.
Are Wayra academies involved in M2M related initiatives?
As I was saying, finding fit with Telefónica strategy and vision is important for us... In this context, different academies and entrepreneurs are working on projects to enable M2M technologies in their products, like GreenMomit (www.greenmomit.com) that just entered Wayra Madrid Academy last week with a smart thermostat solution, or Mirubee (www.mirubee.com), one of our alumni, that provides advanced algorithm for real time energy consumption analysis. They have found interesting ways to approach different business opportunities.
We expect more companies working on this field to find new ways to bring innovative solutions to markets with high demand of these technologies.
So what is the inspiration and vision for Wayra?
The inspiration for Wayra was the number of highly innovative technology start-ups coming out of Latin America and Europe but were being forced to look to countries like the US for financing and help developing their businesses. The vision is these entrepreneurs will not leave their countries and instead we can look to re-create mini-Silicon Valleys around the world. Keeping and harnessing innovation within Telefónica markets will help both in terms of stimulating economic growth and job creation. There’s also a strong business motivation behind Wayra for Telefónica. Wayra is a way in which we can identify great ideas in their very early stages in areas that are relevant to us, thereby bringing innovation into Telefónica.
What do the academies actually do and provide? How often do the businesses interact with the academy?
The Wayra Academies each represent a state-of-the-art workspace where the entrepreneurs can base themselves to start developing their business and also feed off other like minded entrepreneurs. We recognise that as we are capturing projects in their very early stages, access to great workspace is a luxury that many could not otherwise afford.