MWC 2018: Go Ignite invigorates programme with innovation and start-ups


Following the success of its previous global calls for start-ups, Go Ignite, an alliance of four leading telcos, has launched its third global call at the Four Years From Now (4YFN) technology and start-up event at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona.

Go Ignite comprises hub:raum, Orange Fab, Singtel Innov8 and Telefonica Open Future_, the open innovation arms of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel, and Telefonica.

The Go Ignite Third Global Call is seeking growth stage start-ups that have market-ready solutions in six areas: Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber security, 5G, big data analytics, customer experience enhancement and Internet of Things.

“We are very pleased that the Go Ignite call for start-ups is gaining global traction. This year’s global call focuses on key areas which accelerate the digital transformation of the economy and will change every facet of our lives,” said Edgar Hardless, Chief Executive Officer, Singtel Innov8. “Together with our alliance partners, we look forward to helping qualified growth stage start-ups refine and bring their innovations quicker to our respective markets.”

Starting this year, the Go Ignite alliance has lifted the requirement for ideas to be submitted by a certain date, making it much easier for global start-ups to submit their ideas year-round. The winning start-ups will enjoy a wide range of benefits including mentoring expertise, contacts, office space, event support and access to a combined market of more than 1.2 billion customers across Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia.

Axel Menneking, Head of hub:raum said, “With the new format of the Go Ignite Global Call we extend the opportunity for interested start-ups to approach the four telcos continuously. Together with them we can create new business opportunities and help them to access our respective markets.”

Through exclusive meetings, the winners will be also be given the opportunity to form business partnerships with the four telcos. They will also be introduced to the telcos’ key decision makers and’ venture capital teams where successful start-ups will receive funding to grow their business.

Bertrand Rojat, Orange Fab Managing Director, Orange said, “Co-innovation between telecom operators on strategic and disruptive fields is of great importance to Orange. Go Ignite is a unique opportunity to energise these joint initiatives in support of our business units’ key priorities and to attract international start-ups to help us accelerate our development plans.”

Miguel Arias, former entrepreneur and recently appointed Managing Director of Telefonica Open Future said, “Go Ignite is just another shop window to Telefónica’s open innovation approach, bringing down old boundaries and widening our reach and those of our partners. The business units of the alliance members face similar challenges, for us it really makes sense to join forces and find solutions together. On the other side, for a start-up, gaining access to the business of four leading telcos is a very powerful value proposition. It is the first Go Ignite call for me and I am eager to meeting the winning projects, hopefully as promising as in previous editions.”

The five winners of the last year’s edition – Sparkcognition and NanoLock Security for IoT Cyber Security; Cujo and Vayyar Imaging for Connected Homes and SafeToNet for Consumer Experience AI – attended a two-day workshop in Telefonica’s headquarters in Madrid where they met the key internal stakeholders of each of the four telcos. The meetings with experts in telco innovation, technologies and investments practices helped them to refine their solutions and sharpen their strategies to better align their innovations with market requirements.