The start-up innovation arms of Singtel (Singtel Innov8), Orange (Orange Fab), Deutsche Telekom (hub:raum) and Telefónica (Telefónica Open Future) are converging to bridge the start-up ecosystems across Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
The partnership aims at catalysing the growth of eligible start-ups and launching them beyond their respective home markets. Selected start-ups will have the benefit of tapping into the resources and network of the four leading communications companies. This includes market insights, introductions to partners, the use of co-working spaces and access to the companies’ operating businesses. Selected start-ups may also have the opportunity to gain access to the operators’ collective mobile customer base of over one billion people across four continents.
Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to deepen our connections with leading innovation hubs around the world. More start-ups harbour aspirations to venture beyond their own markets and go global. Through Singtel Innov8’s deep connections in Southeast Asia, we can help open doors for African, European, Middle Eastern and Latin American start-ups to the region. Similarly, our portfolio companies can leverage this partnership to expand beyond their home markets.”
Nathalie Boulanger, Start-up Ecosystem Director, Orange said: “Having built up extensive experience of working hand-in-glove with start-ups across the world, Orange sees the formation of global partnerships such as this as the critical next step to ensure that digital innovators continue to flourish. With our collective and complementary footprints spanning four continents, we can provide start-ups with access to new markets, thereby enabling them to accelerate their growth further.”
Min-Kin Mak, VP, hub:raum, Deutsche Telekom said: “With the partnership between Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel and Telefónica, we see a huge opportunity to develop the bridges between the ecosystems in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America and to provide start-ups with critical market access, funding and expertise to become more successful with their international expansion.”
Ana Segurado, Managing Director of Telefónica Open Future said: “This agreement is a unique opportunity to reinforce our engagement to develop open and innovative initiatives to help telco operators enhance the digital experience of companies all over the world. With this alliance, Telefónica seeks to complement its open innovation strategy, being its latest key initiative since the launching of the Communication Investment Platform (CIP) 5 months ago. As a leader in the CIP, Telefónica Open Future is establishing itself as a front runner in forming ‘innovation factories’ to create new and disruptive technologies”.
The partnership benefits are available to start-ups supported by hub:raum, Orange Fab, Telefónica Open Future and Singtel Innov8, as well as all members of Innov8 Sparks – a network of start-up support and funding initiatives across Southeast Asia, founded by members of the Singtel Group.