The innovation arms of four leading operators – Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel and Telefonica – agreed on a mutual support network for one another’s start-ups.
The idea is eligible start-ups will grow faster by accessing operator resources outside their home markets.
Selected start-ups can access the resources of the four operators, which collectively have a geographic presence in Western and Eastern Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Recently launched firms can tap into operators’ market insights, introductions to partners, 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, which the announcement numbers at “over one billion people across four continents”. The announcement does not specify what are the criteria for firms being given this kind of network access.
The benefits are available to startups supported by hub:raum (Deutsche Telekom), Orange Fab (Orange Group), Telefónica Open Future (Telefonica) and Singtel Innov8 (Singtel). In addition, members of Innov8 Spark, a network of start-up support and funding initiatives across Southeast Asia, founded by members of the Singtel Group, are eligible. The mention of Innov8 Spark gives a clue as to the inspiration behind the just-announced initiative.
“More start-ups harbour aspirations to venture beyond their own markets and go global,” said Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8.
“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,” added Hardless.