Telefónica Open Future launches an acceleration program for startups that marks a "before and after"

MADRID, 5 Jun.

Telefónica Open Future launches an acceleration program for startups that marks a "before and after"


The global manager of Telefónica Open Future, Inês Oliveira, has assured that the Startup Acceleration Program that the company has just launched represents a "before and after" for the participating companies, some of which could get financial support from Wayra , the investment arm of Telefónica.

"The objective is to find the best companies to be able to support them and for there to be a before and after for this program," Oliveira highlighted in an interview with Europa Press, in which he highlighted the program promoted by the School of Industrial Organization (EOI), together with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism promoted by the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

The initiative, aimed at more than 800 startups and SMEs less than five years old, that are developing an innovative business, offers four months of training at the hands of Telefónica mentors, contact with investors, as well as the possibility of having Wayra's investment support in the future.

The program, which is divided into geographical areas -Madrid, Catalonia and Andalusia- and two mobility and telecommunications verticals, includes fifty hours of online workshops, forty hours of personalized online individual mentoring, events, office space and employment support, among other initiatives.

"The challenge is to create a unique program for the more than 800 startups," said Oliveira, who has focused on personalization, since the objective is to support the entrepreneur, detect their problem, and carry out a personalized plan. "We are not a school", highlighted Oliveira, who has insisted that Telefónica Open Future adapts "to each profile".

The selection process is "very simple", assured the head of Telefónica Open Future, who explained that once a web form has been filled out, a Telefónica team contacts the aspiring startup to help them formalize the registration on the platform of the EOI.

"The idea is that it be a very democratic program and that we support all the companies that need it", remarked Oliveira, who explained that if the requirements are met, support will be given to all the companies that request it.

From the experience of Telefónica, which has worked for years with startups in the area of ​​open innovation, "there is clearly a before and after" in companies that go through this type of program.

To carry out this transformation, Telefónica carries out a diagnosis, detects the friction points of each company, identifies the different lines of work and draws up an acceleration plan.

The needs of the participating companies depend a lot on their state of maturity, but many of them are in a phase in which they need to consolidate themselves as financially sustainable companies, which implies "a team structure and financial stability".

"We help a lot to define the financial needs to be able to establish a long-term plan so that they can carry out their venture," said Oliveira, who also highlighted all the work related to the product, team, monetization and financing.

Wayra, Telefónica's investment arm, also plays an important role because although it will not reach all companies, it will be able to invest in some of them. "If the project is liked through Telefónica Open Future, we will analyze it and it will be within the 'funnel' (funnel) for possible investment," said Oliveira, who has assured that there will be no initial limits regarding the number of investments.