Final 10 start-ups selected for first €500k Wayra Academy programme

6 Sep 2012

The 10 companies selected from a shortlist of 20 to attend Telefónica’s Dublin Wayra Academy have been revealed. The 10 companies will receive convertible note deals worth €50,000 each and will receive incubation space and six months of accelerator support.

The 10 companies are: Beats Medical, BragBet, Glass Robot Studio, OptiWifi, Paymins, Popdeem, SuperQuest, Thoughtbox, Whittl and

The 10 winners emerged from more than 335 applications and two days of pitches and training.

The judging panel consisted of Rick Kelley (director of EMEA Sales – Facebook); Orla Rimmington (operations director – Kernel Capital); Paul Rellis (managing director – Microsoft Ireland); Pat Phelan (founder – Cubic Telecom); Conor Stanley (partner – Bloom Equity), Marcelo Ballona (US-based entrepreneur and investor); Barry O’Neill (chairman and CEO of StoryToys, chairman of Games Ireland); and Eugene Mitchell (marketing and innovation director – Telefónica Ireland).

Aimed at early stage technology start-ups in particular, Wayra is a global initiative by O2 parent company Telefónica focused on seeking ideas and projects in the fields of cloud services, financial services, future communications, user modelling, M2M, security, e-health, e-learning, mobile applications and games, network/systems, consumer internet services, e-commerce, location-based services, social innovation or in any other digital field associated with mobile software or the web environment.

The 10 start-ups will gain access to other entrepreneurs and commercial opportunities, including access to a 320m strong consumer market.

Throughout their six-month tenure at Wayra Dublin, the start-ups will be introduced to a network of local and global investors culminating in a demo day where they will present their businesses to the investment community.

“We have selected some great businesses with global potential,” Wayra Academy Dublin director Karl Aherne said.

“Wayra will now work to fast track these start-ups and give them access to Telefónica’s global market, and we are looking forward to the projects moving into the academy and working here over the months ahead,” Aherne added.

The 10 companies:

wayra winners

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years