Boris meets the boffins - London Mayor opens Wayra UK Academy

Today marked another celebration at Wayra’s UK academy in London, which was officially opened by London Mayor Boris Johnson. The Mayor, who was joined by senior staff from O2 and Telefónica, was introduced to the first 16 entrepreneurial projects, who were chosen from a shortlist of 31 finalists to secure a place at the academy.

The project teams – which include Epicurely, a new social network for food lovers, and Pollarize.me, a polling application that people can use to survey their friends – will receive financial support, access to cutting-edge technology and workspaces, and expert mentoring from Wayra UK. Uniquely, it’ll also offer global reach and a potential market of over 300 million Telefónica customers across the world.

A blessing from Boris

During his visit, Boris congratulated each of the talented digital entrepreneurs at the academy and expressed his excitement at their potential, as well as that of other startups that will be part of Wayra in the future. He went on to stress the positive role that accelerators like Wayra can play in developing Britain’s digital economy and fuelling the UK’s economic growth and recovery.

Today’s Wayra UK opening is the latest of O2 parent company Telefónica’s events which demonstrate its commitment to nurturing growth and innovation in Europe. It’s the 10th Wayra Academy to open, which has already been followed up by the announcement of plans for new academies in Dublin and Munich. Next month will also see the opening of Telefónica Digital’s global Headquarters in London and, in August 2012, the business will bring together 10,000 of Europe’s most talented tech minds in Berlin for the world’s largest tech fest, Campus Party Europe.

For more information, take a look at the Wayra Website, or follow @WayraUK on Twitter.