Wayra UnLtd opens call for applications

Wayra UnLtd, the Government and Telefónica-backed London Academy, which supports social enterprise start-ups, today announced its second call for applications. Up to nine digital social enterprises will be awarded seed funding of up to £40,000, offered space in the purpose-built Wayra UnLtd Academy in Central London and will gain access to Telefónica’s skills and expertise. Each business will also have the opportunity to access the mobile giant’s 300 million customer base across the world.

Traditional entrepreneurs along with social entrepreneurs who recognise the importance of business being more social are invited to apply from today until 23:59, 9th March 2014.

Applications can be submitted online by completing the online form at http://unltd.wayra.org. Experts from Wayra, Telefónica and UnLtd will review each submission, choosing a shortlist of applicants who will be invited to take part in the Wayra UnLtd Week between 9th – 11th April inclusive. The shortlisted social entrepreneurs will then be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel comprising of representatives from Wayra, Telefónica, UnLtd, independent VCs and technology experts. Successful start-ups will move into the state of the art office space in Central London on 12th May 2014.

The current Wayra UnLtd cohort has seen great success during their time as part of the acceleration programme. Third Space Learning is a business which aims to raise numeracy standards for primary school students with the greatest need. Using an online platform to leverage academic talent globally, one-to-one learning becomes more affordable and accessible for those students who need it most. Third Space Learning has been able to secure a further £175,000 of funding through the network and contacts associated to the Wayra UnLtd programme.

Similarly, Karisma Kidz, is an online platform that helps children to identify and manage their emotions through play. Wayra UnLtd’s link to Telefónica has paved the way for a trial launch of the platform on several thousand Kurio tablets in 10 O2 stores.

David de San Benito Torre, Head of Wayra UnLtd said: “We are thrilled to be announcing our second call for applications after a very busy and successful first year of Wayra UnLtd. We are looking for entrepreneurs with a sustainable business model based on technology and digital solutions that can have a positive impact in the community combining both business and social profitability. We are looking forward to seeing the variety of start-ups that will apply for a stint in the Wayra UnLtd Academy.”

Cliff Prior, CEO of UnLtd said: “We have been working closely with the businesses in cohort one with many choosing to apply for our own Big Venture Challenge, our programme through which we invest in social enterprises through a match-funding approach. Some start-ups, such as Third Space Learning, have already leveraged investment through UnLtd. Wayra UnLtd is a truly great place to accelerate social ideas and projects with solid business models.”

More details on the programme and how to apply can be found at http://unltd.wayra.org