Network supplier Cisco, German telco Deutsche Telekom and chipmaker Intel have teamed up at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to launch a joint internet of things (IoT) startup accelerator.
Dubbed Challenge Up!, the programme is pitched at startups from across Europe and aims to help IoT developers bring products and systems to market faster through a mix of joint project work, mentoring, networking opportunities and corporate assets.
The trio hinted that particularly intriguing ideas might also receive strategic investment and support in commercialising their products.
The incubator will combine know-how and resources from independent startup schemes the three suppliers already run. These are Cisco’s Entrepreneurs in Residence, Intel’s Business Challenge Europe and Deutsche Telekom’s hub:raum.
The scheme will cover early-stage startups innovating around connected and smart home and city systems, energy, connected vehicles, wearables, information security, big data, analytics, connectivity and cloud.
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Cisco data and analytics vice-president Mike Flannagan said that with 50 billion things expected to be connected to the internet in the next five years, vast numbers of opportunities would open up.
“To help better address these opportunities, Challenge Up! brings together the best of the technology world in an ecosystem of open innovation,” he said.
Intel corporate vice-president and general manager for Europe Christian Morales added that by giving startups access to the resources of three global suppliers, they would see more rapid success.
The programme will see a number of events hosted by all three firms in June 2015, as well as a tailor-made, four-month incubation programme, which will run from July to October 2015 in Berlin, Krakow and Vienna.
Startups, which have until 25 May 2015 to apply online, will be able to participate in the scheme for free and will retain their intellectual property.