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Alaian, Qualcomm seek out extended reality startups

Collaboration between telco alliance and leading mobile platform provider looks to offer emerging talents in extended reality the ability to accelerate their growth and promote the development of disruptive offerings

Alaian telco consortium has announced a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies to join synergies and make a global call for what they believe will be innovative startups in the field.

Created in April 2022, Alaian comprises an alliance of eight of the world’s leading telcos, namely Bouygues Telecom, Cellnex, KPN, MTN, NOS, STC, Telefónica and Wind Tre. At launch, the alliance’s stated ambition was to join forces to share best practices and different use cases on the latest technologies they are implementing, in their ambition to constantly innovate.

With Qualcomm Technologies, Alaian wants to push the innovation bar further, and the two parties wish to focus initially on identifying startups with “the most disruptive” offerings.

For this reason, they are looking for outfits with use cases in the metaverse, video games, edutainment, industry and manufacturing, logistics, retail, digital social experiences, connectivity, networking, devices, virtual platforms, as well as other applications or services.

Also considered will be connectivity tools and software to enhance the deployment of extended reality (XR) product and service use cases; XR mass entertainment in the home; and XR sustainability tools for large enterprises.

The startups selected by Alaian and Qualcomm Technologies will have access to the telcos’ available resources, such as knowledge of the markets in which they are located, their network of contacts, connectivity and infrastructure, potential capital investment from any of Alaian’s member investment vehicles, and as exposure to telcos’ global network of VCs, training for entrepreneurs, and access to business development initiatives.

Qualcomm Technologies will also offer a number of exclusive benefits, including access to the Snapdragon Spaces Developer Platform, which was recently updated to hasten a cross-device XR ecosystem, and development kits, which will enable the startups to create and optimise next-generation extended reality experiences.

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In addition, dedicated engineering support will be provided to help companies overcome technical challenges and maximise the potential of their projects, as well as priority access to the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder programme, designed to offer a network of resources and strategic opportunities to accelerate startup growth.

“This joint call offers an exceptional opportunity for startups that want to accelerate their growth and benefit from the backing of eight major companies in the telecommunications sector,” said Daniel Hernández, vice-president of devices and consumer internet of things at Telefónica. “We are excited to discover new talent and promote the development of disruptive solutions in the field of extended reality.”

Qualcomm Europe’s senior director of business development, Douglas Vaz Benitez, added: “We have XR research and development centres in Europe, and our main objective is to enable startups to succeed by creating immersive applications in a faster, easier and more profitable way. XR will become a central part of the world we’ll live in in the coming years, and Qualcomm’s XR Solutions, with special emphasis on Snapdragon Spaces, are available to anyone who wants to be part of this new technology transition. We are very excited for the opportunities we have ahead of us.”

Companies wanting to be involved in the project can gain more information and submit their projects through Alaian’s website.

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