TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singtel on the lookout for startups, kicks off 4YFN tech competition

Winners to get access to a combined market of 1.2b customers.

Go Ignite, an alliance of four leading telecommunication companies, has launched the second edition of its Four Years From Now (4YFN) technology and start-up competition at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Founded in December 2015, Go Ignite is comprised of hub:rau, Orange Fab, Singtel Innov8, and Telefonica Open Future, the open innovation arms of Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Singtel, and Telefonica.

The Go Ignite Second Global Call builds on the success of the inaugural competition last year and aims to provide top start-ups with various business development opportunities.

Go Ignite is seeking growth stage start-ups that have market-ready solutions in Consumer Experience Artificial Intelligence (AI), Connected Homes, or Internet-of-Things (IoT) security. Consumer Experience AI refers to the use of new technology for personalised customer support or new forms of customer interaction. Connected Homes are solutions that enhance smart living and connectivity through hardware and software, while IoT Security uses technology to enhance safety in vehicles, industries, smart homes, and smart cities.

Five winners will be selected and given training from experts in telco innovation, technologies, and investment practices. They will be provided office space and event support, and will be introduced to leaders in the telco industry as well as venture capital teams.

Winners will also have the opportunity to partner with the members of Go Ignite, whose combined market of more than 1.2 billion spans Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

“We are excited to engage more start-ups and accelerate the commercialization of selected solutions,” said Singtel Innov8 chief executive officer Edgar Hardless, adding that this year’s winner benefits have been enhanced so they could more easily bring their solutions to the market.

Ana Segurado, Global Managing Director of Telefonica Open Future, said the competition aims to foster the development of disruptive technologies. “At the heart of today’s innovation in tech is the need to shift our paradigms—from a closed environment to an open environment where ambitious goals can be met,” she added.

The application window is open from 1 March 2017 to 30 April 2017. 

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