Wayra confirms judges for September competition
Accelerator announces record number of entries
TechTrade | 23 Aug 2012 :
Telefónica's global accelerator programme for digital start-ups Wayra today announced the members of its independent judging panel who will now decide which projects ultimately receive funding. From the initial 335 entries, a shortlist of 20 projects has been decided and they will pitch their projects to the judges during Wayra Week, which will be held in Dublin from 4-6 September.
Wayra also revealed it had received 335 project applications, the highest number per capita entered to date by any of its 12 academies around the world.
The judging panel consists of Rick Kelley (director of EMEA Sales, Facebook); Orla Rimmington (operations director, Kernel Capital); Paul Rellis (managing director, Microsoft Ireland); Pat Phelan (founder, Cubic Telecom); Conor Stanley (partner, Bloom Equity), Marcelo Ballona (entrepreneur and investor); Barry O'Neill (chairman and CEO, StoryToys and chairman of Games Ireland); and Eugene Mitchell (marketing and innovation director, Telefónica Ireland).
Up to 10 projects will be selected to receive an investment of up to €50,000 and access to the Wayra Academy workspace in O2's headquarters in Dublin.
Successful projects will spend at least six months at the Academy, receiving advice, technical assistance and commercial support to accelerate their business.
Wayra academy director Karl Aherne said: "Wayra is able to fast track these start-ups and give them access to Telefónica's global market. The record number of 335 submissions shows the level of innovation and entrepreneurship that exists in Ireland. This is going to drive employment and growth."
Pictured: Rick Kelley, Facebook; Karl Aherne, Wayra; Orla Rimmington, Kernel Capital