New deal to help Cambridge start-ups

Cambridge, one of the UK’s most dynamic start-up scenes, has received a boost in its continued development with a new partnership forged between Cambridge Wireless and Wayra Open Future – Telefonica’s start-up accelerator – to strengthen ties between the Cambridge and London technology hubs. The move is set to boost the Cambridge corporate finance landscape and help drive more exits from this innovation hub.

The alliance is designed to scale wireless and mobile start-ups developing products and applications based on a broad range of technologies. The partnership will allow CW members to tap into Telefonica Open Future’s global entrepreneurship and innovation network, which has already invested over €300 million in 500 businesses across 17 countries.

Specialist teams identified as developing innovative wireless, mobile and IoT technologies will also have the opportunity to access Wayra Open Future’s investor network and acceleration services.

One of the key drivers of the partnership is to leverage the reach of Telefonica’s commercial brands. If applicable, businesses will get the opportunity to access a global customer base of more than 300 million throughout Europe and Latin America.

Wayra Open Future will also act as an additional channel to plug CW members into the UK’s start-up ecosystem. More than 100 Wayra Open Future start-ups will benefit from discounted CW membership, access to an extensive programme of technology events and conferences, along with the opportunity to collaborate with a global network of 400+ businesses.

The ultimate goal, agreed by both Wayra Open Future and Cambridge Wireless, is to strengthen the technology corridor between Cambridge and London.

CW is the latest organisation to partner with Wayra Open Future, following the launch of Velocity Health, the UK’s first digital start-up accelerator programme, which is backed by global healthcare company Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd.

Cambridge itself is ranked as one of the top three “technology innovation ecosystems” in the world, according to a recent international survey. The city has a strong mix of academia and corporate activity that is driving strong results in areas such as engineering and biotech. It has frequently been cited as the second city behind London in the UK for the growth of start-ups, and the two cities are becoming increasingly interlinked. Lower rents, access to world-class research labs, and a large student pool have ensured that Cambridge is catching up to London in its start-up potential. The city’s close proximity to the capital also means that potential investors and entrepreneurs need not travel far to reach London’s financial markets.

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