Vodafone launches start-up incubator
Vodafone has become the latest, and arguably largest, company to launch a start-up accelerator, opening its doors to 24 early-stage ventures in Silicon Valley.
The mobile phone giant says that Vodafone Xone, based in Redwood City, will provide a test lab for tech start-ups to trial their products on the Vodafone network prior to launch.
The centre will also act as an incubator, with Vodafone staff offering the businesses help on areas such as consumer electronics, payment mechanisms and data analysis.
On top of this assistance, start-ups may also receive funding, with Vodafone saying that it will “assess options for strategic investments” via its funding arm, Vodafone Ventures.
Vodafone’s offer of help to “fast track” new technology is open to entrepreneurs in new businesses, universities and venture capital portfolios.
Siavash Alamouti, director of Vodafone group research and development says: “Vodafone Xone offers Silicon Valley start-ups access to more than a third of a billion customers in more than 30 countries around the world.”
“We’re excited about this opportunity to share our scale and global expertise with the brightest and best the Valley has to offer.”
Some of the world’s largest web and mobile brands have ramped up their start-up activity this year, with Google and Facebook both ploughing increased funding into their efforts to unearth profitable acquisitions.
In Australia, the major players have been more reluctant to back early-stage companies, but the trend for collaborative working and incubators has taken hold, with new hubs recently launching at the York Butter Factory in Melbourne and Fishburners in Sydney.