Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel announced Challenge Up at Mobile World Congress this week, a joint Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator for startups from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The program aims at helping innovative IoT startups go-to-market faster through joint projects, mentoring, high-value networking and corporate assets. Selected companies may also receive strategic investment and support commercialising their product or service for global markets.
The program unites resources and experience from the startup initiatives of the individual companies, including Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR), Intel Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum powered by Deutsche Telekom. Interested startups can apply at www.challengeup.eu. The application period ends on May 25th.
“With Challenge Up! we are giving a great signal to the startup world, bringing together the resources and know-how of three corporations. We will use our combined experience for the benefit of the Challenge Up! program and the support of the startup community” – said Elias Drakopoulos, Senior Vice President responsible for Europe B2B at Deutsche Telekom.
Challenge Up! is designed for early-stage startups creating solutions for the Internet of Things/Everything (IoT/IoE) and related areas, including connected and smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy, connected cars, wearables, Industry 4.0), information security, big data, analytics, connectivity and cloud computing.
Key elements of the program are Acceleration Week (to be held June 22-26, 2015), which will be sponsored by Cisco EIR, Intel Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum, and a tailor-made, 4-month incubation program (July to October) taking place in Krakow, Berlin and Vienna supported by Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel. Startups selected for the program participate for free with no equity required and keep their own intellectual property.
“We are looking forward to the creative ideas for new products and services from across the region to improve how we live and work together. By giving startups access to the complimentary resources of our three global companies we can help them accelerate their ideas into commercial success,” said Christian Morales, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Intel.
“With an expected 50 billion things connected to the Internet by 2020, the Internet of Everything opens up great opportunities. To help better address these opportunities, Challenge Up! brings together the best of the technology world in an ecosystem of open innovation,” said Mike Flannagan, Vice President of Data & Analytics at Cisco.