Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, with a strong focus on promoting innovation wherever they operate.
Launched in 2014, Open Future is the strategic regional entrepreneurship program developed in alliance with public and private partners. The program is a network of accelerators with a global focus and local presence. Through this initiative, Telefónica supports local start-ups in their early stages of maturity, foster the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem outside the big cities and promote local action with a global point of view.
Together with its partners, Telefónica has created Open Future Hubs that offer start-ups a working and mentoring space where they can develop, grow, and access exclusive offers from commercial partners. Any company that does not yet have a minimum viable product or generate business is a potential candidate to enter this program.
Since the launch of Open Future, Telefónica has carried out more than 200 start-up calls and has accelerated more than 1,300 projects, which have generated around 4,000 jobs.
Open Future currently has 33 Hubs, in 3 countries in Europe and Latin America. In 2022, the program opened two new entrepreneurship spaces in Andalusia: Puerto de Huelva and Zona Franca de Cádiz; and one in Valencia: Open Top.
The goals of Open Future are:
- Decentralise and democratise entrepreneurship by creating an ecosystem outside the big cities.
- Create growth opportunities in the regions where we operate and foster the entrepreneurial environment in the cities.
- Accelerate start-ups and prepare them so that in one year they can fast track and gain access to Wayra or Telefónica. In this way, we help them to reach a higher level and we look for those that do FIT, acting as a first gateway to the company.
Recognizing the need to manage the various accelerator programs more effectively in one place, the Open Future team were in need of a digital platform that could help them:
- Handle multiple open calls and challenges
- Manage accelerator program workflows more efficiently
- Run various accelerator programs through one central platform
- Simplify the mentoring process for their individual accelerator hubs
- Allow judges to seamlessly evaluate startups
Skipso has helped build complex innovation platforms for some of the most important organizations around the world. With this strong reputation in mind, Telefónica chose Skipso as its preferred technology partner to build the Open Future platform.
With flexibility in configuration Skipso was able to build a multi-tenant platform that would allow Telefónica to manage innovation hubs across Spain and Latin America. Individual hub managers are able to use the central platform to source and evaluate their applicants and move them to their own sub-platform for their own startups and mentors to use when they have been selected to be part of their cohort.
The Skipso design team developed a modern and fresh UX for the platform inline with Telefónica’s brand guidelines. With Skipso Telefónica could:
- Run a global call for innovative startups across different tenants and easily accept and manage applications
- Build an extensive innovation database of startups and mentors
- Evaluate and select startups according to pre-defined criteria and customized scorecards
- Allow startups and mentors to easily book time with each other and track the hours spent against their allocated allowance
- Utilize KPI and task tracking to track projects' progress
Utilizing Skipso’s platform Telefónica was able to efficiently run all phases of its different accelerators phases.
With the multi-tenant platform individual hub teams were able to manage startups and mentors through their own admin dashboards.
Since the development of the platform Telefónica has launched 36 accelerator programs.
With Skipso Telefónica’s innovation team was able to streamline the scouting process, foster partnerships that are right for their organization, and encourage collaborative relationships that promote innovation in the sector.