Telefónica appoints Miguel Arias as global director of its open innovation area, Open Future_

Miguel, until now the operations manager for Spanish startup CARTO, has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Instituto de Empresa...

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  • Miguel, until now the operations manager for Spanish startup CARTO, has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Instituto de Empresa business school and the ISDI, a business angel, a startup mentor and a blogger.
  • The new head of the entrepreneurship area of the Telefónica Group will report directly to Gonzalo Martín Villa, Chief Innovation Officer, and will manage all the operator’s entrepreneurship spaces, including the 11 Wayra accelerators and the 40 crowdworking spaces around the world.

Madrid, 23 November 2017.- Miguel Arias, operations manager for Spanish company CARTO, a technology firm devoted to analysis and viewing of geolocation data, has been appointed Global Director of Telefónica Open Future_, Telefónica’s international platform for developing digital-technological talent and entrepreneurship. This appointment has taken place five months after Telefónica’s reorganisation of its internal and external innovation area, integrating Open Future_ and its initiatives for boosting entrepreneurship, such as Wayra, into the Innovation department led by Gonzalo Martín-Villa.

In his new role, Miguel will be responsible for leading the new stage in Telefónica’s open innovation strategy; this is committed to seeking out and developing technological solutions to complement internal R&D while creating an improved connection with international entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Miguel Arias has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and extensive international experience, having managed the internationalisation of CARTO over the last four years and organised and founded international events such as In3 with Endeavor and the US Embassy in Spain, with the aim of building bridges for collaborations between entrepreneurs, institutions and corporations across the globe. He is also a business angel, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the IE Business School and the ISDI, a startup mentor and a well-known blogger. His achievements as an entrepreneur include creating IMASTE, a technological startup for virtual events which was purchased in 2012 by ON24, the world leader in webcasts and virtual fairs, as well as launching Chamberi Valley, an association of technological “scaleups” in Madrid.

For Miguel Arias, this is a great opportunity to continue to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem from another perspective – that of a large company: “I am thrilled to be part of Telefónica and its Open Future_ team. I have been able to work with Telefónica for years, since Open Future_ holds a stake in CARTO, and I was able to support the launch of Wayra as a mentor. Now I have the challenge of encouraging collaboration between innovative startups and Telefónica in over 11 ecosystems and ensuring the alignment between the company’s internal and external innovation strategies”, stated Miguel.

Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Chief Innovation Officer for the Telefónica Group, said, “We are very pleased that Miguel has agreed to become part of our team at such an important and exciting time for us, as we want to foster the digital transformation of different industrial sectors in all its aspects from the innovation area. His in-depth knowledge of this world from all perspectives, as an entrepreneur and investor, and his impressive achievements at CARTO, a consolidated startup in the technological field with a team of over 100 people, offices in the US, the UK, Estonia and Spain, and more than 1,100 customers around the world, including Bloomberg, BBVA, Twitter and NYC, led us to choose him to have overall responsibility for all our open-innovation-related initiatives”.

About Telefónica Open Future_

Telefónica Open Future_ is a global platform designed to connect entrepreneurs, startups, investors and public and private partners around the world to capture innovation and business opportunities. Its goal is to support talent at all stages of growth through a comprehensive model for acceleration that is designed to connect talent with organisations, investors and companies. The programme incorporates all the Telefónica Group’s open innovation, entrepreneurship and investment initiatives (Think Big, Talentum Startups, crowdworking, Wayra, the Amérigo investment funds, the Telefónica Ventures corporate funds) through a global network that is open to participation by external partners that wish to develop their own entrepreneurial and investment strategies and connect them with large companies. To date, more than 51,000 proposals have been analysed, over 750 startups have received investment and in excess of 1,700 have been accelerated. Telefónica Open Future_ is present in 17 countries and a total of 455 million euros has been committed to investment by Telefónica Open Future_ and its partners. Further information:

Further information:

Marisa Orellana: 639 04 21 31 / [email protected]

Miguel Ángel García: 699 37 18 07 / [email protected]


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