As you know, with the Wayra initiative, Telefónica aims to promote and foster entrepreneurship in Latin America and Spain by supporting innovative business ideas. On 23rd August, the Wayra project entered a new phase of development in Colombia with the launch of a new space called the Wayra Academy.
In the presence of José María Alvarez-Pallete, President of Telefónica Europe; Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Global Head of Wayra and Alfonso Gómez, Executive President of Telefónica Colombia, this space – which measures 400 square meters – where the 10 projects that were selected during WayraWeek Colombia, held several weeks earlier in Bogotá and in parallel with Campus Party Colombia – was inaugurated.
Just a few days after the launching of the Wayra Academy in Colombia, Neelie Kroes, Vice President and European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, visited its facilities and listened to each one of the 10 winning projects.
During this visit, Commissioner Kroes indicated that she fully supported this kind of initiatives and that we need “start ups” but also structures to help them to become real and competitive.
Commissionner Kroes was invited to Colombia by Mr. Diego Molano, Minister of Information Technologies and Communications, as they share similar portfolios. Ms. Kroes made reference to the direct relationship between the country’s progress and the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): “Europe and Colombia have the same digital portfolio, which allows an exchange of experiences”. She also commented that the fight against poverty in Europe also meant generating employment and growth opportunities, especially for young people. “These two topics are related to ICTs and the Digital Agenda is the tool for generating these opportunities”.
The message for entrepreneurs in the country was “Never give up, follow your ideals and dreams”.
For José María Alvarez-Pallete, President of Telefónica Europe and Founder of Wayra, the launching of the Academia Wayra Colombia “attests to the company’s strong commitment, not only to the region but also to the local entrepreneurs who now will not have to look outside for the support they require to move forward with their projects”.
The 10 winning teams will not only receive the financial support that Wayra offers them but will also have support from Telefónica in such areas as management, technical support, administration, business plans, marketing and design, so that their projects may be structured, as well as the power to develop them in a unique and innovative business space, such as the Wayra Academy. The teams will have a period of six months at the Wayra Academy to accelerate their business idea and implement the subsequent stages of their project.
After this important opening, Wayra is continuing its progress through the region and will soon be making official announcements in Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Ecuador.
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Wayra video presentation:
Kroes interview video: