"Our position in the ranking of the best Innovation Labs confirms the successful work of wayra in the field of corporate venturing," says FlorianBogenschütz, Managing Director at wayra Germany. "The focus on the cooperation between start-ups and Telefónica has brought great success for both and we are pleased that our model is now also increasingly perceived as a future-oriented approach in the German investment landscape".
Active for the telecommunications group Telefónica in Germany since 2012, wayra initially acted as a classic start-up accelerator itself. Today, wayra Germany scouts and supports start-ups in the Open Innovation Hub and, as a wholly-owned subsidiary with its own budget, arranges cooperation with the group's business departments. The aim is to discover and promote new technologies and make them available to the Telefónica Group.
Start-ups benefit from the customer relationship with the telecommunications group, in particular from the learning effects from working together on real customer projects, the sales resulting from the orders and the gain in prestige in the market environment. In addition, wayra gives the start-ups within the Telefónica portfolio direct access to the global group network with over 350 million customers in 24 countries.
In this way, wayra's Innovation Hub creates an ideal environment for innovative start-up technologies to flourish in Telefónica's scalable infrastructure. An activation programme for start-ups in the areas ofInternet of Things, Blockchain, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence is currently underway.
"We provide start-ups with the opportunity to deploy their solutions in key technological areas such as 5G, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in a real-world environment. This gives them a decisive advantage, because what start-up has a database of 350 million real customers or a globally distributed network infrastructure at its disposal? At the same time, this approach is massively advancing Telefónica's digitization, because start-up solutions are now being used more quickly and on a broader scale. Wayra was one of the first companies in the world to take the risk of establishing a true venture client approach in the corporate environment, thereby bringing together the innovative power of start-ups and the scalability of corporations at a strategically useful level. This is now paying off," says Bogenschütz.
CAPITAL and Infront Consulting identified the best digital labs in the German-speaking world in the "Digital Lab Award 2020" study. The study was published for the fourth time in a row in 2020. Around 50 Innovation Labs in Germany were examined.
The key results of the study were presented along four design fields of digital innovation units – ideas, people, procedures and ecosystem – are described. Besides, the reaction patterns of the digital laboratories to the Corona crisis we reinvestigated. According to the editors, digital innovations and thus also digital innovation units are more in focus than ever before due to the demands of the Corona crisis. Also, regardless of the impact that the pandemic has on units and parent companies, in some places, these are unleashing undreamt-of potential. Away from Corona, the study's authors conclude that models such as Venture Clienting will increasingly replace the classic accelerator model – a decisive factor for wayra's success in this year's ranking.