Category Archives: Innovation

Forty start-ups compete in the final phase of Start4big

  • The finalists put forward solutions to personalise products and services; better manage household energy consumption; simplify online transactions or connect devices, vehicles and infrastructure
  • 57% of all start-ups that applied were Spanish, while the remaining 43% came from countries such as Germany, France or Israel, among others
  • The winners, which will be announced in September, can begin a pilot project with the business promoters of Start4big, whose total customer base amounts to 380 million.

These companies are present in more than 80 countries, are staffed by a total of 200,000 employees and have a significant customer portfolio of over 380 million people worldwide.

The call for proposals closed with 139 participating start-ups, which generated a total of 173 applications (as individual start-ups could apply to one or more of the challenges put forward). Of all these applications, 57% are Spanish start-ups and the remaining 43% hail from countries such as Germany (11), France (6), or Israel (5), among others.

Created with the goal of enhancing innovation and strengthening the national and international business fabric, the programme will announce the winners next September. The selected start-ups will have the opportunity to begin negotiations with the partners of the initiative in order to implement a pilot project that has an impact on the business sectors and society as a whole.

Finalists of the first Wave of Innovation

The finalist start-ups successfully completed a selection process which began in December with the launch of 4 challenges: 3 cross-sector ones where they have the opportunity to work with two or more Start4big partners; and a transversal one where they can ultimately develop a pilot with all the businesses involved. A jury panel made up of 32 international judges, experts in several areas of technology and innovation, as well as 76 internal judges who work for the business units of each of the companies included in Start4big, evaluated the submitted projects. The best 40 applicants now enter the final stage of the competition. Click here to see all the finalists.

Cross-sector challenges:

How to help users control and better manage their household energy consumption?

The finalists in this challenge are Smart IoT Labs; Lhings; Fresh Energy; Atriom Service Platform; Sensing & Control Systems; BIM6D; Xunison; Wattiocorp; GreenPocket GmbH; Greenbird Integration technology

How to enhance the customer experience and reduce the cost of online transactions?

Finalists: Caelum Labs; Digiteal; NFCSound; Vottun; Lang.ai; Thinkcloud; PlayFilm; Mitek; Serimag and Electronic IDentification.

How to offer new services by connecting devices, vehicles and/or infrastructure?

Finalists: WiTrac; igloohome; eccocar; Greenbird Integral; SolarEdge; Muutech Monitoring Solutions; Finboot; SmartMonkey.io; Vottun and Unmanned Life.

Transversal challenge:

How to personalise the customer experience by following their activities in real time?

Finalists: 20face; Sogetel SRL; Unishoper; GAMCO S.L.; Lang.ai; Balandra SoftwareSL; Conver.fit; Fresh Energy; Twyla;  Sentisis Analytics.

In the areas of technology, the most frequent are in the categories of software, Big Data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.

The winners will be announced in September at an event that will also kick off the initiative’s second Wave of Innovation, where again four new challenges will be aimed at the global entrepreneurial community.

No set number of winners has been established- All those start-ups that the Start4big partners consider interesting will be selected to begin a pilot project with.

About Start4big: 

Start4big is the cross-sector open innovation initiative promoted by Aigües de Barcelona, CaixaBank, Naturgy, SEAT and Telefónica. It gives start-ups worldwide the opportunity to work with these large corporations to develop and test prototypes in real environments and access the market much more quickly. It aims to attract national and international talent to strengthen the national and international business fabric, as well as offer its customers and society valuable solutions. This is the first time in Europe that five large corporations that operate in strategic sectors join forces to take open innovation to another level: a collaborative, cross-sector model in which to develop technological solutions that impact all the areas that these businesses work in.

Telefónica, Aigües de Barcelona, CaixaBank, Naturgy and SEAT join forces to scout for talent

  • Start4big is born: the first digital, open and multi-sectorial initiative promoted by 5 major European companies seeking international startups at maturity phase to develop disruptive pilots in order to improve the consumer experience
  • Every six months, the programme is to launch 4 challenges – 3 that are multi-sectorial and one cross-cutting – based on areas such as robotics, blockchain or big data, among others
  • The call for startups will remain open until 22 February and, once the pilots have been analysed, a jury formed by experts in innovation and digital transformation will announce the list of participants at the beginning of June

Aigües de Barcelona, CaixaBank, Naturgy, SEAT and Telefónica have joined forces to launch the first European initiative promoted by 5 major companies to increase innovation and strengthen the domestic and international business network. It is called Start4big: a digital, open and multi-sectorial project to scout for national and international startups that develop disruptive solutions and solve different challenges posed in order to improve the experience of its consumers and, in general, make everyday life easier.

Start4big is to launch a total of 8 challenges a year, split into two editions known as Innovation Waves and aimed at startups at an advanced stage of maturity. Each of these editions will last for 6 months and will include 4 challenges: 3 multi-sectorial, those in which the startups will work with two or more Start4Big partners, and one cross-cutting challenge that may have an impact on all the partners involved. The challenges, which will be based on areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and big data, among others, will have a positive impact not only on companies and consumers, but also worldwide by making everyday life easier.

Participating startups will have the privilege of developing and testing prototypes in real environments alongside these major corporations that, as a whole, are present in over 80 countries and have a combined workforce of 200,000 employees. They will therefore have the chance to reach a significant customer portfolio of over 380 million people worldwide, distribution channels, and international positioning and visibility.

To solve each challenge, they will have the support of experts from the innovation departments of each Start4big partner, providing them with access to data, infrastructures, resources and technical support and technology.

Although Start4big will not have physical headquarters, as it is to use the infrastructure of all its partners distributed around different areas, it will have a technical office in Barcelona. Furthermore, two committees (one strategic and one operational) made up of representatives from the 5 partner companies will be responsible for decision making.

Start4big generates synergies across strategic sectors and key players in the innovative ecosystem, leading to a worldwide innovation community and a maturity never before seen in Spain, formed by entrepreneurs, innovators, experts, investors and key players in the ecosystem. Along these lines, the programme is designed to be fully in line with the goals of Horizon 2020, a programme launched by the European Commission to create synergies among startups and corporations to increase the competitiveness of up-and-coming businesses in Europe and increase the European innovation capacity.

The first Innovation Wave

During the presentation of the project today at the Movistar Centre in Barcelona, the 4 challenges that are to form part of the first Innovation Wave were announced. These challenges will focus on:

  • Helping users control and manage home consumption (cross-cutting challenge).
  • Improving the customer experience and/or reducing the costs of the services and products involved in on-line transactions (multi-sectorial challenge).
  • Providing new services using communications between different devices, vehicles and/or infrastructures (multi-sectorial challenge).
  • Tracking the activities of customers in real time to customise their experience (multi-sectorial challenge).

From today until 22 February 2019, those startups interested in taking part in any of the challenges posed may register on the Start4big website. Once the call has ended, a jury formed by external experts in new technologies, investors and key players in the innovation ecosystem belonging to universities and leading companies worldwide will be responsible for analysing and assessing the projects. A group of internal experts from the partner companies will then analyse the proposals to select the final list of participants, which will be made public on 11th June 2019.

The pilots selected will be developed over six months as of 18 June. There is no specific number of participants in each challenge.

About Start4big: 

Start4big is the open, multi-sectorial innovation initiative promoted by Aigües de Barcelona, CaixaBank, Naturgy, SEAT and Telefónica. It provides startups from around the world with the chance to work with these major corporations on developing and testing prototypes in real environments and access the market more quickly. Its goal is to scout for national and international talent to strengthen the Spanish entrepreneurial fabric and offer valuable solutions to its customers and to society. It is the first time in Europe that five major companies belonging to strategic sectors have combined forces to take open innovation to another level: a multi-sectorial collaborative model in which to develop technological solutions that have an impact on all the areas in which these companies work.

eStreams.tv and Byteball unite to extend cryptocurrencies to the eSports sector

  • eStreams.tv, the startup accelerated and invested by Wayra Barcelona, generates, classifies and arranges live eSports content adding gamification tools.
  • Byteball is a cryptocurrency with a decentralized system that allows data storage to test manipulations.

eStreams.tv, the accelerated startup by Wayra in Barcelona (technology hub for Telefónica entrepreneurs), has partnered with Byteball, a cryptocurrency based on DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). This alliance will mean the start of a massive adoption of these payments in the eSports market which is the first time an action of this type has been carried out.

Through eStreams, the businesses with cryptocurrency will prepare a portal to distribute its crypto. Byteball will distribute its free-form tokens to eStreams users and this in turn, will utilize the funds for awards and profits, this way popularizing Byteball amongst the eSports community.

The eSports industry is establishing itself as one of the most powerful in terms of the adoption of new technologies. In this sense, eSports stands out as the first sector where its public is adopting cryptocurrencies in a massive way.

“We want to be at the forefront of games and work with communities that are open to the adoption of new technologies and new ways of doing things, all that Byteball offers, with the advantages of its portfolio, robots and other unique characteristics,” Tony Churyumov, founder of Byteball, commented on the agreement.

In part, Carles Rodríguez, founder of eStreams coincided that, “The agreement with Byteball is a sign of the evolution of new technologies and how markets and businesses can cooperate to take advantage of the benefits of cryptocurrency.”

“Byteball is a business with a solid reputation in the area of cryptocurrency and its project of contracts and smart payments can definitely help the electronic sports ecosystem,” he added.

eSports, Rise in Sales

eSports has been strengthened in the last years becoming a part of faster growth in the digital entertainment industry. In 2017, its value reached $1.5 billion and according to proportioned data by Superdata Research, the eSports sector is expected to grow to exceed $2.3 billion in 2020.

Nevertheless, the eSports market still hasn’t entered a phase of massive adoption and, currently, faces challenges so important like transparency and quickness of its transactions. With the adoption by the area use of cryptocurrency and smart contracts based on blockchain technology pretending to resolve these problems.

The velocity of eSports world transactions is vital, so that Byteball being based on Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG), also referred to as graph chain or “Tangle,” making scalable transactions possible, faster and therefore, compatible with the eSports world.

About eStreams.tv

eStreams.tv was founded in June 2014, launching its sales platform in 2016. Since 2017, it makes up a part of Wayra Barcelona. Currently, it has a database of more than 130,000 registered users. Its technology generates gamified contents maximizing the engagement and monetization of the audience. They classify and group live contents and add different gamification tools therefore making it possible for an interaction between contents, audience and brands.

Made of three tools: a raffles platform for the users, another outcome platform concerning the matches of the best national and international competitions and a Spin, a habit creator to get functionalities within the platform.

About Byteball

Byteball is a decentralized system that allows the storage data manipulations including those that represent transferrable values. At the end of June, it’s worth is around $80 million and everything points to their consolidation as one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies.

Byteball was one of the first to adopt DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), a conjunction of links between units where a single central entity that administers or coordinates new unit admissions in the database doesn’t exist. It functions as an internal currency called ‘bytes’ that are used to pay the decentralized database additions, even though other currencies can also be emitted. Users can send as many bytes like other currencies to pay goods or services or change one currency to another.

Telefónica becomes Catalonia in its world innovation lab

Telefónica this year celebrates the tenth anniversary of its R & D center in Catalonia, which henceforth becomes the laboratory that will lead the innovation of the Company in the whole world. The CEO of Telefónica in Catalonia, Kim Faura, and director of the Center for Telefónica I + D in Catalonia, Pablo Rodríguez, explained today in Barcelona that the community will also  test all new services of the Group.

vídeo of the 10th anniversary

El clàssic de l’Eurolliga de Bàsquet retransmès des del prisma dels seus protagonistes. First V1sion

Els àrbitres de l’Eurolliga de Bàsquet es convertiran, aquest vespre, en els primers de la història de l’esport en dur microcàmeres en un partit oficial que a més a més és un clàssic; Reial MadridBarça, i que serà retransmès a més de 150 països.

El secret és a la samarreta de l’uniforme esportiu, on First V1sion, una startup acollida a Wayra, ha incrustat aquests dispositius que permeten millorar l’experiència dels aficionats a través de les noves tecnologies. Aquest gadget permet veure en directe el que perceben els ulls de Messi, Rafa Nadal o “la bomba” Navarro, i que per tant duu a l’espectador a viure els partits des de la posició del qui se la juga per cada punt, amb retransmissions altament sofisticades per a tot tipus d’esport. Avui, les càmeres retransmetran imatges en viu que posaran els fans al centre de l’acció, donant-los les mateixes perspectives visuals que tenen els àrbitres en cada moment.

Aquesta iniciativa pionera, la primera a nivell mundial de caràcter esportiu i que ha sorgit de la col·laboració entre l’Eurolliga de Bàsquet, Canal + i First V1sion, no es queda aquí: Això d’avui serà un tastet, una visió des del punt de vista de l’àrbitre amb la intenció que en el proper partit oficial ho puguem gaudir a la samarreta dels jugadors. De fet, alguns dels del Barcelona ja ho han provat i han estat unànimes en la mostra d’entusiasme per les microcàmeres i la nova experiència per a l’espectador.

“Em vaig sentir realment bé amb la càmera, no et limita gens ni mica el moviment i a més a més fas ús d’una protecció corporal de més” va dir el pivot del Barça Maciej Lampe després de fer la prova. “No pesa, no presenta cap complicació, és com dur una samarreta ajustada. I el millor del cas és que es donarà l’oportunitat  als fans de veure les faltes i l’acció des d’un angle diferent. Mai he vist ningú jugar amb una càmera al pit: és definitivament molt interessant!”.

Edwin Jackson, escolta de l’equip, afegeix que “no he de canviar res del que faig regularment. Segueixo jugant el meu joc. La càmera és molt lleugera, pot proporcionar imatges diferents i fer un cop d’ull més d’a prop al joc, tant per als aficionats com per als mateixos jugadors”.

L’Eurolliga de Bàsquet manté constant l’objectiu d’adoptar tecnologia d’avantguarda per a donar als fans de totes les maneres possibles altres noves experiències per gaudir de l’esport. Jordi Bertomeu, president i CEO de l’Eurolliga afegeix que “el debut de la samarreta d’aquesta setmana mostra que els nostres clubs, jugadors i socis estan molt compromesos en col·locar els aficionats com a prioritat. Tothom que estima el bàsquet està segurament tan entusiasmat com ho estem nosaltres de presenciar aquest debut mundial on s’uneixen la innovació i la rivalitat de l’etern clàssic del Reial Madrid i el Barcelona”.

Per a First V1sion, les proves dutes a terme en col·laboració amb Turkish Airlines Euroleague i el FC Barcelona demostren que aquesta innovació no es inabastable i que cada dia som més a prop d’una realitat en la competència professional. Perquè, tal i com afirma José A. Ildefonso, CEO de First V1sion, “tots els fans volen sentir-se com els seus ídols a la pista i això augura un gran futur per a First V1sion”.