By Ann Parker, Head of Operations – Wayra Europe
If you’ve got a great digital business idea but you just don’t know how to make it happen, I want to see you at Campus Party this week. We’re running a series of workshops to help you take your ideas to the next level – including how to perfect your pitch, the art of networking, and how to get investors interested. You could even win a fast-track into our London Wayra Academy.
Funding our future
Wayra provides the funding, facilities and coaching to get great digital ideas off the ground. It gives you £40,000 and a six-month cycle of expert coaching and support. And, as long as it’s digital, any idea goes. There are no rules about what the ‘right’ business of the future looks like.
We also find that having all the start-ups under one roof has a brilliant side effect – the teams quickly turn into one anothers’ mentors. For every problem, one of the other teams is sure to have experience or a solution to overcome it.
I’m proud of how well it’s working. So far we have around a 90% success rate; and for the 10% that don’t work out, we celebrate their failure. That might sound odd, but considering it can take multiple start-up failures to hit a winning idea, for most entrepreneurs failure is just the learning they need to get a step closer to success.
But, I’m going to go out on a limb – and say I feel we could have our first big success story this year. We’ve got the talent, ideas and means to build a proposition to rival the likes of Twitter and Instagram.
Our social incubator
Seeing the difference that Wayra can make, we’ve now launched a social enterprise incubator Wayra UnLtd. With 50% funding from the government, we’ve only got one rule for the start-ups in this group – the idea must have a social purpose at its heart. Our selected start-ups include astounding ideas such as Skin Analytics, an app that allows people to take a picture of a mole or skin lesion and then track it over time, alerting to any significant changes that might require medical attention.
Another great example is Lingoing, a platform that provides urgent translation services for the deaf and for people who don’t speak English. For example, it can interpret for a deaf person who is in hospital and urgently needs to tell the consultant what’s wrong but can’t communicate without sign language.
These are fantastic initiatives that’ll make a real difference to people’s lives.
So come along to Campus Party and sign up for our workshops. We can help turn your idea into an investable proposition. And if you blow us away with your idea and progress, you’ll get a fast-track to the semi-finals of our next Wayra intake.
You can find Wayra at the Gutenberg stage at Campus Party, 3-6 September 2013, The O2 London.