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Wayra is a global technological innovation hub, which was started in Latin America and Spain in 2011 as an initiative of Telefónica's chief executive in Europe, José María Álvarez-Pallete.[1][2] Wayra is the interface connecting Telefónica and the world's technological innovators supporting their projects as strategic partners to accelerate the businesses of both. Wayra operates through 11 hubs in 10 countries within Telefónica’s footprint: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.


Wayra started in Colombia in mid 2011 and expanded to ten more countries that year.[3] In 2013, there were 14 Wayra academies in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America and Telefónica planned to support about 350 startups altogether.[4][2] In March 2015, Telefónica closed down the Wayra in Prague, as part of Telefónica's general exit from that market.[5] In 2015, Volo, which had been started at the Munich Wayra, was sold to Rocket Internet[6].

It's UK branch is based in London and is managed by Gary Stewart.[7] Wayra UK has partnered up with a global healthcare company Novartis to create a programme to attract Health Tech start-ups[8], the National Cyber Security Centre to attract cyber security start-ups[9], University of Edinburgh to create an accelerator for AI and blockchain start-ups[10][11]. The UK branch has also created an Intelligent Mobility accelerator which has chosen to support Spark, an AI start-up.[12]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Solon, Olivia (7 March 2012), "Telefónica invites UK startups to join accelerator programme Wayra", Wired
  2. ^ a b Michel Syrett, Marion Devine (2014), "6. Creating a talent eco-system", Managing Talent: Recruiting, Retaining and Getting the Most from Talented People, Profile Books, ISBN 9781847658104
  3. ^ Emma Jones (2013), 50 Ways to Find Funding for Your Business, Harriman House, p. 49, ISBN 9780857192905
  4. ^ John Kennedy (25 July 2013). "Telefónica's Wayra accelerator in Dublin reveals shortlist of start-ups for second intake". Silicon Republic.
  5. ^ "Wayra CEE to end operations in March". Wayra CEE.
  6. ^ "Rocket Internet Acquires Restaurant Delivery Service Volo". Techcrunch.
  7. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  8. ^ "Virtue, TestCard and ExSeed join Novartis & Wayra UK health tech accelerator". MobiHealthNews. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  9. ^ "Next Gen Startups to Partner with National Cyber Security Centre". www.ncsc.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  10. ^ "Wayra UK and University of Edinburgh to launch new AI and Blockchain Accelerator". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  11. ^ "University of Edinburgh & Wayra UK Launch AI & Blockchain Accelerator Programme – The Data Lab". Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  12. ^ "AI start-up Spark selected for Wayra UK/Transport Systems Catapult Intelligent mobility Accelerator | Manufacturing & Logistics IT Magazine". www.logisticsit.com. Retrieved 2019-07-02.