O2 Incubator Project performs U-Turn – more than one startup to get support

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[UK] We didn’t exactly heap praise on O2’s Incubator Project, describing aspects of the scheme as ‘pretty dumb’. However, in what appears to be a U-Turn, the mobile operator has, at least to some degree, addressed one of our main criticisms.

Rather than a single startup receiving support, O2 will now sponsor a number of start-ups for an initial period, one of which will then receive extended funding in return for giving the operator the right to acquire them.

Here’s a quick re-cap of how the O2 Incubator Project will work.

Teams of 2-3 developers are being invited to submit ideas for “a network for small businesses” which will help them “sell services to each other and build reputations.” It’s to be a web app not mobile specific and must deliver an “outstanding online experience.” As we noted before, that’s the brief in its entirety.

The eventual winner will then be given a monthly allowance in consideration for O2 having the option to buy the business for up to £1 million at the end of 12 months.

Confusingly, O2 doesn’t appear to be ruling out an IP-only acquisition – founders won’t necessarily be required to stay with the company after any buyout.

And we still stand by our reasoning that should O2 exercise its right to make a purchase at the end of the 12 months, what they’ll be acquiring could be worth more than £1 million.

Applications are open till the 31st of January and you’ll need to be eligible to live and work in the UK.

  • http://kaigani.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/links-for-2010-01-14/ links for 2010-01-14 « Kaigani’s Arbor Vitae

    […] O2 Incubator Project performs U-Turn – more than one startup to get support (tags: incubator) […]

  • http://charakupa.com Joe Charakupa

    It could be just me, but I find that TCEU and other ‘new media’ organisations are ALWAYS sceptical of anything done by the ‘old guard’.

    I think that too often we the new guard let the fact that we want to provide good alternatives to their services cloud our judgement of their intentions and associated setup.

    It doesn’t have to be all about the old guard being bad and startups being screwed. In many cases that’s the underlying sentiment of these articles.

  • http://www.teknorita.com/?p=6 Appstar Oylamaları

    […] not always convinced by the developer initiatives of mobile operators but we can’t argue with a good old […]

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