Wayra U.K. Adds Six More Startups To Its 2014 Mentoring Program

Back in January the Telefonica-backed accelerator Academy, Wayra U.K., announced the intake for its 2014 accelerator program — naming 13 startups that would be put through their paces during the nine-month mentoring program. Today it’s topped up that number with six more startups which will be joining the existing teams in its London-based Academy in May.

The reason for the late additions to Wayra U.K.’s third intake is that the Academy has space for 20 startups — and with only 13 slots filled earlier in the year, places remained.

(A spokeswoman for the program told TechCrunch spaces can go unfilled for a variety of reasons, whether that’s down to the initial shortlist not being strong enough, or not matching up with the general business ideas Wayra wants to see in the Academy at a particular time, or indeed selected startups not choosing to take up an offered place. “It is a standard Wayra practice that if academies have spaces still available these will be offered in the following global calls,” she added).

The six were selected after a two-day pitch and judging process, along with a further seven startups who have been selected for Wayra U.K.’s UnLtd accelerator — a separate program which focuses specifically on social issues (albeit, all the startups are housed in the same Academy building, and Wayra U.K. describes the two programs as “closely linked”).

Thirty startups pitched in all during the two-day finals, getting whittled down to 13 chosen ones. Each of these will receive up to €40,000 in funding from the accelerator — which may eventually convert into a minority shareholding in their business, of typically between seven and ten percent.

The six new Wayra U.K. 2014 startups are:

  • Cloudwear/iWunta — a mobile and wearable device messaging startup focusing on intention and location to determine which of your friends to send event invites out to
  • Doowapp — a music messaging startup with a patent pending feature allowing users to add specific song lyrics into a message and play them
  • Levbet — leveraged sports betting
  • OpenDesk — a global platform for local making. They sell furniture that is designed for digital fabrication and can be made locally all over the world
  • RotaGeek — online scheduling for businesses and the health sector, allowing employers to create, modify and disseminate employees work shifts
  • Yoyo — a simple marketing engine for today’s retailers, powered by in-store mobile transactions

This six join the likes of Paperfold, a new inbox concept for tablet users; Living Indie, doing live HD streaming of gigs; and Represent, an online portfolio platform for school leavers, who were announced back in January and took up their places at Wayra U.K. in February.

A Telefonica spokeswoman confirmed that the new startups will all receive eight months of acceleration, with the best teams of the whole cohort invited to pitch at the 2014 demo day in November.

She added that the addition six were sourced by Wayra U.K. putting out a call for more teams at the end of January to February, and also actively scouting for the teams at ecosystem events such as Pitch@Palace. “On top of that, we asked VCs to recommend us promising start-ups that they’d seen but which were too early for them to invest,” she said.

The seven new Wayra UnLtd startups announced today are:

  • Applyed — for Parents, Applyed is a platform to find the best education for your child. For Schools, Applyed is a digital admissions solution and data analytics tool. For Society, Applied is a means of guaranteeing that our most talented and promising young people have access to ‘best-of-class’ educational opportunities
  • Get Out Explorers — connects children and their parents with the natural world through an iPhone app, website and offline content
  • The Busking Project — the Time Out, Tinder and Foursquare of busking
  • Proversity.org — disrupts class through a digital university built by employers
  • Roadio — aims to help improve problem of road safety, with the context being that road crashes are the biggest killer of young people in the U.K. and globally
  • Dream Learners — educates children at bedtime through the magic of storytelling because this is deemed as the most effective way to learn
  • Policy in Practice — this scalable software helps frontline advisors to quickly and clearly illustrate the impact of policy changes on individuals and households

Wayra UnLtd, which is run in partnership with social entrepreneur funding organisation UnLtd, announced its first cohort of 10 startups last August.

[Creative Commons image by Asparukh Akanayev via Flickr]