Story image

Vodafone xone accelerator calling for AI and IoT innovators

15 Mar 2018

Vodafone has opened applications for its accelerator programme Vodafone xone today.

Vodafone xone is a startup accelerator and innovation lab through which Vodafone partners with early and late-stage startups, who have ground-breaking technology ideas.

Eight startups will receive a total package valued at more than $150,000 including seed-funding and access to world-class technology and mentoring as part of a six-month programme.

Xone head and innovation manager Lauren Merritt says this year the emphasis is on working with Kiwi startups with clever ideas in the AI, IoT and data analytics sectors.

“We are keen to see applications from across the country and eager to also see ideas that can be harnessed to drive social change, as Vodafone is all about connecting for good.

“We will be getting hands-on with the companies selected, ensuring their business mentors help take their ideas to the next level.

“We want ideas that will make a massive impact on New Zealand, and we will help those startups go global by leveraging our international networks,” Merritt says.

Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams is delighted with the results achieved by last year’s cohort.

“We launched Vodafone xone with an ambition to find the best mobile and digital technologies in New Zealand, and take them to the world through Vodafone’s international network.

“Since xone’s inception, the startups have generated more than $11.5 million in new revenue, attracted more than $9.6 million in capital funding, and created 46 new jobs, all while beginning operations in countries around the world. Individually they’ve created some amazing new technologies,” Williams says.

One of those companies is Parkable, an app that aims to change the way people park, through a system of shareable parking utilising unused space from driveways to company carparks.

CEO Toby Littin says being part of Vodafone xone was invaluable.

“Even the application process helped us get our pitch right, and then once we were in the programme it was absolute gold.

“We learnt new skills, got new contacts, development partnerships from an R and D perspective, it was all incredible in enabling a huge amount of commercial opportunity to develop.

“One of the more intangible things is the peer-to-peer counselling sessions, being able to rub shoulders with other great businesses sharing the same pains and opportunities that we do.

“We said when we launched Parkable we wanted to operate in 35 countries, and during our time at Vodafone we have had significant opportunities open up,” Littin says.

Vodafone xone is now open for applications from March 15 until April 15, 2018.

How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.
Robots to the fore – Key insights for New Zealand Business into RPA in 2019
From making artificial intelligence a business reality to closer ties to human colleagues, robotic process automation is gearing up for a strong 2019.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.