Spanish-based LatAm telecoms leviathan Telefonica has announced that it has signed a partnership with Tsinghua Holdings Technology and Innovation (THTI) and China Unicom – China’s second largest cellco by subscribers and the fourth largest mobile provider in the world – to promote a global digital ecosystem of open innovation. The deal builds upon a strategic alliance signed in February this year between Wayra and Virtue Inno Valley, which creates links between entrepreneurial communities across China, Latin America and Europe to enable the free flow of ideas and cooperation between start-ups in these regions. Wayra is Telefonica’s start-up accelerator whilst Virtue Inno Valley was established by THTI and Tsinghua Alumni Association as a technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) incubator.
Unicom, Telefonica and THTI have expanded the agreement from incubation and acceleration to include other innovation resources and tools from all three parties such as ‘Open Future’ – the global open innovation platform integrating all of Telefonica Group’s investment vehicles and initiatives. Through the partnership the trio agreed to collaborate to share relevant information on entrepreneurial projects, incubators, expertise, mentoring programmes, training media and financial and commercial resources as well as market access and investment opportunities.