Telenor Group takes seven internal startups to bootcamp

Seven startups from Bangladesh, Hungary, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway and Pakistan selected for Ignite Incubator.

Written: Jan 2018

Telenor Group has selected seven digital product and service ideas from its employee innovation initiative, Ignite. The winning creators of these products now move on to a three-month incubator program to develop their ideas further.

“Telenor Group created Ignite to give its own budding intrapreneurs an opportunity to develop their ideas for a great digital product or service. They’ll learn about service design, user research, prototyping and getting their projects to market. In essence, building their ‘napkin ideas’ into pilot products,” says Erica Gibson, VP – Head of Product Management and User Research at Telenor Group. “I’m impressed with the level of ideas received and the engagement across all of our global markets.”

Ignite 2018’s main focus is on improving Telenor’s core connectivity product, in addition to communication services, storage and security, health and entertainment. Teams are encouraged to explore not only the topic of new products, but also the new business models and new ways to offer existing products to customers.

A RISK-FREE WAY TO BUILD A STARTUP

The teams who emerge successfully from the pitch move on to a three-month startup incubator at dtac Hangar in Bangkok, Grameenphone Accelerator in Dhaka or Startup Lab in Oslo to take their idea into a testable prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). Their day jobs will be kept open and they will receive their normal salary during this time. Successful pilots of the winning teams will then be given resources to develop their idea into a product that will positively impact the societies in which Telenor operates.

THE WINNING IDEAS

From nearly 200 applications, 18 teams from nine countries were shortlisted and pitched in Singapore for a place in the incubator on 18-19 January 2018. Ideas advancing to the next stage range from AI-driven connectivity monitoring, video streaming solutions and health insurance to home security, mental health- and self-care solutions and automotive services.

One of the winning ideas is that of Team Eureka from Malaysia. Their team aims to build a self-serve community app with AI which allows customers to view, report and receive updates on network and connectivity issues.

“Our product is something that users really want and also offers multiple avenues for expansion. This includes both regular users and their telecommunications providers. After all, this is also about making sure we can all stay connected, worry-free. And we’re all about empowering societies through connectivity,” said Team Eureka, which includes Sok Yeng Ng, Jian Shen Woo and Komathi Chandara Kumaran.

The winning teams are:
Eureka (of Digi, Malaysia) – Self-serve community app with AI which allows customers to view, report and receive updates on network and connectivity issues

Healthy Life (of Telenor Group and Telenor Norway, Norway) – Health Insurance with activity tracking

Homebird (of Grameenphone, Bangladesh) – Bringing security home to everyone

Horizon (of Grameenphone, Bangladesh) – Digital platform to combat mental health problems

SelfCare Assistant (of Telenor, Hungary) – Utilising digital voice assistants as a self-care platform

Telenor AutoSahulat (of Telenor, Pakistan) – A platform that will register Vehicle Repair Service providers, and will let the Vehicle Owners Identify where the nearest repair shop is and compare service

Wowplay (of Telenor, Myanmar) – Digital video streaming built for rural data users

IGNITE IN NUMBERS

  • Three Ignite-incubated products have been market-launched with seven more ongoing
  • Intrapreneurs from nine markets in 2018 programme
  • Nearly 200 applications in 2018 programme
  • 18 teams, 2-3 employees per team in 2018 programme
  • Seven teams selected for 2018 incubator stage
  • 150-200 employees have been through Ignite in 2016-2018
  • Three months paid leave from employee’s day-to-day jobs