Telenor announces winners of employee innovation program

6/13/2016, 9:00 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

(Fornebu, 13 June 2016) Telenor Group has selected eight digital product and service ideas from its employee innovation initiative Ignite, for a three-month incubator program to build internal startups.

Ignite Incubator is an innovation program for Telenor Group's own budding intrapreneurs with an idea for a great digital product or service, and an ambition to transition "napkin ideas" to pilot products impacting millions.  

"Our minds are set on taking an exciting, relevant position in the digital lives of our customers. With the Ignite program, we encourage employees to come forward with their ideas for engaging, mass market digital products with the potential of global success. I congratulate the eight winning teams and dedicate my support to their continued journey to develop their business plans and prototype their products," said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President & CEO.

Solving customer pain points  
From more than 500 applications, 30 teams representing 80 employees from ten countries were shortlisted and pitched for a place in the incubator at an event in Bangkok last week.

Ideas selected to the next stage range from payment solutions and tuition apps to a system for identity verification for worry-free online transactions.

One of the winners is Mikael Gustavsson from Telenor Sweden. His idea aims to make it hassle-free to switch phones and transfer content between any type of mobile.

"Customers upgrade their mobiles more frequently and with that comes the pain point of transferring content from the old to the new handset. I want to create a seamless experience and ensure that all your memories and data remain with you when switching phones. I can't wait to get started in the incubator and receive hands-on experience working as an intrapreneur," said Gustavsson. 

From September, the eight winning teams will join incubators located at dtac Hangar in Bangkok, Thailand, Startup lab in Oslo, Norway or Grameenphone Accelerator in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to develop their ideas into testable prototypes. Their day jobs will be kept open and they will receive normal salary during the three month period.

Risk free startup community
Ignite Incubator is part of a drive to foster innovation internally and is modelled on Telenor Group's work with external startup communities in our global markets.

"This is a unique and relatively risk free opportunity for eager internal entrepreneurs to develop and test great ideas for a digital products that can leverage on Telenor Group's scale, expertise and technology. I'm very impressed with the level of ideas received and the engagement across all of our 13 markets, with almost a thousand employees wanting to become Telenor "intrapreneurs," says Gunnar Sellæg, Telenor Group Chief Product & Innovation Officer.

Successful pilots following the incubator period will be given resources to develop into a product to impact the societies in which Telenor operates, and that millions of our customers will use in their daily digital lives.

The winning ideas:

  • TapTutor - a smart and digital tutor for supporting mass market agents selling complex products and services, through augmented pictures and video
  • Rejuv - Uberizing the wellness industry to ensure trust and consistence in service quality of SPAs at the customer's preferred place and time
  • Dealstogo - An online platform to help movie theatres fill their empty seats by offering customers amazing deals in real time
  • Alfred - a service to remove the hassle of dealing with your apartment's management office, by digitizing how you pay your monthly service charges, check in guests, book facilities, lodge complaints and receive resident information
  • ShowPoint - mobile loyalty app with promotions, rewards and privileges from local merchants
  • Telco Open Data - platform for anonymized big data to enable new service opportunities, such as customer patterns and traffic movement and monitoring in real time
  • .Mutual - a third-party system to verify identities for trusted personal and business transactions and interactions online  
  • Switch - a service to make it quick and hassle-free to switch phones and transfer content such as calendar, photos and contacts, between any type of mobile, regardless of type and OS

Press contact:
Hanne Knudsen, Director, Media Relations, Telenor Group
Mobile: +47 90 80 40 15

High res images of the Ignite winners and the jury can be downloaded here.

Facts about Ignite Incubator:

  • All submitted ideas were screened and teams were selected to pitch in front of an international panel in Bangkok on 9 June 2016.
  • Proposals will be judged on how the solution solves a customer problem or pain point, has a viable technical solution, and market potential.
  • Teams with the best ideas get to spend three months at a startup incubator in Bangkok, Dhaka or Oslo to take their idea into a testable prototype or minimum viable products (MVPs) or testable prototypes.
  • In December the selection panel and Telenor Group senior management will decide which should be developed further, either internally in one of Telenor's 13 companies or at Group-level, or potentially spun out as an external company.

 The winning Ignite teams in Bangkok with Gunnar Sellæg, Telenor Group Chief Product and Innovation Officer

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Source: Telenor via Globenewswire

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