Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel have announced a joint Internet of Things startup accelerator at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Challenge Up! IoT accelerator is aimed at startups in the Emea region, and promises to allow startups to go to market faster with their innovations through joint projects, mentoring, networking and using the suppliers' corporate assets. Selected companies “may also receive strategic investment” and support for “commercialising their product or service for global markets”, said the three technology companies.

Cisco is one of the companies behind the new IoT startup accelerator © iStock/nesneJkraM
Cisco is one of the companies behind the new IoT startup accelerator © iStock/nesneJkraM

The startup programme combines resources and experience from the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR), Intel Business Challenge Europe and Deutsche Telekom's hub:raum initiatives. Interested startups can apply for the new accelerator programme until 25 May.

“With Challenge Up! we are giving a great signal to the startup world, bringing together the resources and know-how of three corporations. We will use our combined experience for the benefit of the Challenge Up! programme,” said Elias Drakopoulos, senior vice president for Europe B2B at Deutsche Telekom.

Challenge Up! is designed for early-stage startups creating solutions for smart homes, smart cities, smart energy, connected cars, wearables, information security, big data, analytics, connectivity and cloud computing.

Key elements of the programme are Acceleration Week (to be held 22-26 June), which will be sponsored by Cisco EIR, Intel Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum, and a four month incubation programme (July to October) taking place in Krakow, Berlin and Vienna – also hosted by the three suppliers. Startups selected for the programme do not have to give up equity and they keep their own intellectual property.