The Cellnex Foundation has just launched one of its first initiatives focused on an acceleration programme for startups, called Cellnex Bridge, with the aim of promoting innovative projects that seek to reduce digital, social and territorial divides through the use of technology and connectivity.
In the words of the director of the Cellnex Foundation, Àngels Ucero: "In recent times, and especially since the crisis caused by COVID-19, we have seen how the lack of knowledge or access to new technologies generates inequality of opportunities and makes us walk at different speeds".
With the aim of reducing these gaps, the Foundation has launched this acceleration programme for startups with a social impact, in collaboration with the social innovation consultancy Innuba and the startup accelerator AticcoLab.
Under the name Cellnex Bridge, this initiative aims to build bridges of cooperation in which all parties work towards common challenges and the search for permanent solutions. As Lluis Deulofeu, president of the Cellnex Foundation, points out: "The ultimate goal of Cellnex Bridge is to put technology at the service of people in order to build bridges that unite and bring people together, because although gaps separate, it is bridges that unite us. With this first edition of the programme, we are looking for projects with a broad scope and coverage that contribute to generate a distributed social wealth to advance without leaving anyone behind".
"And to achieve this," adds the president of the Cellnex Foundation, "to move forward together, it is necessary to promote meaningful universal connectivity. That is, to make connectivity reach the entire population in an appropriate combination of quality of connection and access to devices".
For Quino Fernández, CEO of AticcoLab, "this programme allows the entrepreneurial ecosystem to work with a corporation like Cellnex and access its resources to be able to apply its knowledge and products in real projects with a great impact on society".
According to David Alayón, Innuba's CFO and CIO, "social entrepreneurship is necessary to propose innovative solutions to major challenges that are also economically sustainable, but the first stages are tough. This programme proposes an accompaniment, an acceleration of knowledge and skills, in business and impact, key to the success of the venture, working hand in hand with a large corporation like Cellnex and with the aim of jointly creating a real proof of concept with measurable impact".
The call, which is open to social impact startups linked to areas such as education, care for the elderly or the promotion of rural areas, among others, will be open from today until 26 September through the website https://www.thecellnexfounda- tion.org/bridge. From among the participants, the Foundation will select up to three projects that will form part of its 12-week acceleration programme, during which they will receive mentoring for the development of proofs of concept, business and social impact support, and financial support of up to 15,000 euros for the development of their project.
Each of the selected startups will be accompanied by a group of mentors from AticcoLab, experts in the world of entrepreneurship and open innovation, and by Cellnex experts selected on a case-by-case basis according to their suitability to mentor each project.
The mentoring sessions will be accompanied by theoretical and practical workshops, round tables and other group training on business, impact, soft skills development and personal and collective development. Cellnex will also provide the technology, knowledge and resources necessary for the projects to become success stories.
The objective of the Cellnex Foundation with this programme is to weave cooperation networks that promote the talent and innovation of entrepreneurs with ideas of social impact while contributing to reducing social inequality and improving digital capacity, quality of life and universal sustainability.
The Cellnex Foundation, driven by Cellnex Telecom, works to reduce the existing digital, social and territorial divides through projects that improve access to connectivity, as well as promoting positive solutions for the environment.
Its activity model is based on three pillars: its own programmes led by the Foundation, joint programmes in alliance with other organisations or institutions, and corporate volunteering.
AticcoLab, Aticco Ecosystem's entrepreneurship support platform, has the mission to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the connections between entrepreneurs, startups and corporates.
It develops acceleration programmes that maximise the opportunities for startups, reducing the timeline of their growth and avoiding the risks that can affect the early stages.
In addition, it accompanies corporations on the path to change through open innovation and brings investors closer to its network of entrepreneurs so that they can discover the projects with the most potential and intensify the 'dealflow'.
AticcoLab has an extensive network of mentors, specialised in startups, innovation and entrepreneurship. Their experience, knowledge and contacts boost and maximise the projects of the accelerated startups.
Innuba is a strategic design consultancy in social innovation that, since 2016, accompanies and mentors companies in their social transformation, introducing social impact and sustainability at the heart of their business.
It works from the corporate purpose, generating holistic and systemic change, and through the design of products and services that have a positive impact and economic return, as well as designing innovation projects that have a measurable impact. It also designs and delivers training programmes that transform people.