Seven Telenor-employee startups that could make waves in 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. It’s a risk-free to build a startup. These employees will keep their salaries and their current positions, but their full-time jobs for the next three months will be to develop their ideas.

“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 (pictured below with teams)

The teams will move on to incubators 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). They’ll be taken through a rigorous programme of service design, user research, testing and prototyping.

Meet the winners

From nearly 200 applications, 18 teams from nine countries were shortlisted and, in Singapore on 18-19 January, pitched for an incubator spot. 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

Experience Ignite here: