Telefónica-owned start-up accelerator Wayra has selected its youngest ever entrepreneur – 23-year-old Hannah Catmur’s app Pocket Explorers combines digital with nature to encourage children to be more active outdoors. Selected out of 250 submissions, the project highlights how Telefónica supports young entrepreneurs through its programmes.
Prior to her Wayra selection, she had actively demonstrated entrepreneurial qualities and a start-up mentality that caught the attention of many within Telefónica, including Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, COO at Telefónica. During Campus Party 2013, he encouraged her to apply to the Wayra UnLtd Acceleration Programme.
She was also identified by Ronan Dunne, chief executive of Telefónica UK/O2, as an exemplar of those using digital innovation to overcome challenges, create significant change and help drive the digital economy forward. He said, ‘Hannah is a shining example of how Telefónica is supporting the entrepreneurial lifecycle through initiatives like Think Big and Wayra.'
To see an idea develop and build momentum in under a year is ‘hugely satisfying’ and demonstrates what can be achieved in investing in digital and young people, he said.
Pocket Explorers was pitched at the newly-opened Think Big Hub in Shoreditch with external judges and influencers from London’s start-up community attending the event.
‘I never would have imagined that in under two years of writing this idea down on a piece of paper, I’d be offered tens of thousands to incubate my business with a view of launching a great product to market,’ said Catmur (pictured).
Gonzalo Martín-Villa, CEO Wayra, said that from Think Big and Wayra's perspective, this was the best example how Telefónica supports young entrepreneurs 'from the start' - giving them the tools, training and mentoring that they need to succeed. 'What I see in Hannah is an ambition to go on and deliver something exceptional and Telefónica will be there at every stage.’