Tech accelerator Wayra has chosen 17 start-ups, ranging from cloud-based ticketing platforms to social apps and healthcare software, to enter its academy. Each will receive up to €40,000 ($52,381) in funding and stand the chance of Telefónica taking a minority shareholding of 5-10%. Winners will also receive access to a central London work space rent free and be given mentoring advice from business executives, legal and financial advisers and angel investors. A total of 30 finalists were chosen from 3,444 applications across 32 countries. They participated in a three-day intensive pitch process, dubbed ‘WayraWeek’, with the winners being selected by eight experts, including names from back cab app Hailo, crowdfunding platform Seedrs and Silicon Valley Bank. The Wayra London Academy opened in April 2012 and is run by O2 parent company Telefónica. It aims to connect start-up founders with mentors and investors.

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