BT has launched an initiative it is hoping will nurture the next generation of UK tech startups.
Teaming up with multinational startup accelerator TechHub, BT will award winners of its new Infinity Lab programme access to office space in East London's Tech City as well as six months of support with marketing, engineering and development.
The programme will see entrepreneurs tasked with creating new products and applications. The first running of the competition asks for "apps and services which bring to life BT's new innovations in the consumer market, including 300Mbps broadband and the new Home Hub 5."
The exact nature of the products BT is seeking is open to interpretation, and the telecoms firm has specified that it is not looking to invest in the ventures, instead taking on the role of "co-innovator".
Elizabeth Varley, co-founder and CEO of TechHub, said the programme was an "unmissable opportunity". She added: "Working with BT gives entrepreneurs the chance to test their innovations with a major partner, receive specialised help and advice, and take advantage of the huge promotional reach offered by this bastion of British business.
"For UK startups or those wanting to enter the UK market, it's an opportunity that's usually hard to come by without partnerships like this one between TechHub and BT."
Communications minister Ed Vaizey gave his support to the programme, highlighting the government's own plans to get superfast broadband to 95 percent of UK citizens by 2017. He added: "TechHub and BT are to be congratulated on this brilliant initiative, which will result in exciting new products and prototypes, helping all UK internet users to make the most of all the benefits superfast speed has to offer."
Exact details of the competition will be released on TechHub London's website at a later date. BT's competition follows numerous other major corporations conducting their own hunts for startup success, with Microsoft currently in the process of launching its own startup hub and major banks including Barclays searching for startup innovators for use in the financial industry.
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