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Two basque projects shortlisted for the talentum startups programme in support of entrepreneurship powered by bizkaia:talent

Two projects led by Basque young people have been selected as finalists within the framework of the Talentum Startups Programme in support of entrepreneurship, which is promoted in the Basque Country by Telefonica, Mondragon University and the Association fostered by the Economic Promotion Department of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, bizkaia:talent.

The two projects selected are Smart&Safe and Pothole Avoider. Smart & Safe has been developed by Mikel Rodriguez, a telecommunications engineering student at the University of the Basque Country. It is an application within the sphere of safety at work dealing with smart wearable garments which detect if the operators who are working in hazardous environments are wearing the appropriate equipment. The second project, Pothole Avoider, is led by Oscar Serradilla, a computer engineering student at the University of Mondragon, and has to do with road safety. It is a predictive system which warns the driver about hazards on the road, such as potholes or elevation changes, and proposes the best possible route.

In accordance with what is provided in the Talentum Startups programme, these two Basque projects will now compete at a national level with six other shortlisted initiatives. By the end of March three of the projects will be finally selected and will receive the financial and technological support as well as the training which may be necessary to get all their potential developed.

One of the basic aims of Talentum Startups which is shared by its promoters – bizkaia:talent, Telefonica and Mondragon- is to foster the ideas and the creativity of University students in technology-based degrees. Each of the projects selected in the Basque Country went through a rigorous selection process and has already received a high-qualification grant which involves an investment of around 6,500 Euros, including financial support for the beneficiaries themselves and funding for equipment, tutors and mentors.

Likewise, each initiative has had the assistance of a technology mentor from Telefonica to carry out each of the projects, most of which focus on the development of digital applications for various fields.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem

The selected projects are backed up by a comprehensive support programme in various business areas so as to create an ecosystem which promotes the talent of young people willing to start up a new business within the university sphere. Talentum Startups has played an important role in the promotion of entrepreneurship since it was established in 2012, with the participation of more than 500,000 young people in five countries. It is part of Open Future, the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Telefonica.

bizkaia:talent, the Association fostered by the Economic Promotion Department of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia aimed at attracting, retaining and linking highly-qualified people to Bizkaia-Basque Country, has provided its experience in this area, whereas the University of Mondragon collaborates in the funding of the programme and will lend its premises in Bilbao for the presentation and development of the programme. Telefonica also covers part of the funding and provides the structure for the programme within the framework of the entrepreneurship activities carried out by the company.

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