Digital entrepreneurship and innovation

Enabling entepreneurship and job creation anywhere through the use of IT.

Estonian start-up accelerator VUNK, which was launched in June 2015, has shown that validating new business cases and creating new business opportunities can take just a few months. This supports digital entrepreneurship and Telia’s business in Estonia.

VUNK Labs and accelerator was launched as an entry point for startups who want to partner with Telia in Estonia to find new business opportunities that create additional value for the startups as well as Telia. In 2015 the full VUNK process was successfully tested.

“In less than three months we managed to evaluate ten business cases, including seven start-ups and two internal team ideas. Five businesses including two who participated from intensive Accelerator program are now growing their business, so I believe VUNK has shown itself successful,” says Andres Peets, Business Catalyst at VUNK.

One of the ideas, which helps companies detect customers’ feelings and perceptions, will be integrated in Telia’s business to improve the customer service.

VUNK is a good example of how Telia in Estonia implements digital entrepreneurship and innovation through successfully addressing both societal and business challenges. The Estonian economy need more digital innovation and entrepreneurship to grow GDP and the number of jobs. Telia needs to grow its business by finding new revenue streams, accelerating business development and bringing new products to the market faster.

VUNK also engages Telia employees, to facilitate entrepreneurship and creativity within the organization. Estonian colleagues has the opportunity to use up to 20 percent of their working time for developing new ideas. So far, over 180 employees have participated in VUNK workshops, idea garages, hackathon and mentoring sessions.

“Foremost, VUNK Labs concept highlights digital entrepreneurship and innovation in our own organization and in the Estonian society. One strategy is to partner up with public, private sector organizations and NGOs to support the local community in general”, says Andres. “One of the positive effects is that we find start-ups that develop services on top of our core businesses, so that we can offer new value to our customers.”

Read more about VUNK and the start-ups

M2M-in-a-box at hackathon

Last weekend Telia supported the NIOTH2016, the Nordic IoT (Internet of Things) Hackathon, to take place and provided the M2M-in-a-box as a tool for the teams to use when developing their ideas.

"IoT is the future, and we have this M2M-in-a-box that we believe can be used in many more ways than we do today. We also believe in young people's creativity. It was great fun to place this box with these talented young people from all over the world" says Per Sjöström, Regional Sales Manager, Global IoT Solutions.

At the Nordic IoT Hackathon in south Sweden people from all around the world met last weekend for a 50 hour competition to develop new ideas for intelligent buildings and healthcare. Telia provided the M2M-in-a-box product for the hackathon teams to use when innovating their solutions to these important social challenges.

"By collaborating in this way with young creative people we hopefully support some new entrepreneurs. They might be eager to use digital solutions for a better environment, more efficient healthcare solutions or smarter buildings. I feel proud that we combine business value with value for our society", Per continues.

Supporting hackathons to drive digital entrepreneurship and innovation is a way to contribute to a more sustainable future. As such it is part of Telia Company's All In strategy. More innovations and entrepreneurs create more job opportunities. With more businesses and jobs come more economic growth, which benefit more people in multiple ways.

By driving digital entrepreneurship and innovation we also contribute to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 8 - good jobs and economic growth – and number 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure.

See film clips from NIOTH2016