March 9, 2020

The IM Accelerator, based in Milton Keynes and London, is a partnership between Connected Places Catapult (CPC) and Wayra UK, the world-leading start-up accelerator that is part of Telefónica Open Future. The programme is designed to support and guide disruptive start-ups with high-growth potential into the UK transport industry, helping them grow into world-leading companies. The programme is also supported by Hyundai and Ferrovial Services, who will provide support to start-ups at the accelerator, including mentoring, coaching, and access to their high-level expertise and networks.

The programme focuses on intelligent mobility, including areas such as connected and autonomous vehicles, connected infrastructure, new business models, transport data and AI. Its goal is to develop companies that will create solutions for the most pressing transport problems facing the world today, improving day-to-day life for millions of travellers while creating new UK-based industry leaders in a £1.3 trillion global transport systems market.

Businesses accepted to the programme will receive a six-month support programme, providing office space, mentoring and networking. The successful start-ups will also get access to Wayra UK’s and the CPC’s networks of investors, government agencies, customers, large corporates and universities, as well as opportunities to work with the CPC’s industry -leading mobility, digital and data teams.

To date, the IM Accelerator has generated 24 commercial pilots for the 28 start-ups that have participated in the programme and combined, the start-ups have raised over $250M in external investment.  Notable success include Kerbside management and mobility technology firm AppyWay, who received strategic investment from Hyundai and the Sumitomo Corporation as part of the its total £7.6 million Series A funding round; and, electric vehicle range prediction technology company Spark EV, who received support to trial its technology on Hyundai electric vehicles. These were both a direct result of AppyWay’s and Spark EV’s involvement on the accelerator.

Alex Weedon, SME Director at the Connected Places Catapult said:

“The transport industry is undergoing its biggest transformation in generations, as technology provides a cleaner and more efficient way of moving people and goods. The IM Accelerator programme has already uncovered innovative thinkers who are ready to lead the way in this new world. We’re excited to be setting out to find the next group of businesses to help make their visions a reality.”

Bruno Moraes, Country Manager of Wayra UK, said:

This programme is the first in the UK to cover all fields related to Intelligent Mobility, supporting data-driven solutions for the most crucial transport problems that we face. The success of this programme would not be possible without our world-class partners. We’re very pleased to continue these partnerships with the launch of Cohort 4 and we also look forward to accelerating the new start-ups in their journeys ahead"

To register you’re interest visit

Notes to editors

Intelligent Mobility uses new and emerging technologies to create a smarter, greener, safer and more efficient movement of people and goods around the World.  

Intelligent Mobility will drive a radical overhaul of transport systems to redefine the future of transport. The UK is ideally positioned to take advantage and be at the forefront of this momentous new global market, which is conservatively forecast to treble in worth to £1.3 Trillion per annum by 2030

Connected Places Catapult

Stephen Lynn

+44 (0) 7496437907


Victor Aloi

+44 (0)7716912117

About Wayra UK

At Wayra UK, we democratise entrepreneurship by providing unparalleled access to networks and capital, turning start-ups into scale-ups, while ensuring that our start-ups reflect the UK diversity. We have already accelerated almost 300 start-ups and invested in 193 of them, which nowadays have a combined value of over $1bn and have had 137 trials or contracts with Telefónica, generating $18.5m in revenue for our portfolio of start-ups.

We scale start-ups by giving them access not only to investment but also to business development opportunities with some of the world’s largest companies, including our parent company, Telefónica. We are part of a larger group which runs 7 hubs in Europe and Latin America, that reach the entrepreneurial ecosystems of 10 countries.  This makes Wayra one of the world’s most global, connected and technological innovation hubs.

Apart from our 193 portfolio companies, we have supported other 94 start-ups in 6 cities throughout the UK. We bring world-class start-ups not only to Telefónica globally and to O2 locally, but also to our network of partners, including Cisco, Novartis, Ferrovial, Hyundai, Connected Places Catapult and the British Government, via the GCHQ and NCSC. In each case, our primary aim is to find new sources of revenue and/or innovation for the start-ups.

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalisation and number of customers with a comprehensive offering and quality of connectivity that is delivered over world class fixed, mobile and broadband networks. As a growing company, it prides itself on providing a differential experience based both on its corporate values and a public position that defends customer interests.

The company has a significant presence in 14 countries and over 346 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.

Telefónica is a 100% listed company and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and those in New York and Lima.

About Connected Places Catapult

The Connected Places Catapult accelerates smarter living and travelling in and between the places of tomorrow. We focus on growing businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. The Connected Places Catapult operates at the intersection between public and private sectors and between local government and transport authorities.

We convene the disparate parts of the market to help innovators navigate the complexity of doing business, creating new commercial opportunities and improving productivity, socio-economic and environmental benefits for places.

About Ferrovial Services

Ferrovial Services is an international benchmark in the maintenance and operation of public and private infrastructure for transport, environment, industry, natural resources (oil, gas and mining) and utilities (water and electricity), and in the provision of facility management services.

With a solid international presence in stable regions such as the UK, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Chile, and with a workforce of more than 80,000, Ferrovial Services provides end-to-end solutions for infrastructure and cities to improve their efficiency, functionality and sustainability.

About Amey

Amey is Ferrovial’s UK operation. Our team of 20,000 works across four continents – making us a leading supplier of consulting and infrastructure support services both in the UK and internationally.
We’ve been in business for nearly 100 years. We’re proud of our long history and the difference we make; serving the communities we work in, whatever the weather and whatever the challenge.

We create safer, smarter, and sustainable places to live, work and travel. By designing, building, maintaining and investing in our country’s services and infrastructure we make a difference including engineering, facilities management, utilities, transport, environmental services, defence and justice.

About Hyundai

The power of new thinking has helped Hyundai become the world’s fifth-largest motor group in less than fifty years, selling 4.05 million vehicles in 2011. In 1967, in an innovative arrangement, Chung Ju-Yung started the Hyundai Motor Company to build the Cortina in Korea, in association with Ford.

Smart enough to realise world-class expertise could unlock lucrative new markets, Chung hired former Austin Morris boss George Turnbull in the 1970s to lead the development of the very first Hyundai car. Within two decades Hyundai was exporting in volume, to the huge US market among others. Today, Hyundai has the world’s biggest car plant. Ulsan, in South Korea, builds 1.5 million cars a year – the equivalent of one every 20 seconds, thanks to 34,000 personnel and berths where three 50,000-ton ships can anchor simultaneously. It’s also known as the ‘forest plant’ because it has 58,000 trees landscaped within it.

Hyundai also has Europe’s most modern plant, Nošovice in the Czech Republic, with advanced technologies and waste-management systems to ensure exceptionally high levels of quality, while keeping impact on the environment to a minimum.

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