March 16, 2020

London, 16th March: Wayra - Telefónica's open innovation hub – and the pharmaceutical company Novartis UK, call all health tech start-ups to apply for the second cohort of the Health Hub, a partnership between both companies created in 2019. Applications can be submitted online through Wayra’s website –www.wayra.co.uk – from March 16th to April 13th.

The Health Hub is co-designed together with the NHS, to empower and enable health tech companies to accelerate innovative solutions to address today’s healthcare challenges. The Health Hub 2020 is currently looking for start-ups which can:

In its first year, The Health Hub accelerated three successful start-ups: TestCard, an at-home urine test kit & mobile app, which won the Pitch@Palace competition as the best UK start-up; ExSeed, a platform to test and improve male fertility from the comfort of the home and Virtue Health, that develops digital therapeutics focused on longevity and healthy ageing, starting with menopause.

Bruno Moraes, Country Manager of Wayra UK said:

“We had a very successful partnership with Novartis last year and we are very proud of the start-ups that joined the programme. We’re very pleased to continue our partnership in 2020 with the launch of our second Health Hub cohort and we look forward to accelerating the new start-ups and welcoming them into the Wayra family.  Our Wayra family comprises of almost 300 accelerated start-ups which had 137 trials or contracts with Telefónica and partners”

Fiona Bride, Director of Market Access at Novartis UK said:

“At Novartis, we are committed to reimagining medicine through data and digital.Passionate start-ups and entrepreneurs are the vanguard of health tech, and I am excited that Novartis is partnering with Wayra UK and the health tech ecosystem to work together to translate innovative ideas that address the challenges facing patients into real solutions for patients. I look forward to meeting the successful applicants”

The programme starts on 26th May and runs for six months. All selected start-ups will receive cash investment, office space in Piccadilly Circus, mentoring, access to the Novartis and Wayra’s network, business development help and support with the NHS engagement.


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 6cities 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.


Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments.


Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization 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 with 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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamie Griffin, jamie.griffinc@wayra.org  

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.