France Telecom-Orange, a multi-national telecommunications companies, has named the six startups to be part of its first batch of companies in its Silicon Valley accelerator program. Looking to help startups that are using networks to improve people’s lives and businesses, the accelerator named Orange Fab has sifted through hundreds of applications and narrowed it down to six from not only Silicon Valley, but also Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Last March, Orange launched its accelerator. It set out as an open program for all US-based startups looking to help people better connect and communicate.
Back then, Orange Silicon Valley CEO and President of the Orange Institute Georges Nahon said “With Orange Fab, we join together with the next wave of Silicon Valley innovators to reimagine the future of communications. We are optimistic that opening up our world-class innovation center in San Francisco, and providing start-ups privileged access to decision-makers on the front lines of our business operations will be a win-win for all participants.”
Here are the six companies selected:
- AlephCloud: A cloud content and privacy service that says it can help companies “regain” control of corporate documents in the cloud for governance and compliance. It makes it possible to share files across multiple storage services like Box, Dropbox, and SkyDrive while also building a “circle of trust” with trusted colleagues.
- Fenix International: Producers of technology and generators that emits “safe, afforable, and renewable energy” to charge phones, lights, and other electronics. The company claims to be able to power 600 million off-grid mobile customers.
- Phone Halo: A service designed to help you keep track of valuable items right from your smartphone through the use of specialized tracking devices.
- Re:Char: A social enterprise that uses mobile data collection and cloud analytics to help Kenyan farmers grow more food.
- Talkdesk: An all-in-one call center software package for small businesses.
- Virtrue: Designed for peer-to-peer marketplaces, Virtrue specializes in online identity verification by checking education, work history, location, and more.
The inaugural class will participate in a three-month program managed by Orange Silicon Valley, complete with mentoring sessions with other entrepreneurs, engineers, and designers. Furthermore, each startup will be matched with an Orange executive to guide them through the process. The accelerator is giving $20,000 to each team and can work out of Orange’s offices in Silicon Valley.
In the end, the six companies will participate in the accelerators Demo Day in both Paris in June and Silicon Valley in August.
Depending on the success of Orange Fab, company Executive Vice President of Group Strategy and Development, Elie Girard, says that it could inspire accelerators to launch in France and elsewhere in Europe.
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