Mobile operator and start-up collaboration in emerging markets: A landscape of current and past initiatives

Today in emerging markets, more than anywhere else, there are opportunities for mobile operators and start-ups to collaborate. Mobile operators have reached the scale that start-ups lack, while start-ups have the local innovation that mobile operators need. Back in 2016, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme was launched with the aim of bridging the gap between mobile operators and start-ups in emerging markets. Three years down the line, we decided to reflect on the progress made on this topic. A piece of landscape research was conducted by our team in partnership with Match-Maker Ventures, a firm dedicated to scaling innovation by helping start-ups and corporates collaborate better.

The overall objective of the research was to analyse the mobile operator-start-up initiatives in Africa and Asia Pacific across 80 countries between 2016 – 2018, looking at the impact and effectiveness of initiatives through a commercial and social impact lens.

In this video we wanted to share some of the findings of this research, reflecting the fact that collaboration between mobile operators and start-ups in emerging markets is higher than ever on the agendas of both sides.

The Ecosystem Accelerator programme is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Government, the GSMA and its members.

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