Inclusive Tech Lab: Frequently Asked Questions

If your question cannot be answered below, please contact us at [email protected] and we will do our best to assist you.

I have an interesting idea but need mobile network operators (MNOs) to adopt it. Can the Lab help?

The GSMA is the industry association of mobile operators, so are certainly inclined towards them. But the Lab is not restricted to working with mobile operators alone. If you have a terrific idea, we would be delighted to hear from you even if you are not a mobile operator.

Regarding introducing specific entities to mobile operators, as a Foundation and industry association, we are not in a position to provide preferential treatment or introductions for particular industry players. Our proposal in line with the mission of the Lab aims is to support the wider industry, and anything that the Lab does should be open to participation.

Do products need to be tied to telcos?

No, once again the Lab is not restricted to working with telcos exclusively. However, we do strongly value the possible connections to, or involvement of, mobile operators in project applications.

Can an established company work with the Lab, or find a MNO to work with through the Lab?

Please see answer above. The Lab is open to working with anyone but is not in a position to recommend individual companies to operators.

Is the Lab’s support offered to start-ups? Or only to mobile network operators?

The Lab’s support is open to all ecosystem participants, not just operators. However, we do strongly value the possible connections to, or involvement of, mobile operators in project applications.

Does the Lab provide funding?

No – the Lab does not provide funding.

The aim of the Lab is to fill the sweet spot between accelerator-type programmes that provide funding to projects, and other programmes that work directly with projects.

We don’t provide funding to projects, BUT we do provide our expertise, resources, personnel, additional expertise that we can get on board – and we are also counting on your active participation.

And if a project is really successful, we would even invest our effort to help you hit the road with it.

What is the maximum budget of each project?

The Lab does not provide funding support to projects. However, we do provide a host of other benefits including staff time, technical expertise, and access to infrastructure.

What is the estimated lead time of each project?

Each project is assessed on a case-by-case basis. We accept applications on a rolling basis and consider all cases immediately with the aim to get back to the applicants as soon as possible.

What are the technical credentials of the Lab?

First, we would leverage our network in the industry, based on our years of experience and unique position as an industry association.

Second, we have an agile squad of technical experts with different expertise from the mobile and financial service industries.

Third, we have the means to acquire additional expertise or resources if so required.

Who owns the IP of the outputs form the Lab?

The Lab does not intend to own the IP emerging from projects undertaken in the Lab.

However, we expect that participants engaged with the Lab on a particular project will agree clear terms for the IP of any products emerging from the Lab, before they start work with the Lab.

Clear plans on this front will be viewed as evidence of a clear exit strategy for the project, which is an important evaluation criterion for the Lab.

Is dissemination only to GSMA members?

No, project learnings will be disseminated to all ecosystem participants, not just mobile operators or GSMA members.

What is the commercial model of products taken to the market?

This will be part of the business case that we will assess for any opportunity that we take on in the Lab. We will expect project participants to have a clear idea of how they intend to commercialise the product after completing their engagement with the Lab.

Will my small business be exposed to larger competitors through the Lab?

The Lab will treat any IP from project participants confidentially.

Is the Lab for any business using mobile tech or is it specific to mobile apps only?

The lab is open to any entity using digital tech for development, not just mobile apps.

The Lab sounds very fintech focused. Is it available for government tech projects?

Absolutely, the Lab is open to projects in any tech related field, not just fintech. Working with government tech is very much in our remit.

Can universities be a partner?

Yes, universities are welcome to partner with us.

Does the Lab actually build projects, or does it just provide tech assistance?

The Lab has the capacity to actually build Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), not just provide assistance.

How can consumer organisations and think tanks engage with the Lab?

Please write to us at [email protected]. We would be delighted to hear from you!