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Mentoring digital entrepreneurs: Bright Sparks

To help build the UK’s digital future, Vodafone has today announced new education and mentoring programmes developed for university students, digital entrepreneurs and Vodafone employees interested in a digital career.

To support digital entrepreneurs and foster a culture of innovation, Vodafone is launching Bright Sparks. A mentoring programme for digital start-ups, Bright Sparks was developed in collaboration with Oxford University Innovation, an organisation set up to help University staff and students apply their expertise and research for wider social and economic benefit.

Oxford University Innovation selected 10 digital start-ups to participate in Bright Sparks based on their areas of expertise, stage of development and enthusiasm for the project. The 10 start-ups will each have a Vodafone mentor who will work with them to support early stage digital innovations, providing specialist skills and commercial guidance.

Brendan Ludden, Head of Licensing and Ventures, Physical Sciences at Oxford University Innovation, said:

“Our 10 digital start-ups who are taking part in the Bright Sparks mentorship programme are developing some of the most innovative solutions to societal issues from transport to healthcare.

We chose to partner with Vodafone because of their world-leading position in mobile technology and markets. With Vodafone mentors providing guidance in areas like digital, strategy and marketing, our ten start-ups will have access to vital skills they need to thrive.”

The 10 start-ups are:

  • Care Compare – for care and physiotherapy services
  • Cycle.Land – making bicycles easily affordable and available to everyone, everywhere
  • Global Jet Watch – helping children everywhere reach for the stars
  • Greater Change – helping the homeless with cashless giving
  • Oxtractor – delivering actionable insights from social data
  • Pidge – the ecosystem platform for amateur sports teams
  • Pinboard – one-to-one student skill sharing
  • SwitchThat – simple, unified automation for smart properties
  • Total Mama – revolutionising pregnancy by empowering women with information and insight
  • Ufonia – your talking AI doctor


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