FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Top questions

Why should I apply

This is THE opportunity to test if your business idea is really something worth pursuing, and to eventually build your dream. You will get the time, resources and guidance needed to research, test and learn. It gives you the chance to be your own boss and run the show as a product team, to get a great experience and very valuable learning within a key strategic area for Telenor.

What do I get
  • Paid time-off to work on your idea for 3 months
  • Top-notch curriculum and advice from experienced mentors
  • Support to do user research and validate the idea in your target market
Who are you looking for?
  • Passionate about building your dream
  • Can thrive and learn under ambiguity
  • Want to be a trailblazer for Telenor's digital ambition
  • A team (max 3 members) or single person with a great idea
  • Full-time employee of Telenor
What's the timeline?
2 Dec: Online launch batch 2
Dec-Jan: Local launch events and workshops to help with application process, see telenor.facebook.com/groups/IgniteIncubator/events/
15 Jan: Application deadline
15-16 Jan: Screening by Ignite team and category experts
16-18 Jan: Interviews of top ~100 teams
19-20 Jan: BU pitch to select 1 team to final pitch from each BU
25-26 Jan: TGF selects 3 teams, Ignite team selects 15
27 Jan: 30 Final pitch teams announced
16-17 Feb: Final pitch in Singapore, incubator participants selected
6-9 Mar: Incubator period start with Onboarding week in Oslo
8 Jun: Demo day
Who will own the IPR of the product/prototype?

We follow standard T&C in the employment contract, where all IPR resulting from use of company resources will generally belong to Telenor. So we will of course not take your idea if you submit and are not accepted to the program. But if you make it as one of the teams in the actual incubator, and get the paid time off and resources to work on your idea, it will by standard employment terms belong to Telenor. But you will have the right to be part of taking it forward, and if it's to be spun out at some point there will be a consideration about ownership stakes. This both to compensate Telenor for the resources committed, and to incentivize the team to make a great success. So here we'll be pragmatic, and find a good solution.

Can I submit multiple ideas

Yes, you can submit multiple ideas, but we would encourage you to focus on one. If submitting multiple, you need have team(s) for each. We might invite both to pitch, but for the actual bootcamp we need to be very sure that you can manage two brilliant ideas and teams at the same time. So quite likely we'll only select one.

Will you accept team members from outside Telenor?

Yes, we will consider externals as part of the 3 person teams going into the incubator, as long as the leader is an employee. But we'd then have to come to an agreement regarding compensation for the incubator period, no funding will be provided prior to that. We anyways might need to complement teams with external resources.

What will be the selection criteria for entering into the boot camp and the demo day?
  • Validated idea
    • Clearly identified user pain
    • Problem within core categories: Communication, Storage, Security, Financial Services, B2B, IOT
    • Problem well defined and researched
    • Addressable commercial market > 50 million
    • Telenor’s advantage to address it
  • Team matching the problem
    • Core team: 2-3 people
    • Roles and background
    • How they complement each other and is a great fit for solving the problem
How do I ensure noone steals my idea?

Fill in the application form, and then we’ll have a timestamped record of your entry.

What is a good Startup Idea?

Please refer to the attached checklist / rules to check the quality of your Startup Idea.

How important is the team?

The team is (almost) everything! Ideas are cheap, execution is the hard part.

What's different this time?
  1. We focus only on the core product categories; Communication services, Storage, Security, Financial Services, B2B, IOT
  2. We increase expectation level for the application to have done basic idea validation, and the application process is supported by workshops on ideation and user research
  3. The incubator program will be more focused on basic skills like user research, analytics, prototyping and running experiments, and all teams will be physically together for this, in Oslo and Singapore. The remining time will be spent doing research and testing in the teams’ target market.
Are planning the same setup as last time? Oslo and Bangkok incubators?

The program starts with onboarding week in Oslo, where you learn the basics of innovation, product development and user research, and make a detailed plan for how to validate your idea further. You will then spend 2 weeks researching in your target market, located in an incubator or startup environment and supported by local user researchers and central mentoring team. Similarly, there will be a series of workshops on core topics in the new Singapore office hosted by leading internal or external experts, followed by local research or experiments, before coming back together with all the teams. You will have dedicated Product Managers supporting and guiding you along the way. The incubator period ends with demo day presenting to the jury and GEM in the beginning of June.

Preliminary program (to be detailed/confirmed):

  • Week 10 (incubator week 1): Onboarding week in Oslo. Introductions, product development overview, user research, research planning, tips and tricks on journey ahead by Ignite batch #1 alumni
  • Week 11-12(incubator week 2-3): User research in target market
  • Week 13 (incubator week 4): User analysis workshop in Singapore
  • Week 14 (incubator week 5): Refine user research in target market
  • Week 15 (incubator week 6): Prototyping workshop in Singapore
  • Week 16-18 (incubator week 7-9): Run experiments on prototypes in target market
  • Week 19 (incubator week 10): Analysis workshop in Singapore
  • Week 20-22 (incubator week 11-13): Run experiments on prototype in target market
  • Week 23 (incubator week 14): Final workshop and demo day in Bangkok

Ideas

What my idea is about

We want to focus on core product categories:

  • Communication services
  • Storage
  • Security
  • Financial services
  • Internet of Things
  • B2B
I have a great idea for improving something in my existing line, can I apply?

No, the intrapreneur program is targeted towards developing new end-user products. Improvement of existing products or services should be taken through the line.

Should ideas be based on market conditions specific to the home BU market/target segment?

For the global program, we select the best ideas across Group, ie. not necessarily the best products for home market. But BUs will have the right to take on products which doesn't make it to the top 10 for the global program.

What if multiple ideas I'm involved in are selected?

If two ideas you work on are selected, you'll have to choose which team you want to work on, and try to get another team member for the other. However we see this as very unlikely.

What type of qualifications must my team have?
  • Strong team of 2-3 people
  • Clear roles and relevant background for the problem you’re trying to solve
  • Team dynamics and spirit
What are the benefits of entering as a team vs as a single applicant?

It is a lot of work to do user research, validate idea and experiment on prototype. If you enter as a team, you are better equipped to take on this challenge together. If you are a single applicant, you will be provided with resources (e.g. user research) but it will probably take some additional time to form your team and get started, and you may have to share some of the resources with other participants.

How does the selection process work?

After the application deadline on 11 January, all application will be reviewed by category experts and product managers from Telenor Group. Following this screening, we’ll interview the top ~100 teams, and recommend the BUs to do local pitching competitions among the most promising teams to select 1 team each to the final pitching competition in Singapore February 16-17, together with other teams selected by TGF and the Ignite organizers. Here, the finalists will pitch in front of a carefully chosen panel of internal and external experts, and the final selection of the participants will be performed. Result will be published at the end of January.

The panel will consist of the following profiles:

  • Gunnar Sellag - Group Chief Product and Innovation officer. Has been CEO and board member of several media companies, Lisa Long - Group VP of Product management. Product manager of appear.in, founder of own company, product manager at Skype Andrew Kvalseth - Chief Strategy Officer dtac. Head of dtac Accelerate Per Einar Dybvik - Partner StartupLab. Founder, CTO/CEO of media companies, Telenor researcher Aleksandra Banovic – Chief Digital Services Officer Telenor Hungary

Please do not try to approach the panelists before the pitch competition, this may lead to disqualification!

What if my colleagues have similar ideas for proposal?

We will select the best teams regardless of ideas and category. In case of very similar ideas, we will encourage you to join forces and create a joint team. Ideas could be copied, but not the passion.
Ideas could be copied, but not the passion.

What if my idea does qualify the demo day but I do not want to work more on it?

Members of the founding team has first right to join the team for taking the product going forward, otherwise the BU will decide.

What about patents?

For those ideas/products accepted to the incubator program, we will file for patents where applicable and once it is tangible enough in form of working prototype, algorithm or similar - just an idea is hard to patent. Then Telenor will also take the cost. Until then, we will strive to take the necessary precautions to keep the ideas patentable, by recommending intrapreneurs to register the idea at ignite.telenor.com ASAP, and then rather update before the application deadline if needed. We also recommend the BUs that participants at Startup evenings and other idea discussion forums sign a standard "promise of secrecy" as to avoid that the ide can be considered publicized. These measures are considered by internal and external legal advisors to be sufficient to avoid potential misappropriation. It is also the intrapreneur’s responsibility to check that their idea isn’t in conflict with active patents in their home market.

Program

What is an incubator?

Ignite Incubator is a radical step up in Telenor's efforts in how we foster innovation internally, and is modelled on our work with external startup communities, such as dtac Accelerate. Similar to that program, teams with the best ideas will get to spend 3 months at a startup incubator to take their idea into a working prototype. Ideas should focus on solving a validated customer problem as well as be locally relevant and/or have global potential.

What's the program?

During the 3 month Ignite innovation boot camp, you will get the curriculum and resources needed to take research and validate your idea, develop and test a prototype. The program starts with onboarding week in Oslo, where you learn the basics of innovation, product development and user research, and make a detailed plan for how to validate your idea further. You will then spend 2 weeks researching in your target market, located in an incubator or startup environment and supported by local user researchers and central mentoring team. Similarly, there will be a series of workshops on core topics in the new Singapore office hosted by leading internal or external experts, followed by local research or experiments, before coming back together with all the teams. You will have dedicated Product Managers supporting and guiding you along the way. The incubator period ends with demo day presenting to the jury and GEM in the beginning of June.

Preliminary program (to be detailed/confirmed):

  • Week 10 (incubator week 1): Onboarding week in Oslo. Introductions, product development overview, user research, research planning, tips and tricks on journey ahead by Ignite batch #1 alumni
  • Week 11-12(incubator week 2-3): User research in target market
  • Week 13 (incubator week 4): User analysis workshop in Singapore
  • Week 14 (incubator week 5): Refine user research in target market
  • Week 15 (incubator week 6): Prototyping workshop in Singapore
  • Week 16-18 (incubator week 7-9): Run experiments on prototypes in target market
  • Week 19 (incubator week 10): Analysis workshop in Singapore
  • Week 20-22 (incubator week 11-13): Run experiments on prototype in target market
  • Week 23 (incubator week 14): Final workshop and demo day in Bangkok
What innovation topics are covered?
  • Innovation 101
  • Product development
  • User research and analysis
  • Experiment formulation prototyping and analysis
  • Market sizing, competitor analysis, technical feasibility analysis
  • Pitching
During boot camp do I need to attend all curriculum sessions?

Yes, and this will be considered towards assessment of the product/team and your TDP goals by Host BU managers, central team and your BU.

What is Demo Day? Who comes? What happens?

Demo day is for the incubator teams to showcase their product and celebrate the great effort that has been made
The expert panel will provide feedback on the demo and the product
Top management representatives will be present
The demo will also be streamed live to all BUs

What happens after the boot camp/demo day?

The most promising products will either be set up as new internal product teams if "close to core", or potentially spun out as external companies, as decided by Telenor. In order of priority:

  1. Internal team, global potential: New product unit under Group Product & Innovation. Localized with Home BU or other location if more appropriate
  2. Internal team, local potential: Home BU management team consider if they want to set it up as a new product team with local ownership and reporting
  3. Spin out as external company: If Telenor does not want to take the idea further as an internal product team, or decides together with the founders that it will be better suited for growth outside Telenor, it can be spun out as a separate company. If so, there will be a negotiation on ownership shares, to compensate for IPR and the incubator period. These teams can then get the opportunity to enter one of Telenor's external accelerators and/or introduce companies to receive Venture Capital funding
  4. If the product is not set up as a new product unit or the team want to spin it out as a separate company, the intrapreneurs will return to their old/similar positions
What happens if my product doesn't "make it" at demo day?

BUs will have the option to continue the product internally if they find it fit for its own market. If not, founding teams will have the right to set it up as a separate company, or go back to their old/similar positions

Will Telenor help me out to set up and run a business beyond my home territory?

First priority will be to create a successful product in one market, and after that we will consider scaling it across markets.

What are the teams are expected to achieve in the three months' time

They are expected to have validated their prototype, and will go through a product review based on the “Bottle rocket” template:

  • Prototypes built and tested
  • Technical knowledge gained
  • Team dynamics

Practicalities

Where will I be located during the incubator period?

It will be a combination between common gatherings for all participants, in Oslo or Singapore, and work in your target market, which most likely will be your home. There your team will ideally be located in an incubator/startup environment within our outside Telenor, not at your ordinary workplace.

Can I take holiday during the boot camp?

It is not recommended, but up to 5 days holidays will be accepted.

What happens to my regular job while I am gone?

Your manager will be responsible for finding replacement while you're gone, and you will get your job back or similar position after the period.

What happens to my TDP, KPI and bonus associated with it?

TDP targets will be updated to include incubator program
The Ignite product managers will make recommendation on if expectation is met/exceeded.

Will I be left out of the current career track?

The intrapreneur program will be considered as an important experience in an area of fundamental importance for Telenor going forward, as well as provide leadership experience. Thus it should be considered an asset to your career, and could put you on a different and more exciting path.

In what type of accommodation will I live during the 3 month program?

For the common workshops you’ll probably stay in a hotel. If your target market is your home you’ll stay there, otherwise we’ll help find suitable accommodation.

Do I have to pay accommodation rent?

All accommodation and travel costs will be handled through Telenor Go

How about computer, phone etc.?

Computer, phone etc. should be brought from home BU. Food should be covered by yourself.

What happens if you want to quit the incubator during the 3 month program period?

Your manager will decide whether you can be taken directly back into your position, or do other tasks until the program period is done, when you'll be taken back into your previous or similar position.

Can I bring my family to gatherings or if I need to relocate during the program?

No, according to Telenor travel policy, you should not bring your family.

Is it mandatory to dedicate 100% of your time to participate in the Incubator?

We highly encourage participants to spend 100% focus on Ignite, but will accept exceptions in certain cases.

I still have questions after reading this, who can I ask?

Ask a question at Facebook @ Work or send an email to

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