Start-ups, venture capitalists, trade organizations and wireless business partners collaborate with Sprint to drive innovation
Sprint CTO Stephen Bye is speaking today at the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, “Innovating at the Speed of Ideas,” in Silicon Valley
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 22, 2012 - While Sprint (NYSE: S) customers are reaping the benefits of unlimited data using the industry’s best smartphones, Sprint is carefully nurturing the next wave of innovations in mobile products, services and technology.
Under the direction of Sprint CTO Stephen Bye, the Sprint Technology Development & Strategy team is dedicated to seeking out and directly engaging with start-ups and innovators working on emerging products, services and technology from around the globe.
“Delivering support for innovation goes far beyond simply pouring money into a project,” said Bye. “At Sprint, we pride ourselves on always striving to be the carrier that’s easiest to do business with. For example, when we collaborate with start-ups we can help them extend the reach of their products and get in the door with other companies where they might receive funding or sell their services.”
Lookout and Safely are two of the many start-ups successfully working with Sprint to build their businesses. Sprint, together with Lookout and Safely, will soon be launching Sprint Guardian, a collection of mobile family safety and device security bundles that provide families relevant tools to help stay safe and secure. Sprint Guardian was announced May 8 at the 2012 CTIA Wireless trade show and was named “Best of CTIA Wireless 2012: Best Mobile Security Service” by LAPTOP magazine.
“Recognizing the best innovation opportunities is a key piece of what makes Sprint a top-notch data service organization,” said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of Location Labs, the makers of Safely. “We are excited to collaborate on even more great customer services and mobile experiences.”
“Sprint is taking a radically different approach when it comes to finding the best way to deliver value for its customers,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and CTO at Lookout. “It’s clear the Sprint team values innovation; they are able to quickly identify cutting-edge technologies that will enhance their customer’s mobile experience.”
Sprint identifies and evaluates new opportunities through third-party and Sprint-hosted showcases and senior executive meetings in the United States and abroad. Through its “innovation funnel” program within the past 12 months, Sprint has explored hundreds of new opportunities with many key partners, including Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs and Qualcomm; a number of venture capital firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital, New Venture Partners, SV Angel, Khosla Ventures, Pitango, and Greenspring Associates; and start-up friendly organizations Plug and Play Tech Center and the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley.
Sprint is also working with a number of industry associations, such as the Israel Mobile & Media Association (IMA); Wavefront, accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies in Canada; and the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). These agencies function as accelerators for their respective country’s high-tech start-up companies.
In addition to hosting events to identify promising technologies and backing entrepreneurs by providing distribution, marketing and partnership in general, Sprint also provides tools that make development easier to do. At the Sprint Collaboration Center in Burlingame, Calif., Sprint provides facilities and infrastructure for start-ups and innovators to partner and test their proposed products, services and technologies. Sprint’s Application Developer Program provides online resources and forums for discussion and culminates each year in the Sprint Open Solutions Conference attended by thousands of app developers, VCs and start-ups.
Sprint has a long history of innovation: being the first to launch a nationwide all-digital PCS network; the first to upgrade a nationwide network to 3G; and the first national mobile carrier to offer wireless 4G services.
“We believe that continual innovation is necessary for us to meet our customers’ needs and to win in the market,” said Bye. “We recognize innovation is happening all over the world and we are focused on partnership with open collaboration and enablement of our assets to create an environment to bring innovation and emerging technology and services to our customers.”
Companies, individuals and organizations interested in working with Sprint can visit http://developer.sprint.com for more information.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.