Orange Fab, a 3-month accelerator program managed by Orange Silicon Valley, announced today that Fenix International has been selected among its inaugural class of 6 start-ups.  After a swift and thorough evaluation of 100+ total applicants, 30 companies were pre-selected and invited to present to the selection committee.  The applications spanned many industries from M-payments, cloud services, customer data and video.  The selection was primarily driven by the positive impact startups could have on the way we use networks to improve our lives and businesses. The final 6 were welcomed at the inauguration of Orange Fab by the Chairman and CEO of Orange, Stéphane Richard.

“As a global provider of high quality connectivity, data, and content, Orange has maintained during the last 12 years a history of close engagement with Silicon Valley” noted Elie Girard, EVP – Group Strategy and Development. “Orange Fab is the logical next platform for that engagement, since accelerators have become a strategic component of technologies discovery and adoption. This experience will also inspire accelerators Orange could launch in France and in Europe.”

The first class of Orange Fab’s accelerator program includes 6 startups: AlephCloud (Content Control and Privacy for the Cloud), Fenix international (Power for 600M off-grid mobile customers), Phone Halo (cloud-based tracking for items), Re:Char (mobile data collection and cloud analytics for Kenyan farmers), Talkdesk (call center software for small businesses), Virtrue (online identity verification service).

Mentoring sessions will soon commence with notable Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, world-class engineers, and experienced designers.  The start-ups will also be matched with appropriate Orange executives distributed across our footprint from Silicon Valley to Europe to Africa and the Middle East.  Along with the possibility of receiving $20,000 in funding, the start-ups will have the option to work out of Orange Silicon Valley’s offices in San Francisco.  The program will culminate with two demo days, one in Paris in June and one in Silicon Valley in August.

More info: orangefab.com – Follow us on Twitter @orangefab

About Fenix International

Fenix’s mission is to design and deliver world-changing clean energy and information solutions to the over 1.3 billion people living without power in emerging markets.  Engineered in Silicon Valley and field tested in Africa, the ReadySet smart solar battery powers mobile phones, tablets and 3G/4G LTE WiFi routers.  Ready access to energy has proven to increase ARPU up to 14% and mobile banking up to 50%, a $3.3 billion per year revenue opportunity across 600 million off-grid subscribers globally.  Fenix recently partnered with Africa’s leading telecoms and currently powers communications for over 100,000 households, delivering 5.2 million mobile phone charges each year.

About Orange

France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with annual sales of 43.5 billion euros and has 170,000 employees worldwide at 31 December 2012, including 105,000 employees in France. Present in 32 countries, the Group has a total customer base close to 231 million customers at 31 December 2012, including 172 million mobile customers and 15 million broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

With its industrial project, “conquests 2015”, Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group’s ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development.

France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.

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