Driving innovation from within

11 March 2021

5:00 – 6:30pm London

Virtual roundtable

Meeting Overview

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (R. Emerson).

In this roundtable delegates will explore internal innovation, the barriers to success as well as the reasons to succeed.

Telefónica’s open innovation strategy seeks and develops technological solutions to complement internal R&D while creating an improved connection with international entrepreneurship ecosystems. As global head of the entrepreneurship initiatives, Miguel Arias manages Telefonica’s seed investment fund and all the operator’s entrepreneurship spaces, including the 11 Wayra open innovation hubs and the 50 open future spaces around the world.

One of the many success stories from Wayra is Qudini, a leading global B2B SaaS provider of Retail Choreography Solutions for virtual queue management, appointment booking and task management.

Project Aviato is a continuation of the work Sune had carried out at Maersk Growth, the Corporate Venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk. Accelerate the future of trade by injecting capital into ventures that apply new business models and technologies to transform global supply chains.



Miguel Arias

Global Entrepreneurship Director @ Telefonica



Miguel Arias, proud dad, serial entrepreneur, and startup investor, has over 17 years of experience in building technology-based startups with a global reach.

Miguel has founded startups before, and helped others grow in a variety of roles. He is a skilled generalist who understands technology as well as people-matters. His expertise encompasses different tasks and challenges, from the vision and strategy definition to product management, with special dedication to startup funding, VC management and international investor relations.

As Global Entrepreneurship Director at Telefonica, he is responsible for leading the new stage in Telefónica’s open innovation strategy; this is committed to seeking out and developing technological solutions to complement internal R&D while creating an improved connection with international entrepreneurship ecosystems from Brazil or Colombia to UK, Germany or Spain. He is responsible for Telefonica’s seed stage investments through Wayra, which has over 450 startups in its portfolio in 10 different countries and through Open Future, with over 40 open innovation hubs with public and private partners. Since 2018, Wayra has invested in more than 80 startups in Europe and LATAM on the fields of Cybersecurity, Data, AI, Mobility, IoT…

Previously as COO at CARTO, he led the sales, financial, and operational efforts from its Madrid, NY, DC, London and Tartu offices, directing the company’s growth and scaling-up up to more than 100 employees, raising over 40 million euros by Top Tier VCs like Accel Partners, Salesforce Ventures or Kibo Ventures.

His first startup, IMASTE, the leading webcasting and virtual events platform in Europe, was acquired by Silicon Valley based ON24 Inc in 2012, and he led the integration process between both organizations and become the Sales Director for Europe for ON24.

He loves to teach and share experiences as entrepreneurship professor at the IE Business School and ISDI.

Trying to enhance the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem, he co-founded Chamberi Valley, the main Madrid-based association for tech-based scaled ups with over 1 million € revenue or 1 million € in investment which now has over 35 members which employ more than 5000 skilled individuals.

Imogen Wethered

CEO & Co-Founder @ Qudini


Imogen Wethered, CEO & Co-Founder @ Qudini

Imogen Wethered is the CEO and co-founder of Qudini, a global B2B SaaS business offering innovative Retail Choreography technology to help companies to manage queues and to schedule appointments.

She co-founded Qudini on leaving university after attending a Telefonica-sponsored hackathon and entering their Wayra UK accelerator space. Now recognised on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Imogen and her team count global retailers Nike, Pandora, Philip Morris, Samsung,Montblanc, Standard Chartered, NatWest Bank, O2 and TJX among their clients.

Sune Stilling

Fmr. Head of Growth @ Maersk Growth


At the end of 2020, Sune Stilling left A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S after 21 years, to found the once-in-a-cycle opportunity, Project Aviato, a leading growth equity supply chain fund.

In his most recent position with Maersk, Sune was appointed as Head of (Maersk) Growth, reporting to Group CEO, Søren Skou. In this role Sune was responsible for the adjacent growth and innovation agenda on an enterprise level while being the Managing Partner and Founder of the company’s Corporate Venture Arm which become the world’s leading supply chain venture investor.

Following an early career in the IT industry, Sune joined the Maersk Group in 1999 as a trainee and gained 20+ years of experience within a broad spectrum of corporate disciplines in the group’s transportation, logistics and energy divisions.
Sune has held MD/CEO and senior leadership roles focused on radical turnaround, transformation, divestment and profitable growth in emerging- and developed markets across a number of regions and countries. Prior to assuming the position as Head of Growth, Sune was the CEO of Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC), a leading joint stock oil field services company in the MENA region with 6,000 FTE, 70 drilling rigs, USD 600M revenue and USD 200M EBITDA.

Sune holds a Graduate Diploma in Economics (HD/U) from Copenhagen Business School, an MA in Information and Communications Technology from AAU, an MSc in Aplied Finance from Singapore Management University (SMU) an MBA (Honors) from IMD.

Married to Elsa, Senior Programme Manager at World Diabetes Foundation with two children, Noam born in Senegal and Maya born in Singapore.

Torsten Kolind

CEO & Co-founder @ YouNoodle


Torsten Kolind, Co-Founder & CEO, YouNoodle, Inc., San Francisco, California

A bioinformatics engineer by training, Torsten co-founded YouNoodle in San Francisco, a technology platform to source, select and engage the most promising startups in the world.

He has judged startup programs at Stanford University, MIT, and Imperial College, and has written opinion pieces for both Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Torsten is an advisor to a number of startups, and an investor in two venture funds. He is a frequent speaker on corporate innovation, and on how governments can spur ecosystem growth through global startup engagement.


This meeting is open to Innovation Partnership members and partners. If you wish to apply to join please email hello@innovationpartnership.co.uk