Startups vie for AT&T’s attention at new Innovation Center

AT&T on Wednesday gave the world its first look at the telecommunications giant’s new International Innovation Center in Ra’anana, Israel. For the first time, Israeli press was granted access to AT&T’s newest incubator, which has been operational in a temporary facility since July last year. AT&T established the foundry — its second such facility — alongside Israeli tech company Amdocs, and the company describes the Innovation Center as a “collaborative environment where AT&T and technology providers work with start-ups and developers to get the latest innovations and services into the hands of AT&T customers more quickly than ever before.” Startups and developers with products deemed worthy of the program are granted a direct line to experts in their field and ultimately, perhaps, to millions of AT&T customers. “The AT&T Foundry network is a collaborative environment where AT&T researchers, key industry technology providers and developers from all over the world innovate in new ways,” said AT&T CTO John Donovan in a statement. “Project managers drive project development in 30- and 90-day sprints that allow us to cut the time required to evolve great ideas into products and services by two thirds.” AT&T’s full press release can be found below.

AT&T Opens International Innovation Center in Israel

AT&T Foundry in Ra’anana is the second permanent location in its growing developer collaboration network

Dallas, Texas, June 15, 2011

AT&T* today opened its latest AT&T Foundry innovation center in Ra’anana, Israel, together with Amdocs (NYSE: DOX). The facility is a collaborative environment where AT&T and technology providers work with start-ups and developers to get the latest innovations and services into the hands of AT&T customers more quickly than ever before.

The Ra’anana center is the second permanent AT&T Foundry facility to open worldwide. It replaces a temporary facility where dozens of collaborative projects have been underway since AT&T and Amdocs announced plans to collaborate last July. A permanent center hosted by Alcatel-Lucent opened in Plano, Texas, in February. Work is ongoing in temporary facilities in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, with a permanent center hosted by Ericsson planned to open later this year in Palo Alto, Calif.

AT&T Foundry development tracks include mHealth, HTML5, new ways to deliver rich media, advanced check-in and location-based applications, and APIs – application programming interfaces that make network services easily available to developers. Projects at the Ra’anana center are enabling integrated mobile and wired broadband capabilities crossing multiple screens, including smartphones, PCs, televisions and emerging devices.

“The AT&T Foundry network is a collaborative environment where AT&T researchers, key industry technology providers and developers from all over the world innovate in new ways,” said AT&T CTO John Donovan. “Project managers drive project development in 30- and 90-day sprints that allow us to cut the time required to evolve great ideas into products and services by two thirds.”

“Fostering innovation and bringing new ideas to our customers is a key part of our strategic approach to deliver more business value,” said Eli Gelman, president and chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Ltd.  “The team in Ra’anana has deep ties with the startup community and specializes in identifying unique technologies that can benefit AT&T and their customers. It offers startups and developers the environment to initiate and advance projects by providing technological expertise to make their idea happen.”

“As a startup company, having access to the right tools and resources provided by the AT&T Foundry can make all the difference,” said Efrat Barit, co-founder and CEO of Ringbow, the developer of the first peripheral device for touch screens. “AT&T and Amdocs understand the need for speed in development, and they’re bringing the right people and technology together to get things done quickly.”

“Rather than spending three months talking about how we might work together, we were instead using that time implementing the technology in real-world applications and getting immediate feedback,” said Aviv Goren, VP Sales of SundaySky, a developer of an automated video solution to maximize customer engagement through a dynamic video presenting personalized bill, upsell recommendations and welcome greeting for on-boarding customers and collaborator in one of the projects underway in Ra’anana. “The speed at which we moved from our initial discussions to pilot program is remarkable.”

The AT&T Foundry is a core component of AT&T’s strategy to drive innovation, building on the resources of AT&T Labs and AT&T’s crowd-sourcing platform, The Innovation Pipeline.  The company holds “speed dating” or “fast pitch” proposal reviews to evaluate projects for inclusion in the program, and anticipates more than 400 sessions to be held in locations across the globe this year alone.  Earlier this week, more than a dozen fast pitch meetings were held at AT&T Foundry in Ra’anana in addition to a developer session calling for device applications for AT&T’s U-verse® service.

The AT&T Developer Program has ranked highest among U.S. wireless carriers for five straight years according to a survey of developers by Evans Data Corporation. Online tools and resources are available through AT&T’s developer portal at developer.att.com.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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