Overslaan en ga naar inhoud
Vodafone Business & The Next Web present:

The IoT Challenge

The ultimate connectivity Open Innovation program

Connecting startups with the world's largest companies

In this IoT challenge, startups will work alongside leading global corporates to deliver cutting-edge solutions and co-create the future of IoT connectivity.

The program will focus on technology pilots, learning and development, and product commercialization. Following 9 successful pilots of the 2018 edition, Vodafone and TNW are launching a new IoT Challenge, focused on 3 different challenge domains: Tracking of Assets and Goods, Create a connected ‘smart’ building, Crowd management and customer identification.

IoT Challenge Startups | Vodafone Business

Why should startups join?

Work closely with Corporate Partners, Vodafone IoT Experts and TNW Open Innovation specialists to co-create innovative IoT solutions. 

The Vodafone IoT challenge includes a series of interactions (physically and digitally). Each interaction is structured to facilitate ongoing conversations between startups and corporate partners to refine value propositions, seed pilot projects, and explore collaboration opportunities. 

Vodafone IoT challenge offers the chance for startups to: 


Test & Develop your solution

Test and improve your solution, benefiting from access to resources, infrastructure, and expertise.


Pilot with Global Corps

Develop a viable pilot project in collaboration with our corporate partners.


Access Mentors & Experts

Gain Access to Vodafone's top IoT experts and TNW's open innovation specialists.


Grow your Network

Engage with global corporate partners, industry experts, open Innovation specialists & other startups to exchange insights and experiences. 


Gain Exposure

Gain market and media exposure by being profiled alongside our corporate partners and taking part in public events.

Our Challenges

The Vodafone IoT Challenge 2.0 is addressing multiple challenges, in collaboration with several corporate partners. For this edition, this is what we are looking for: 

Logo van Heineken

Heineken: Revolutionise Exhibition Engagement through Intelligent Crowd Management

Logo van VodafoneZiggo

Vodafone Ziggo: Revolutionise In-Store Experience with IoT Solutions

Logo van SHV Energy

SHV Energy: Enhance Customer Experience in the LPG Market

Logo van Facilicom

Facilicom: Improving Occupant Experience in Buildings with IoT

Program overview


Applications Open

Applications are open Worldwide from the 15th of April - 26th May


Pitch Event (virtual)

Shortlisted startups will meet interested corporates to pitch their solutions, potential for pilot and possible road maps. Startups moving forward in the program will be announced in June 2024.

IoT platform

Pilot Shaping Event (in person)

Selected startups will take part in a day event in Amsterdam on the 20th of June, where they will meet with the corporate partners, finalise details of pilot implementation such as goals, logistics, timeframe and define the roadmap. Agreed pilots will be presented to the press.  


100-day Pilot (on site, at Corporate Partner facilities)

Corporates and Startups have 100 days to implement the pilot at the agreed conditions. Vodafone's top IoT experts and TNW's open innovation specialists will support your roadmap with regular check-ins, support and mentorship.

Realtime inzichten

Demo Day (in person)

A public event hosted by Vodafone in the Netherlands on the 17th of October to celebrate the pilot completion with the IoT Challenge community. Corporates and startups will present their pilots to the media, guests and representatives of the local innovation ecosystem.

Relive the previous edition:

Frequently Asked Questions

You have time until the 26th of May 2024 to apply. However, please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and corporate partners will start interacting with applicants when they see potential for collaboration. Therefore, the sooner you apply, the better.  

You will be asked to provide information about your business, technology, team, and experience. The more you tell us, and the more specific you are, the more chances you have to stand out from the competition.

Each challenge specifies the level of maturity and traction expected from each solution. Generally speaking, we are looking for solutions that are already past proof of concept and can be used for a technology pilot in a working environment.

If selected for a pilot, you will be required to attend two events in person. A Pilot Shaping Event (20th of June 2024) with other startups and corporate partners, where details for your pilot collaborations will be finalised and the deal sealed with corporate partners. And a Demo Day (17th of October 2024), where you will have the opportunity to showcase the results of your pilot along with other startups and corporate partners.

There is no cost to apply, and the cost of implementing the technology pilot is sustained by the corporate partners. During the Pilot definition process, startups and corporate partners determine and agree on the costs to be covered during the pilot.  

Startups must be able to cover travel costs to attend in-person events.  

No, this is not part of the program.

We believe the website includes everything you need to know to apply for one of the open challenges. If you have any additional questions feel free to email VodafoneIoTChallenge@thenextweb.com. We will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

tnw vodafone iot challenge

Who is The Next Web?

TNW is a global brand that connects the tech ecosystem of startups, scale-ups, corporations, governments and investors. Through TNW’s unique all-round power house of events, media, curated spaces and innovation programs, we make a positive impact on the development of tech.  

TNW Programs was established in 2017 as a business unit of TNW to help larger corporations and governments to work better with the startup ecosystem. Today, we are a full-service open innovation advisory business that has run over 250 innovation challenges for our clients, creating value across industries.  

We support the companies in the Vodafone IoT Challenge by connecting them to the top startups from the global tech ecosystem and bring the program to life with the power of our media and events platform. 

Featured on: