Wayra is an incubator for tech start-ups, sponsored by Telefónica that provides financing, mentoring and access to technology expertise.
"The Wayra Academy is a fantastic initiative that will harness precisely the kind of creativity and entrepreneurship we need to create jobs and drive economic growth," said Johnson. "This is why we must do everything we can to help people who want to start their own businesses, turn their ideas into reality."
Wayra director Simon Devonshire explained how over a thousand applications from start-ups had been whittled down to the 16 that will now be based at Wayra Academy, a 13,000 sq ft space that has been transformed into a cutting-edge workspace, for the next six months.
Last March, O2's parent company, Telefónica launched a nationwide search for the best tech and digital start-ups to join the academy. Then in May, 16 businesses were selected to become the first participants.
The businesses currently at the London Wayra Academy range from Night Zookeeper, an educational resource called to Hiyalife, a website that captures digital memories and Chatterbox, a tool that helps businesses manage their online brands.
This incubator is Wayra's tenth academy. There are already locations throughout Latin America and a location in Spain. Now, they are planning to launch in Germany and Iceland.
For more information, visit www.wayra.org/en.