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What's Vodafone, a UK-based wireless operator, doing with an R&D center in the U.S.? They're not here as carriers, the head of R&D for the U.S. and China assured CNET. Like other similar centers, its goal is to identify startup talent to help the core business at home and abroad, and to speed the maturation of those promising solutions.

Here, the Inception conference room welcomes visitors at the kick-off event in Redwood Shores, Ca.

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Photo by: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

British pride

Spotlights project Vodafone's logo onto the carpeting.
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Entryway

This is where deals are made.
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Laptop stations

Laptop stations host demos on opening night, but will become testing zones, going forward, for entrepreneurs to work on their projects.
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Networking 101

Vodafone's center has a full lab that replicates Vodafone's network and Verizon's, of which Vodafone Group owns almost 50 percent.
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Gorgeous view

It may be tucked away in a sleepy office building, but Vodafone picked a prime spot on the water, and pedigreed neighbors. The R&D center sits across the street from Electronic Arts and is within a mile of Oracle's glimmering towers.
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Conference chic

Vodafone's conference rooms are named after nouns that end in -ion: Fusion, Inception, and so on.
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Locker room

On-site lockers might help entrepreneurs and Vodafone staff store their gear while they burn off steam at the gym.
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Exhibit hall

This open space will host mixers, hackathons, and other monthly events.
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Photo by: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

This is how you do it

An always-on display that shows conference room availability? Yes, please.
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Photo by: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Green glow

Another look at the sentinel of the conference rooms, glowing green from the sides.
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Photo by: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:
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