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Vodafone eyes U.S. startups (photos)

Vodafone founded its new Silicon Valley startup incubation center in the hopes of helping its UK-based mobile network to entrepreneur's new ideas.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
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Welcome

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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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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This is how you do it

An always-on display that shows conference room availability? Yes, please.
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Green glow

Another look at the sentinel of the conference rooms, glowing green from the sides.

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