This week our Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices program kicked off in London with nine startups – all of whom are working on an Internet of Things (IoT) device – joining the Startupbootcamp team at IDEALondon for three months of acceleration.
In order to get to this point we’ve spent many months reading pitches, meeting startups, speaking with investors, and liaising with experts, and as a result have built up a bank of knowledge on what’s trending in the IoT space. The following is an overview of what we’ve seen, and how our cohort of nine startups fit within that.
Beyond the core technologies facilitating IoT development (such as A.I, robotics, blockchain etc.) our view is that there are five key areas for IoT and hardware innovation and growth: wearables, connected buildings (which incorporates the connected home), smart cities, industrial manufacturing, and digital health / medicine (we won’t discuss this last area here as it’s well covered by our sister programs in Berlin and Miami).
If you spoke to an everyday consumer on the street about what the IoT is, the practical example you’d give for it would be wearables.
Projections show the market continuing to grow, but this year we’ve really seen it successfully diversify into areas such as medicine and the enterprise. Fortunately within our cohort we’re ready for both the equestrian world and the Alps.
Our first startup, Trackener, is developing a horse wearable to help an owner monitor their horse’s health, detecting and preventing problems whilst optimising every aspect of a horse’s life by learning from their behaviour. And for those preferring snow to grass, our second startup YodelUP is developing a wearable which allows skiers and snowboarders to instantly answer calls or change their music whilst on the slopes.
The Connected Building:
We’ve met startups operating within two main areas here: security and consumer electronic appliances. Some are attacking home hubs, but many of the big technology companies (Amazon, Google etc.) are dominating.
Devices are improving pre-existing ways of monitoring buildings, yet the rise in platforms such as Airbnb has created a grey area when it comes to security and access control, meaning new ways of monitoring are needed.
Two of our startups are addressing this; Doordeck and HomyHub. Doordeck’s technology allows a user to grant someone access to their building, with that person simply using their smartphone as their entry device. Meanwhile, HomyHub is focusing on improving the use of remote controls for garage doors. Their smart garage door device lets you control, monitor and share your garage from your smartphone. Lot’s more to come from both companies.
Beyond access control we know of a number of startups bringing connectivity to everyday household tasks or functions, making them easier, better, or faster.
Two teams in our cohort are doing this for our relationship with food. The first is Eskesso – an appliance that allows you to cook sous vide meals like a professional chef at home, saving you time and improving your diet. The second is CityCrop – an intelligent indoor garden that lets you reduce the time it takes to grow fresh produce in your home.
Finally we’ve encountered various approaches taken to the growing KidTech market. Traditional toys are getting a digital makeover, whilst new tools and platforms are being created to help a child’s development (Technology Will Save Us is a great example of this).
Addressing this in our cohort is Woogie – a companion device for children which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help develop and expand a child’s language skills, hobbies and interests.
In the City:
Developing a smart city clearly comes with many barriers, not least tight budgets, security concerns, and working with public agencies. Having said that there is demand for smart streetlights and pollution sensors, whilst the rise of autonomous vehicles will require sophisticated IoT solutions such as environmental sensors.
In Europe, cities are adopting IoT technologies in a bid to meet environmental sustainability goals and reduce fossil fuel emissions. A number of startups are working to improve transport, and we’re backing a member of our cohort, Joyride, to get this right. Their device allows bike share operators and manufacturers to monitor their fleet, using wi-fi to find a bike’s location across a city.
In the Industry:
Lux Research has estimated that the Industrial IoT market will hit $151 billion by 2020, and given the category’s potential to improve communications, quality control, supply chain efficiencies, and overall business operations, it’s not difficult to see why.
At Startupbootcamp we’re accelerating ThingTrax, a device which helps manufacturers reduce their unplanned downtime and increase their operational efficiency, all by capturing and analysing data from machines and operators in real-time. Their software platform means they can offer a low cost subscription solution with rapid on-boarding for any manufacturing shop floor.
Overall it’s an exciting time to be involved in the IoT and hardware sector. From improving buildings and homes, to making cities, jobs, and people more efficient, we believe the nine startups joining the Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices program will truly improve the quality of our lives.