It’s been interesting to see the buzz that has developed around the London tech accelerator scene over the past eighteen months or so.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago when people were writing negative editorials about the dismal prospects for the European entrepreneurial scene.
As it turns out, there are lots of things us Europeans are world-class at – creative industries like media and fashion for instance. And the Internet of Things could well be another.
Cambridge companies like the all-conquering ARM and newer bright sparks like Raspberry Pi and Neul are making the hardware and software and connectivity technologies that make the Internet of Things a reality (and in the case of ARM are stealing a march on their transatlantic competition – Intel’s Director of Creative Innovation was not available for comment 😉
Cambridge based Springboard has also just launched a UK accelerator – one part venture capitalist, two parts startup life coach – which will focus exclusively on IoT startups.
To us, this is just confirming what we already knew – that the Internet of Things is primed for massive growth, and that the UK and Europe can take a leading role in driving it forward. Although one key question is where to focus our collective efforts as an industry?
At the recent Internet of Things SIG Event: RiffStream#London, the main debate seemed to be about whether the core problem for the developing IoT space was about how physical things get connected (zigbee, wifi, cellular networks, et al), or whether the issue was how data from and about those physical things connect with the apps that can do something with it.
Our argument was that the Web is the integration platform and so creating value around applications should be centre of focus for thinking and activities. All the connectivity tech is out there so applications are where the value lies.
It’s great to see all these up and coming IoT developers and we’re pleased that Niall is acting as a Springboard mentor to help this process. With a favourable funding climate – one of the things which Europe has admittedly sometimes lacked – who knows what innovative applications could be developed?
Incidentally, $150,000 of services, capital and mentoring is available for each Springboard team, if you would like to apply for the programme, you can check out the details here.