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Startup Competition Guide

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Accelerators targeting IoT companies

They include Techstars IoT, Alchemist IoT Accelerator, Startupbootcamp IoT and Startup Scaleup

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
September 28, 2017
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4a38

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in the Internet of Things space:

 Techstars IoT

"Techstars IoT (Internet of Things) has partnered with industry leaders GE, Bosch, PwC, SAP, Verizon and next47 (Siemens) to support the most innovative high growth enterprise and industrial focused IoT startups. The program is based in NYC and attracts founders from around the world."

Investment amount:  A $100,000 convertible note is automatically offered to all Techstars companies upon acceptance, as well as $20,000 in exchange for 6% common stock. Participants will receive an investment from Techstars and Alexa Fund.

Program benefits: 

  • Access to Techstars resources for life
  • Acceleration in a 90-day Techstars program with intense, hands-on mentorship from Techstars Mentors
  • Connections to the Techstars Network of over 5,000 founders, alumni and mentors globally
  • 400 perks worth over $1M
  • Office space for three months
  • Demo Day and other investor connections
  • Equity Back Guarantee, the only one of its kind in the industry

Mentor makeup: Allison Jennings, Andy Wheeler, Ian Bernstein, Kai Bond, Karen Kerr

Portfolio companies: Dronesmith Technologies, Fueloyal, Galaxy AI, Losant, TEQ, Urban3D

 Alchemist Accelerator

"If you’re a team interested in attacking the challenges of building a more precise planet using IoT technology consider applying for a place in the Alchemist Accelerator.  We’re interested in companies that are taking both a vertical, as well as a horizontal approach.  If you’re interested in building smarter things, whether that’s a next generation healthcare machine or the software to power things, we’re interested. If you’re in to next generation connection technology that makes it cheaper, better or faster to connect things, then join Alchemist."

Investment amount: $36,000

Program benefits: Access to over $1 million in discounted products and services 

Mentor makeup: Alex Bessonov, Abhishek Shukla, Doug Davis, Michael Dolbec

Portfolio companies: Puloli, Sensorhound

 

"The Internet continues to spill out beyond our desktops and mobile screens and into devices, objects and hardware. This massive shift in how we experience and harness technology, also known as the 'Internet of Things,' includes new product categories from wearable technologies to home automation and enterprise solutions.

The IoT Accelerator tapped into these emerging classes of products, highlighting companies working with hardware, software and data in compelling ways for consumers and businesses"

Investment amount: As a benefit of participating in the program, each company will receive $20,000 as well as hosting services, work space, connections and deep mentorship. In addition, companies accepted to the program have the option to accept a $100,000 convertible debt note. This provides even more resources for you to get your ideas off the ground.

R/GA is funding the convertible debt note that is available to each company accepted in the program. Each company has the option of taking this convertible note. If you do decide to take the additional funding, then R/GA will share in the equity of the company.

Program benefits: R/GA will leverage its capabilities in business strategy, branding, UX, visual design, technology, and marketing along with our broad client relationships to help the startups create successful businesses and brands in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices space.

Mentor makeup: Stewart Alsop, Tim Chang, David Cohen, Brad Feld, Brittany Laughlin, David Tisch

Portfolio companies: Enertiv, Footmarks, Grove, Hammerhead Navigation, Keen Home, KyteLabs, Owlet Baby Care, ringblingz, QoL, Qualia Health

 

"The Internet of Things is not just a radical idea. It’s everything."

Investment amount: Check size ranges from $25,000 to $500,000

Program benefits: Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS

Mentor makeup: Carolin Tolksdorf, Mark Sanislav, Steph Jacobs, Chip Heath

Portfolio companies: Beartek, Syncmotion, StretchSense, Flo, BeHex, Ripples

 

Startupbootcamp

"Startupbootcamp IoT’s mission is to make the journey of building a connected hardware startup clearer, shorter, and more successful for entrepreneurs."

Investment amount: Each startup will also receive £15,000 to cover expenses

Program benefits: Based in the heart of Shoreditch you’ll have 24/7 access to our space at IDEALondon which includes a fast prototyping lab. Each startup will also receive more than €500K+ in exclusive partner deals from leading providers such as Amazon, HubSpot, SendGrid and others.

Mentor makeup: Alan Greenberg, Alasdair Allan, Danny Goh, Hannah French

Portfolio companies: Hudlog, Internet of Trees, Mothive, Odyssey Sensors, Robotic Solutions, Sonodot, StoryBot, ThingBlox, Unifi.id

 

ReadWrite Labs

"The days of standalone products are being eclipsed by the dawn of a new world of IoT and the Connected You. The leading companies of this new world will not sell products – they will build ecosystems that connect to partner companies, power thriving developers communities, and deliver seamless experiences to the end consumer.

This is a market that looks like no other. And to succeed in it, you need a partner that looks like no other. You need a partner that is equally adept at supporting companies at all stages of their growth as they are confronted with these challenges. This is the foundation on which ReadWrite Labs has emerged."

Investment amount: Upon being accepted into the program and depending on the stage of your company (i.e. early vs late), we require an equity stake from 2-6% per each company.

Program benefits: Each founder and their team will participate in a two (2) week bootcamp, diving deep into the all the knowledge needed to build a successful global IoT company. We introduce you to mentors, investors, and partners specific to your business.

After the boot camp, it’s time to take the knowledge you’ve earned and the new connections you’ve made and put them to use in accelerating your business.You’ll also participate in meet-ups and industry events.

At the conclusion of the program, as an alum you can schedule a cross-border visits or attend another bootcamp at any Gateway location*, during which local staff will facilitate relevant meetings with investors, corporate executives, start-ups, and mentors depending on your needs.

Mentor makeup: Quinn Li, Andy Mcgloughlin, Monisha Perkash, Bonin Bough, Shaherose Charania, Robert Scoble

Portfolio companies: Grush, Kiddo, Ozmo, Carfit, OSVehicle

 

"We back founders from around the globe in the early stages of building connected hardware businesses.

Our focus is to support hardware founders to establish critical, early stage validation and traction with functional prototypes over a four-month sprint. Individually tailored education and dedicated time with in-house experts ranging from finding product market fit through retail and distribution powers our program."

Investment amount: For teams joining our accelerator, we ask for 3% equity on a cashless basis

Program benefits: 

  • Tailored Education: We have learned a lot over the past several years working in tech and IoT in particular. We've distilled it all into an online education platform specially built for connected hardware founders. Combining Lean Startup methods, product development, manufacturing in China, our collective learnings having worked with hundreds of founders from concept to crowdfunding, and 40 years of distribution experience, our education platform is there for you to learn and apply at your own pace.
  • Tools: As a hardware founder, we know your to do list is long! That's why we've built dozens of tools and templates to help take steps out of the process and help you move more quickly and efficiently. From cash flow models to BOM tools to branding templates, the Brinc toolbox helps you level up faster than the competition. 
  • Weekly Office Hours: We put the time in together. Weekly 1:1 office hours with our in-house experts are available for you to ask the hard questions, brainstorm and push through the challenges together.  
  • Monthly All-Brinc Office Hours: Each month, we get together as a group: your team and the Brinc Accelerator, Studio and Growth teams to zoom out and take a 360 degree view of your progress and plans. The all-hands helps ensure that the work you are doing today is honed for the stages ahead, including R&D, mass manufacturing, and retail and distribution.

Mentor and Vendor Network: Our mentor and vendor network is a carefully selected group of experts ranging from design gurus to hardware founders to startup-friendly manufacturers to retailers. We rely on this network for precise, just-in-time guidance for our founders. 

Mentor makeup: Our mentor program is not like most other accelerator programs. It's tight-knit, deeply specialised and available for discrete and specific instances. We think this is a good thing. It means you get highly tailored advice from the best people we know in the industry, precisely when it's relevant. 

Portfolio companies: PillDrill, Soundbrenner, Kello, Lantrn, Simple, HueCore

 

"In 2020 there will be 24 billion IoT devices installed and nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions. This is why we launch this program, in cooperation with Deutsche Bank, dedicated to innovative startups working on Internet of Things technologies focused on consumer finance and corporate finance."

Investment amount: $20k seed investment for 5-10 percent equity

Program benefits: While staying here you only have to focus on your business. You have space for the whole team with access to all the necessary infrastructure (WiFi network, meeting rooms,…). We also offer amazing food all day long in our restaurant and accommodation on our Campus to each team member. 

Every team receives €20.000 in cash with a possibility for further investment from the H-FARM Investment fund at the end of the program. After four months of acceleration, you are invited to pitch at Demo Night to an international audience made by business angels, investors, companies and journalists.

We make your startup’s life easier by giving you access to hundreds of great perks, free or discounted services. The value of these offers is more than €450.000.

Mentor makeup: You can attend workshops held by our experts covering key themes such as Business Strategy & Development, Communication & Marketing, Coding & Dev, UX & Design, Legal & Fundraising. You also meet with entrepreneurs, investors, managers and business leaders from our international network.

Portfolio companies: Antlos, BauZaar, deSwag, Faberest, Foody, Indigo

 

"Startup Scaleup’s tailored 6-month accelerator will make sure that our IoT startups will have all they need to succeed internationally. The programme is a mix of events and resources both online and at the hubs underpinned by a foundation of unique services, experienced mentors, IoT experts, developers and facilities."

Investment amount: Startup Scaleup does not offer any financial contributions to selected startups. The added value of Startup Scaleup is access to tools and people that can help speeding-up the process of bringing your IOT innovation to the market and to the clients. It comes in form of access to prototyping facilities, help with licensing, access to mass manufacturers, help with IOT focused fundraising etc.

Program benefits: Being under Startup Europe initiative, Startup Scaleup connects 5 European countries/ecosystems – Lithuania, The Netherlands, Ireland and 2 cities in Spain. Accepted startups can choose any of the ecosystem available when taking part in the program. Partners in different ecosystems bring different expertise to startups – access to prototyping facilities, help with licensing, access to investors or access to corporates.

Mentor makeup: Vinton G. Cerf, David Cuartielles

Portfolio companies: Guh.io, Trichrome, Pulser, Digital Living, BikeLook, Checkmate, MEMiO

 

SAP

"The SAP IoT Startup Accelerator is a globally accessible co-innovation program for selected B2B startups that are innovating in the world of the Internet of Things. The Accelerator helps startups grow and scale their business alongside SAP, our vast partner ecosystem, and a global customer base."

Investment amount: SAP does not invest in the startup or provide venture capital

Program benefits: 

  • Connection  with the best team(s) and matching product owners within SAP to advance their solutions, based on a direct engagement model
  • Access to SAP’s vast customer base and SAP solutions and platforms including SAP Developer Resources and the SAP Leonardo IoT portfolio
  • Help identifying co-innovation opportunities, aligned with customer requirements, and guidance with the development and integration of startup solutions with SAP 
  • A tailored approach to help accelerate success, based on seeing each startup in the accelerator program as unique in its needs
  • Retained equity and no fees; we are looking for solutions that promote our shared customer’s success
  • Collaboration with complementary accelerators and funds to promote IoT innovation

Portfolio companies: Skysense, Synfioo, XMPro, Fetch Robotics, Loginno, Panoramic Power

 

 

 Revvx

"RevvX supports building Disruptive and Innovative Product Startups in areas such as Internet of Things, Augmented /Virtual reality, Robotics, Drones, Blockchain, Wearables and Connected Automobiles."

Investment amount: Up to $50,00 per team for 8 percent equity

Program benefits: 

Prototype

  • Convert an engineering prototype to a manufacturable prototype.
  • Access vendors for rapid prototyping.
  • Learn component sourcing and management.
  • Due diligence from hardware experts.
  • Build factory relationships at early stage.
  • Access to industry experts and mentors. 
  • Participate in partner events and product showcases.

Manufacturing

  • DFM Review.
  • BOM Analysis and Optimization.
  • Identify factory partner.
  • Engage with leading design firms.
  • Test and Certifiy your products.
  • Access to industry experts and mentors.
  • Access to discounted services from partners.
  • Participate in partner event and product showcases.

Business Track

  • Facilitate Fund Raising.
  • Go to Market Acceleration.
  • Certifications and Distribution Strategy 
  • Access to Retail chains, Crowdfunding and e-commerce marketplaces.
  • Due diligence meetings and Investor demos.
  • PR and Media Connect.
  • Access to Industry experts and mentors
  • Participate in partner events and product showcases.

Mentor makeup: Danny Moo, Ravi Pagar, Ian Choo, Satish Lusvant

Portfolio companies: Blueberry Wall, Fraggingmonk, SeeHow, ThingsCloud

(Image source: industriaitaliana.it)

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