£1m Internet of Things prize fund awarded to seven start-ups

Seven start-ups will share a £1m fund to fuel IoT growth

Tech City UK, Innovate UK and Cambridge Wireless have announced the seven winners of a £1m Internet of Things (IoT) competition designed to support start-ups in the early stage of business.

The fund will be split between the winners, which are based in London and Cambridge.

The start-ups will also receive expertise and support from private sector partners of the programme, including EE, John Lewis, Bosch, Unilever and Cisco.

These partners will also offer opportunities for further funding, access to markets and mentorship, along with retail space to showcase products to customers.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey welcomed the investment being channelled into the UK’s adoption of the IoT.

“Investing in growth areas such as the IoT is a key part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain,” he said.

The seven companies selected by a panel are Arjun Technology Ventures, Digital Shadows, London Cambridge Cycle, OpenTRV, Product Health, Superflux and ThinkInnovate.

The projects and products range from Digital Shadows’ work on IoT security to Product Health’s connected batteries in the ‘off-grid’ energy sector.

Arjun Technology Ventures was formed by two start ups, Kisanhub and NWave, and plans to use the funding and support to develop a data analytics platform, which makes use of data collected from sensors used in the farming industry to improve the way crops are grown.

Giles Barker, co-founder of Kisanhub, told V3 that the opportunity to network with other small and large companies is just as useful as a share of the prize fund.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for companies such as us, because we’re a fairly small and newly started company based in Cambridge and it’s given us the opportunity to partner with another start up in London,” he said. “The networking is probably the best outcome of working with these companies.”

The competition and the fund is representative of the growing presence of the IoT and the way it is galvanising activity and innovation in the UK’s start-up sector.

“With a critical mass of world-class expertise in hardware in Cambridge and software in London and other cities, the UK is in a strong position to lead the way in the IoT,” said Gerard Grech, chief executive at Tech City UK.

“These competition winners are some of the most innovative early stage businesses in the UK’s IoT space, and I’m excited to see how they will develop with the funding and mentorship from the initiative’s partners such as Seedcamp, Cisco, RedGate and Unilever.”

The companies will have up to 12 months to complete their projects, under the careful gaze of Innovate UK’s Monitoring Officers.

The IoT is picking up pace in the UK. An IoT network went live in 10 UK cities earlier this month, and major technology companies are making inroads into the area.

SAP recently touted its HANA Cloud Platform as a core means of exploiting data harvested from IoT devices.

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18 December 2014 | 11:33 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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