Leading brands pledge support to £1m IoT Launchpad competition

Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless announced five new partners in support of the flagship £1 million (€1.2 million) Internet of Things Launchpad competition. Leading brands Bosch, Cisco, Hive by British Gas, RPD International and Fab Lab London will join existing partner companies providing support for startups and SMEs in London and Cambridge, which are working on the Internet of Things.

In addition to a £1 million funding grant to be shared between them, competition winners will benefit from access to the expertise and business support of the new partners, who join EE, John Lewis, Unilever, Seed Camp and Red Gate.

First announced by David Cameron at the CEBIT conference earlier this year, the Launchpad competition will support Internet of Things early stage start-ups or SMEs based in London and Cambridge.

Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO, comments: “We are delighted to add a group of such high-calibre brands to an already great list of Launchpad partners. Working with early stage startups, these companies will provide the mentoring and financial support needed for successful acceleration. Their activity will greatly aid our aim to create an IoT ‘super-cluster’, drawing on the software and marketing expertise of London and the hardware and network expertise of Cambridge”.

Hive by British Gas will offer winning companies the possibility of being integrated into their systems in addition to mentoring and business support for shortlisted applicants.

Seb Chakraborty, director of technology, British Gas Connected Homes, commented: “We’re delighted to lend our support to the IoT Launchpad competition and help to develop growing businesses in this exciting sector. With our Hive Active Heating™ product now in nearly 100,000 British homes, our business is a great example of the Internet of Things in action every day. Through the guidance and support we will offer companies on the programme, we hope even more people will see the benefits of connected technology products that make our lives easier.”

Cisco will offer successful candidates access to engineering, marketing and sales experts, Cisco DevNet and Cisco Solution Partner Programme and potential introductions to relevant customers and partners. Cisco will also provide incubation opportunities at IDEALondon and access to the National Virtual Incubator, in particular the virtual link between Cambridge and London.

Tom Kneen, head of business development, The British Innovation Gateway, Cisco UK & Ireland, commented: “Cisco is pleased to be supporting the IoT Launchpad – Cisco has a strong focus on the IoT globally and we see the UK playing a leading role in developing, creating and realising this exciting new Global market opportunity. By being involved in the Launchpad we hope to uncover emerging new talent that we can nurture and accelerate through a variety of the programmes that we already run in the UK.”

Bosch will offer business, mentoring and marketing support as well as possible investment to any suitable winners.

Gitte Bedford, vice-president, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH says: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the Internet of Things Launchpad. At Bosch we want to make the IoT vision a reality – for a more enjoyable life, and new and better ways of doing business. By supporting start-ups, through platforms like the IoT Launchpad, Robert Bosch Venture Capital can provide resource and expertise from a leading global supplier of technology and services – Bosch”

RPD International pledges marketing, mentoring and business support as well as the design and manufacturing of the winner’s products. It also offers a 20% discount on the design and manufacture of products from any shortlisted applicant.

Josh Valman, CEO of RPD International, stated: “Everybody at RPD is a passionate believer that ideas and talent are not the privilege of those with the most money and experience. We’re super excited to see what comes out of the competition, when ideas are given the combined manufacturing and marketing power of RPD and the other partners such as Bosch, Cisco and British Gas.”

Fab Lab London joins the Internet of Things Launchpad as a venue partner, providing a space and facilities for winners to create their IoT product.

Ande Gregson, co-founder Fab Lab London commented: We’re delighted to be supporting the IoT initiative providing an opportunity for the winners to build their projects onsite within Fab Lab London – working alongside a global community of experts and mentors, whilst taking advantage of the latest tools in digital fabrication”

The competition is open to all European entrepreneurs, as long as their company is registered in the UK and has a working connection with either the London orCambridge tech clusters. Closing date for submissions is 3 September 2014.


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