Seamless Accelerator held its first Demo Day, the final event in a 12-week programme that connected eight Internet of Things (IoT) startups with six large, Michigan enterprises. Participating teams presented their businesses to the investment and entrepreneurial communities.
Eight startups including Alsentis, Cosign, Friendly, HAAS, Hoana, Nobot, Scanalytics, TracTouch Mobile were brought into the programme by six enterprise consortium partners including Amway, Faurecia, Meijer, Steelcase, Priority Health and Spectrum Health.
“Today, it’s startups rather than large enterprises that are typically celebrated as the leaders in innovation and influence in technology, but Seamless Accelerator created a unique collaboration that created new innovations for the large companies, while addressing the specific needs of the startups,” said Mike Morin, director of Seamless. “IoT startups at this early stage need more than just working capital; they need engineers who understand materials and experts in supply chain, distribution and marketing. Seamless brought all of this together.”
Participating startups reached significant milestones during the Seamless Accelerator and presented them during Demo Day. They include:
- Hoana, a smart, connected bed cover that created with Faurecia, the Active Wellness automobile seat to detect road rage or drowsiness in drivers
- HAAS, developed its alerting hardware and software API to integrate into automobiles and Bluetooth helmets
- AlSentis, with Steelcase created a development kit that will showcase the technology’s ability to sense touch through any fabric and its integration into almost any surface; strategic investments from Start Garden, Faurecia and Steelcase
- Cosign, which turns images on the Internet into a digital storefront
- Scanalytics, inventor of Internet-connected floor sensors, announced a $200,000 investment from Start Garden Fund
Dubbed the “Internet of Things” (IoT), this next generation of connected objects and “things” is estimated to have a potential impact of $2-14 trillion on the global economy by 2020. A recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found, one in every six businesses is planning to roll out an IoT-based product, and more than 75% of corporate enterprises are exploring how to use IoT to improve their operations.
The Seamless Accelerator programme provides enterprises with collaborative,light weight, low friction access to emerging technologies and businesses in a region that has quietly manufactured much of the physical spaces and objects encountered in today’s built environment. At the same time, it provides startups with unprecedented access to intellectual and commercialisation capital that they need to move its development forward.
“Enterprises have vast insight and quantification regarding the problems and the value of solving problems in the real world, but if the solution lies outside the company’s current core business model they struggle to launch sustainable solutions,” added Rick DeVos, CEO of Start Garden. “Seamless provides a neutral ground for financial, intellectual and social capital to converge from non-competing enterprises, and the results have been incredible.”
The Seamless Accelerator consists of a three-month programme, operating in semi-annual cycles. All participants receive direct access to enterprise leaders working in their field of manufacturing and design, seed capital, as well as the resources of strategic vendor partners. Applications are now open for the second cohort through February 1, 2016. Members of the Seamless Coalition are intimately involved in the selection process. The second season of Seamless begins on April 11.
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