A new encouraging 12-week intensive accelerator programme for innovative Internet of Things start-ups was launched in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, earlier this week.
The IoT Tribe North accelerator programme aims to support emerging start-ups to establish relationships with future partners and help them to grow a sustainable business.
The programme which addresses start-ups developing innovative products in the business area of IoT was launched on Wednesday (29 November) and hosted at the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley.
Tanya Suarez, co-founder of IoT Tribe, said: “People with all kinds of backgrounds came together, from small companies, SME’s, global players. We had decision makers, young engineers and software developers coming from all over the UK; from Bristol, London, Yorkshire and beyond.
“They all built up an interesting network, and people who normally don’t get a chance to chat, started the most interesting conversations.
“We are also very proud of our amazing panel. Prof Rab Scott from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre was there, as well as Kieran Murphy from Rolls Royce, Stephen Gatenby, director of innovations at Barclays and John Spindler from Capital Enterprise.
“Representatives from Research & Development, manufacturing and from the investment community exchanged their specific opinions on IoT.”
Suarez adds that the main point about the event is to connect people, and the programme represents a new approach for business models “which is completely changing the way people do business.”
“These kinds of programmes are not only important for upcoming start-ups but as well for established businesses which may find themselves disrupted in the future.
“And, the programme is a very good way to reduce the risks that are attached to a company when it is going on its own R&D path,” Suarez said.
The launch took place in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, a former industrial town which was famous for linen manufacturing, coal mining and glassmaking in its former years.
About the decision to launch the programme in a town with such a proud industrial heritage, Suarez said: “We live in a connected economy which is global, so locations matter. But, what matters mostly is people.
“We could have done the launch in London, but we wanted to go with our programme to a real manufacturing epicentre in the UK.
“And we chose Barnsley because the Media Centre has nice facilities, we could set up a lab there and the people very much on the same page as we are in terms of what ‘digital’ means for a local economy.”
Currently, the programme is in phase one, which means that a vast number of applications from start-ups are still being collected. The application deadline is 7 December, and then the process begins, when the most promising concepts, ideas and firms will be shortlisted.
Suarez says: “On 8 January, the concepts will be pitched to mentors, which will be interviewing the start-ups, holding talks and decide which ones they like most, till we have a final programme on 15 January.
“In the Media Centre, the selected start-ups will get a 12-week support which helps them to look at things from a manufacturer’s point of view and give them an idea of how to find investors.
“At the end of the twelve weeks, there will be a demo day in Barnsley and we will also organise an invest day in London, an event at which the start-ups will get the chance to pitch to the investment community in the capital.”
To find out more about the accelerator programme click here.