Launching IoT Businesses with a Boost in Bristol
SETsquared in Bristol is a technology incubator working with early stage, businesses that have a high growth potential. The incubator supported a cohort of businesses on the 2017 IoTUK Boost programme. Thanks to the success of that initiative, SETsquared are currently incubating a second cohort of internet of things start-ups on the IoTUK Boost 2 Programme.
IoT businesses are just one of many different types of tech start-ups on the SETsquared programme. Any company with software or hardware at the proof of concept stage with a high growth potential can be part of the incubator. Businesses should be backed by market research, validated by potential clients, or have defensible IP or first mover advantage. The incubator is also not just for early stage start-ups – more established companies that are launching new tech products or that have the ambition to grow or pivot can also benefit from SETsquared services. Since 2002 they have had over 200 companies pass through their doors and are currently incubating over 80 businesses.
Progress so far
IoTUK Boost was an opportunity for SETsquared to focus on one technology stack. Bristol already had a smart city project ‘Bristol is Open’ which allowed anyone to experiment by building a testbed. There was also plenty of research happening at Bristol University around 5G, which had established a good network of IoT companies in the area. Monika Radclyffe, Centre Manager for SETsquared Bristol said,
“We could see that there were a growing number of IoT businesses in Bristol. What they needed was more business support to help them get off the ground, and the IoTUK Boost project was a great opportunity to be able to fund and further accelerate innovation in the IoT space.”
The first cohort started in April 2017. They received 12 months incubation, which included tailored business support, access to the LPWAN network, and tech support from IoT specialists. All of the businesses had access to individual training and bespoke SETsquared services including coaching, mentoring and investor readiness, to ensure that the programme met their needs.
Cohort member, Our Canary won best elevator pitch at SETsquared’s annual Tech-Xpo showcase in 2017, for their chat based virtual assistant for work and family life. Collectively, the cohort has received £76,000 in investment, generated £160,000 in revenue and created 15 jobs.
SETsquared received a second round of funding from IoTUK to run another cohort following the success of the first, which included five fully funded places, as well as a further two self-funded. The second cohort is due to complete in March 2019, with a showcase event coming up soon. Monika remarked,
“There was much more interest in the programme following the first cohort, which made the decision of who to include more difficult second time around. We were thrilled to receive many high-quality applications. We hope that participants will continue at SETsquared past the one-year programme. On average, we find our members stay for around two and a half years, until they reach a big milestone like substantial funding, or even founder exit.”
HellyHolly Ltd: Our Canary– smart assistance for busy families. https://www.ourcanary.com/
IoLt Ltd: CLWB enables the accelerated learning of technology, industry processes, STEM subjects, and 21st Century Skills.
Lemonpeel Controls: Smart building controls for small to medium commercial buildings with complex weekly schedules who need a better way to turn their heating, lighting or ventilation on at the right times. – http://lemonpeel.io/
LuJam Security Ltd: The Threat from Cyber Security is sky-rocketing and SMEs do not have the means to mitigate the latest risks. LuJam Security provides an innovative real-time solution based on a subscription model that protects your network and all devices attached to it. – https://lujam.com/
Studio Meineck: Studio Meineck creates carefully considered, award-winning social design. Working closely with charities, academics and arts organisations in workshops, drawing on the discussions enabled by these workshops and an approach that blends craft, technology and social design, we work towards tackling the problems that these groups face by developing award winning products. – http://www.studiomeineck.com/
TrustWeave: TrustWeave Ltd designs innovative Internet of Things (IoT) based products and services with security and privacy as founding principles. – https://www.trustweave.com/
Zoetrope: Zoetrope is an IoT company providing both consultancy and new product development services for companies of all sizes. We develop solutions in partnership with our clients which enable coherent and connected products. Zoetrope is launching a new packaged solution for rapid deployment of IoT for integration with existing products developed by SMEs. https://zoetrope.io/
LettusGrow – LettUs Grow is a UK-based agricultural technology company that is revolutionising irrigation efficiency in vertical farms. We use our seamless integration of vertical farming hardware, sensory data capture, and networked data, to create a powerful farm management solution for the vertical farming industry. – https://lettusgrow.com/
Sure Chill – Sure Chill is a unique and pioneering cooling technology that doesn’t require a constant power supply. It can provide cooling for weeks without power, even in hot ambient conditions. The platform technology can be adapted to suit any cooling requirement, from medical and domestic refrigerators, to beverage coolers and retail chillers. – http://www.surechill.com/
Cotham Technologies – The company develops products and technologies for the next wave of innovation and digital transformation in the smart mobile device-cloud area: transforming user experience, productivity and work flow http://cothamtechnologies.com/
New Businesses in Cohort Two
Cerberus Security Laboratories, are specialist team that offers a range of security software and development services for embedded devices. https://cerberus-laboratories.com/
Inventyourhome, founded by Prankit Gupta and Ankit Seal, is a smart-home design business providing design services relating to home automation, wireless security, lighting, and heating control, all integrated into one integrated system. https://www.inventyourhome.com/
IoTechnics, based in Cirencester and Wooton Bassett, build devices, sensors, and physical objects that connect your business. https://www.iotechnics.com/
Homelync, are on a mission to support governments and organisations in making the most of new technologies in urban areas. http://homelync.io/
From the Cohort
“Cotham Technologies develops breakthrough products and technologies for the next wave of innovation and digital transformation in the IoT, smart device and cloud area: transforming user experience, productivity and work flow. The IoT boost programme has been a very positive environment where we have cross fertilised ideas and nurtured potential collaboration with member organisations for end to end solutions. Our thanks go out to SetSquared Bristol and the IoTUK Boost programme who have provided great support and environment for our business to grow.”
Chief Executive Officer, Cotham Technologies