Boosting the internet of things in the UK


View IOT companies (UK & Europe) in a larger map

I’ve been putting a map together of internet of things startups in the UK & Europe since May 2012. It’s not that I don’t care about the rest of the world, but as I’ve written about before, there is a real opportunity for the UK to lead on great ideas and businesses in the consumer sector. Building consumer applications isn’t easy, and the support from the investment community in the UK has been limited as they tend to be more comfortable with B2B or industrial applications. But role of crowdfunding and open hardware have contributed to adding variety to the ideas that investors get exposed to after years of apps apps apps. Last week, when I learnt that Xively was to step down as the sponsor of the Internet of Things London Meetup, offers flooded in to replace them.  This is a sign things are changing for the better if you’re a startup in this area.

After helping Tech City UK promote the Technology Strategy Board IOT Launchpad competition last month, we heard that the the number of SMEs that applied was four times what they had expected. So people are willing to give government funding a chance which also implies that other sources of funding are not yet readily available. Hopefully, that too will change.

For those companies who are pre-funding though, we’re helping the Digital Catapult organise a day in Liverpool on October 3rd giving startups free technical advice from experts around all the topics you’d expect them to worry about: manufacturing, electronics engineering, marketing. No it’s not in London, because among other things, Liverpool has a wonderful community led by Adrian of makers & budding entrepreneurs and London will benefit from what we can learn there. So if you’re up for a day trip and need some help, really you ought to consider it.

I find us fortunate to be involved in shaping events like these as we try to bridge the many gaps for startups in the physical/digital world. Learnings from my own product development , we pour back into designing events people will find value in. There’s a lot going on in the UK and we have to celebrate it and nurture it before people get swallowed up by the West Coast like some have in digital startups. Not quite better together, just better here.

Writing 'Creating a Culture of Innovation' (Out in 2020, Apress)