People have been anticipating the advent of smart cities and smart homes even before The Jetsons first aired in 1963. But it’s not until fairly recently that the internet of things (IoT) has started turning fantasy into reality by enabling people to easily connect the smart devices in their homes. And it seems British entrepreneurs could have a big role to play now that R/GA Ventures, the tech accelerator, has launched its first ever programme for UK startups.
This is the company’s third programme globally and is a collaboration with Innovate UK, the UK government’s innovation agency. It’s now accepting applications. Up to ten early stage startups will be selected to receive help with developing IoT-related technologies. R/GA Ventures is particularly interested in hearing from entrepreneurs working on solutions for connected cities, connected hardware, data and AI, connected finance and connected enterprise.
And fortunately for Pokémon Go enthusiasts, the accelerator is interested in helping augmented reality startups take off. Additionally, R/GA Ventures is encouraging entrepreneurs working in robotics, urban surveillance and security, smart farming and smart cars to apply.
Selected entrepreneurs will be given access to R/GA Ventures’ services, including business transformation, strategic marketing, branding, design and technology services. Successful applicants will also benefit from the accelerator’s network of clients, industry partners, global brand leaders, mentors and investors.
Matt Webb, founder and former CEO of Berg Cloud, will lead the initiative as managing director. Commenting on the appointment, Stephen Plumlee, managing partner at R/GA Ventures, said: “Matt’s experience and leadership in IoT and in the UK’s connected hardware tech community will ensure a program of exceptional quality and value”.
With London already being touted as one of the most likely cities in the world to produce the next big tech giant, it’s safe to say that R/GA Ventures’ investment in UK startups is a smart move.