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Come together: why and how to grow an internet of things community in your city


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Talk given at the ITP Symposium at Wintec in Hamilton New Zealand on July 5th 2017.

Published in: Design
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Come together: why and how to grow an internet of things community in your city

  1. 1. Come together Why and how to grow an internet of things community in your city Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
  2. 2. About me First UK distributor of electronics education tool Arduino London Internet of Things meetup organiser since 2011 #iot strategy consultant Writing a book on smart homes for Apress Founder of Good Night Lamp
  3. 3. The internet of things The internet of things is the realised and as of yet unrealised potential usefulness of adding connectivity & data services to previously unconnected products & spaces. Home Work City Body Education
  4. 4. Why? The internet of things is a popular topic in technology, design, business innovation, research and investment circles. Almost noone can agree on what it is which means people don’t self-exclude themselves from the conversation.
  5. 5. Why? The internet of things is a mix of competencies which do not exist under one roof, one university, one space. With a meetup you grow an ecology of: -  People who will learn about the topic at the same time -  Shared resources -  Shared tools -  Shared journey of development -  Team building -  Investment
  6. 6. How do you bring that diversity forward? An accessible host organisation (the city?) Free access Evening, week-days once a month (min) Access to a creche service if you can offer it Showcase events for projects, products, prototypes. Informal badges (first names only)
  7. 7. People who learn about the topic at the same time The bigger the mix of people, training, competencies, industries the broader the potential. Diversity in the audience is key: women, Maori, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ Age diversity too (beyond 35-45)
  8. 8. Shared tools & resources Easy access to manufacturing prototyping facilities for the general public Access to specialist books at the local library (
  9. 9. Shared journey Share with your community a good newsletter with news on: •  User research (surveys) •  Crowdfunding •  Jobs Get them to share with the rest of the community Evening meetups with 3 people speaking for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes Q&A.
  10. 10. Team building Keep the meetups consistent and people will meet others they will eventually trust to start a business with. Kemuri found their CTO at a meetup. Olitool found their CTO & funding through the meetup.
  11. 11. Team building through incubation Start an #iot incubator program in collaborations with other #iot incubator program leads around the world. •  HAX (China) •  Startupbootcamp IoT (London) •  Jon Bradford (Seamless program 2013 & Techstars) •  L’usine IO (Paris) •  LeCamp (South of France) •  CRL (London) •  RGA (London & NYC) •  Highway 1 (SF) •  Bolt (USA)
  12. 12. Investment Develop funds that won’t invest less or more than £150K for a well prepared team. Less than £150K and they can’t build anything. More than £150K and they’ll drown themselves.
  13. 13. How long should you invest in this? 5 years minimum. London’s #iot meetup has been running for 6 years and much has grown around it. Other meetups have mushroomed and some have died around it through the years. It acts as a community anchor to do more:
  14. 14. What do you get? National and international partnerships National and international visitors Grow a common understanding of what the space could mean for your city You get to specialise if you want to (agritech?)
  15. 15. Good luck Why and how to grow an internet of things community in your city Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino