The next big thing
that’s still very small
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
The internet of things
Embedding cheap hardware onto a ‘thing’.
Making sure that the hardware can connect to a network.
Make sure the network can collect the data and lead to actionable
information for the user and the business.
Extending the unique properties of an existing thing.
Creating a whole new thing.
Creating a whole new behaviour around a thing.
There are as many potential applications as there are things
Examples: Home autonomy
Lively! (US) Glowcaps (US)Kemuri (UK)
Smart sole (US)
Examples: Health & Safety wearables
Examples: Small Infrastructure
Buffalogrid (UK) Hello Tracker (Kenya)Farmbot (US)
British Gas Hive (UK) Ding doorbell (UK) Bleep Bleeps (UK)
We could be here all day…
with hardware partner
Own hardware and
What do most people build?
with hardware partner
Own hardware and
Time to launch
The financial environment
No larger seed funds dedicated to internet of things
Minimum viable investment in hardware: £150K
There are no incubators or accelerators that support that initial investment
Crowdfunding is a terrible early stage financial mechanism
Government grants don’t like micro-SMEs
Making things is much easier
Designing a supply chain in Europe or Asia is much easier.
There are yearly trips for entrepreneurs to China to build relationships.
Manufacturing in Europe can be cost effective too.
Highway1 by PCH
What £150K should buy you
A reasonable tech & marketing team (4-5 people)
A small supply chain
A small batch of production ready
products to test with customers and validate the idea.
Something to put in front of retail buyers to place orders.
Yes that’s probably more than you want to invest
Invention has always come at a cost that was higher than software.
Investing less than £150K won’t even get the team to get started.
Look at crowdfunding horror stories as an example of what happens
when you have too many customers and too little funding.
What an exit looks like?
Selling to a large industrial player who wants the team
Selling to a large FMG company who doesn’t have the innovation
Selling to a large tech company who don’t know how to make things.
The right questions to ask the teams you meet?
Where do you want to sell the product?
Who is missing on your team?
Who do you think are your customers?
Who do you wish were your customers?
How would you spend the money?
What lies you will always be told
We have other product ideas in the pipeline (but they haven’t been
selling their first one yet)
We know exactly what it’s going to cost (but they haven’t made one)
Marketing will sort itself out, we’re trying to fix the tech first.
We’re planning on crowdfunding soon
There is no easy seed money in this space apart from
incubators (10-15K for 3-4 months).
So they’re super excited to be meeting with you.
They think that crowdfunding will make you happy, it’ll mostly kill them.
A checklist for their first year (bootstrapping)
A mix of tech & marketing team (2-3 people is ok)
Good PR lists or links
Functional if crappy looking prototype
Lots of user stories / newsletter signups (1-4K)
A checklist for their 2-3rd year (post £150K)
Pre-production samples being tested with customers
Small supply chain already tested
Relationships w retailers or wholesalers established
MOUs w potential customers
A checklist for year 4: Go!
Pre-orders throughout the year
A promising Christmas (if consumer)
Where do you find them?
Attend a local #iot meetup or subscribe to their newsletters
Talk to the meetup organiser about making introductions
Tech conferences always have a startup showcase space
Crowdfunding or Equity seed funding (it may be too late though)