Startups in First Class of R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator Named

12/4/13Follow @jpruth

Things just got real for a new accelerator in New York.

Ten startups were announced today, all working on ideas for networked electronics, for the inaugural R/GA Connected Device Accelerator class. The plan is to build companies to be part of the “Internet of Things” movement, which is all about technology that ties physical products to the digital realm.

Stephen Plumlee, chief operating officer for digital marketing agency R/GA, says some 250 startups from 25 countries applied for this first class. The final roster includes startups from New York, Boston, Seattle, Boulder, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Puerto Rico.

Ideas for the healthcare market, Plumlee says, were rather prominent among the applicants.

“There is a lot going on there in terms of connected devices and data integration,” he says. With the Affordable Care Act in effect, Plumlee says there also is greater emphasis on improving outcomes with patients to reduce medical costs. “That’s part of the problem set that healthcare companies are interested in,” he says.

The accelerator, formed as a partnership between New York-based R/GA and Boulder, CO-based Techstars, will start putting these startups through their paces this month.

The initial ideas in this first class include a monitor for baby health and intelligent devices for the home. Keep in mind that as these startups get mentored, their strategies might change a bit:

Enertiv—Has developed a software platform that leverages real-time data for building energy management.

Footmarks—Uses sensors and software to help brick-and-mortar retailers push location-based offers to their customers’ smartphones.

Grove—Developing an appliance and software platform to monitor and track the growth of indoor farms.

Hammerhead Navigation—Created a heads-up navigation display that guides bicyclists to routes suggested by the social community.

Keen Home—Developing automated, intelligent devices for the home. The initial product is a connected air vent for heating and ventilation systems.

KyteLabs— Working on a consumer product that brings connectivity to everyday transactions.

Owlet Baby Care—Wireless baby health monitor and platform that lets parents use smartphones to check up on their infants.

QoL—Created a biometric system that connects to mobile devices used for respiratory therapy and training.

Qualia Health—Uses data science to measure changes in overall health, particularly with people suffering from chronic diseases.

ringblingz—Social notification software that keeps users connected.

Next March, this inaugural class will present their ideas at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, TX, and then at a demo day in New York. Plumlee says a subsequent class is expected to start sometime next fall.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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