Exploring Undiscovered Country

Exploring Undiscovered Country

R/GA Accelerator managing director Jenny Fielding sees the program continuing to evolve with the ebb and flow of the Internet of Things.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Quicker Testing to Protect Crops

Quicker Testing to Protect Crops

Diagenetix, said CEO Scott Shibata, is developing a handheld DNA detection and analytics device and platform for checking crops in the field for mildew and diseases.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Laboratory in the Field

Laboratory in the Field

Diagenetix's goal is to make it possible to generate quick results from field tests rather than shipping samples to labs.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

An Idea in Stealth Mode

An Idea in Stealth Mode

CEO Shaun Springer could not go into much detail, but the team at Astro is working on simpler technology for smart homes.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached

Chargifi, said founder Dan Bladen, is creating a wireless way to recharge devices.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Key to Its Future

Key to Its Future

Latch is developing a smart lock for doors, which would open for the right people, said CEO Luke Schoenfelder.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Saving Workers from Injury

Saving Workers from Injury

Kinetic uses wearable devices worn by workers to help managers spot potential injuries on the job, said founder Haytham Elhawary.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Eyes In the Sky

Eyes In the Sky

SkySpecs is designing technology to help aerial drones keep from colliding with walls, lamp posts, people, and other obstructions, said CEO Daniel Ellis.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Communicating wth the Mobile Masses

Communicating wth the Mobile Masses

CEO Rodney Williams said Lisnr lets marketers and promoters send out special tones that connect smartphones with content.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Tuning In without a Smartphone

Tuning In without a Smartphone

Freedom Audio is developing wireless speakers that can stream music without smartphones, especially outdoors, said founder Adam Schwartz.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Connecting Industry Wirelessly

Connecting Industry Wirelessly

Eric Jennings, CEO, said Filament is developing technology that lets companies add sensors to their machines to create wireless networks.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Clearing the Air

Clearing the Air

Bitfinder developed a device called Awair that monitors a person's environment for pollutants and other unseen particles, said CEO Ronald Ro.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Breathing Easier

Breathing Easier

Awair analyzes the dense air indoors so people know if the space is healthy for them.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

The tone has shifted at the R/GA Accelerator, with its latest class largely focused on enterprise and business uses for the Internet of Things.

Initially built to nurture ideas in connected devices, largely related to consumer markets, the New York-based accelerator took a new approach with its second class of startups.

This is part of an evolution that Jenny Fielding, managing director of the accelerator, spoke about last August, with more focus on building up businesses, not just hardware.

The R/GA Accelerator was created through a partnership between Techstars and New York-based R/GA, a digital marketing agency.

In its first outing, the accelerator graduated startups developing a variety of connected devices, many with consumer-facing ideas. Last week, the second class held a demo day, showing some of the new directions being taken at the accelerator. (See the above slideshow.) They include a way to check for contagions amongst farm crops and software that improves the collision-detection ability of aerial drones.

Fielding spoke briefly with me afterwards about the changes to explore new directions for the program. “We’re looking more deeply into the Internet of Things and what the really means,” she said. “We’re interested in companies that can scale and go big. That’s not just about consumers.” There was a conscious decision, Fielding said, for the second class to look at big markets.

The accelerator will continue to adapt to what is happening in the continuously shifting marketplace, she said. That could mean future classes will dabble in more new sectors or revisit some prior ones.