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.