Techstars Gets Industrial With Launch of IoT Accelerator in New York

Trying a different strategy to nurture startups in the Internet of Things niche, Techstars announced on Monday the formation of another accelerator that will be based in New York.

Ten spots are up for grabs for startups in the new program, which is another effort by Boulder, CO-based Techstars to foster companies working on ideas that connect the Internet and software to (or collect data from) pieces of hardware in the real world.

Techstars IoT (Internet of Things) will operate out of the Barclays Rise facility in the city, which is also home to the Barclays Accelerator run in partnership with Techstars for financial technology startups.

The IoT accelerator will focus on business-to-business and industrial ideas that connect with the infrastructure of companies. The program is looking for startups developing innovations in robotics, virtual reality, smart cities, drones, and other areas, says Jenny Fielding (pictured), who will lead the new IoT accelerator. She also serves as managing director of the Barclays Accelerator.

“As connected home and other areas still figure out interoperability, regulation, and security issues, we think the larger opportunity is around industrial,” she says, regarding the business-to-business push for the new accelerator.

A mix of more than 50 hardware and Internet of Things companies populate the Techstars portfolio already, Fielding says, such as Sphero, Keen Home, Enertiv, Filament, and Hammerhead.

Techstars previously ran somewhat comparable accelerator programs in New York for connected devices and Internet of Things with R/GA. That accelerator started off with a consumer focus and then last year shifted to business-to-business ideas.

Though that particular R/GA program ended and gave way to Techstars IoT, Techstars and R/GA remain partners in the Techstars METRO Accelerator.

The new IoT accelerator in New York has an array of companies such as Verizon, GE, PwC, and Bosch as partners. “We think they will be complementary to the skills and areas the startups are looking to develop,” Fielding says, such as “things around advanced manufacturing, software analytics, and business consulting.”

Techstars IoT is taking applications through July 10. It is open to startups from around the world, and the three-month accelerator is booked to start in September.

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