The 2015 Wi-Fi Global Congress in London was a successful event on all fronts, and one of the most exciting additions to this year’s conference program was the inaugural WBA Accelerator Sessions.
For the first time at a Wi-Fi event, start-up and scale-up businesses were given the opportunity to pitch their companies to a panel of investors, in the hopes of securing funds to expedite their growth. After each round of pitches, the audience was asked to electronically cast their votes for the company that they believed offered the most investable proposition.
The start-up and scale-up Accelerator Sessions took place on the afternoon of the final day of the WGC, with each company receiving ten minutes to make their pitch. If you weren’t there to see it, here were the standouts from each session:
Car Quids – The winner of the start-up Accelerator, Car Quids is a rather ingenious method of pairing car owners with advertisers. After registering their car online, owners are paired with advertisers based on their car, driving habits, and lifestyle. After a suitable pairing is reached, adverts are stuck to the car, and the owner is paid a monthly sum (up to £100).
Converge – One of the runners-up (by a very slim margin!), Converge works in both the medical and construction sectors and provides an end-to-end solution for collecting, storing, and analyzing sensor data. This is, essentially, a company that works within the framework of IoT, which was a very hot topic at this year’s WGC.
nCube – We’ve all heard of the concept of a Smart City, and nCube scales down this idea to that of a Smart Home. By connecting any of your connected devices in your home to one single hub, all of these devices can be monitored and controlled via a smartphone app. Your heating, lighting, appliances, and more are suddenly all accessible with one device – this is the future in action!
Veniam – The top vote-getter of the scale-up Accelerator, Veniam is another company that is diving headfirst into the world of IoT by turning vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots. This creates a ‘mesh’ network that has already gotten a lot of praise in the technology sectors, and in the press. It could be a major step in the concept of a Smart City – moving vehicles acting as Wi-Fi hotspots. This was a very exciting presentation, and at the end of the Accelerator session, the votes showed that Veniam was a hit with the attendees.
Blu Wireless – No less an authority than WBA Co-Chair Chris Bruce was thoroughly impressed by the presentation that Blu Wireless put on. The Bristol-based company offers an IP that can allow manufacturers to launch devices with up to 60ghz (or 802.11ad Wi-Fi) functionality – and for a very low cost. This is not an easy task, but the Blu Wireless team prides themselves on having the necessary skills to meet the demand.
Sensefinity – Yet another company that seeks to unlock the full potential that IoT has to offer, Sensefinity is a Portuguese scale-up company that offers affordable Cloud-based solutions for a variety of businesses. Their passion for the concept of IoT is very apparent, and they will even conduct workshops and information sessions for companies/businesses that want to know more about what IoT can do for them.
The Accelerator sessions were a very exciting part of the WGC – not only did they provide investors and attendees with an opportunity to hear some inspiring presentations by up-and-coming companies, they also showcased the WBA’s goal to open our events to a wider audience while simultaneously promoting innovation, growth, and new technological advances.
Get ready for our next round of Accelerator sessions, which will take place at the Wi-Fi Global Congress in San Jose, California on October 12-15, 2015.