Tech City launches £1m Internet of Things competition

internet of things

A competition to provide support for early and growth stage businesses working on Internet of Things (IoT) projects and products has been launched today.

The 1 million Launchpad competition is the result of a collaboration between Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless.

The competition, first announced in March by Prime Minister David Cameron, is open to all European entrepreneurs, as long as their company is registered in the UK and has a working connection with either the London or Cambridge tech clusters.

The Launchpad competition will provide business and marketing support, mentorship, routes to market and grant funding to the successful applicants, who are developing ideas, prototypes, or have an existing business, and want to accelerate their development.

Up to 1 million grant funding will be shared across the successful applicants to the Launchpad competition. Several large firms are to help entrants by committing investment, retail space and business mentoring to the successful SMBs.

EE will provide retail and marketing space across selected EE stores, along with marketing support and distribution channels for any appropriate winners. John Lewis will consider listing any suitable products from the winning companies for an agreed period, offering point of sale, business and marketing support and mentoring.

Unilever has agreed to match funding up to 50 per cent for any suitable competition winners and offer them business and marketing support along with mentorship. Seedcamp, the early-stage micro seed investment fund and mentoring programme, will match funding for a number of suitable winners, as well as offer business support and mentorship.

Red Gate, the Cambridge-based software firm, will provide office space for shortlisted applicants, potential match funding, mentoring, business support, and marketing support for some of the successful applicants.

Gerard Grech, Tech City UK chief executive, said: "The Internet of Things is a transformative development, representing a major growth area and economic opportunity. With our expertise in both software and hardware, we believe Britain can be a major player in this space.

"It's vital that we create the right conditions to enable digital businesses to pioneer in the Internet of Things. I'm therefore extremely excited that this Launchpad competition has attracted the support of a number of leading brands," he said.

"It's the right time for the public and private sector to support the development of the Internet of Things as it has the potential to impact on and transform many of the services and products we rely on in our daily lives. I can't wait to see what is created."

Details for applications and further information can be found at The closing date for submissions is 3 September 2014.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.