SparkLabs has opened its Internet of Things accelerator program with 14 startups from six countries.
SparkLabs IoT has a special relationship with Songdo, a $35 billion smart city being built in South Korea. Based in Songdo, SparkLabs provides a five-month mentorship program, funding, office space, a structure program, and access to a network of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and executives.
The startups in the first batch are from the U.S., South Korea, Ireland, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Australia. On average, each company has raised more than $2.7 million prior to starting in the program. But each company will get a $30,000 or greater investment from SparkLabs IoT Smart City accelerator.
Alex Namkung, director of SparkLabs’ new IoT and Smart City accelerator, said in a statement, “Our team was overwhelmed by the response and qualities of the companies applying to this new program. Most of these companies do not need our $30,000 or greater investment (since they average $2.79 million raised before our program) and already had products in the market. In our next batch, we will have to make a concerted effort to recruit earlier companies at the prototype stage. I believe the strength of the first batch it is a testament to the reputation SparkLabs has built over the past few years as investors and big believers in IoT.”
The 14 companies in this first class are:
Elemental Machines (Cambridge, Mass.)
Elemental Machines is using complex biology and chemistry-based processes with insights that improve research, development, and manufacturing outcomes. By monitoring and measuring invisible environmental variables — instrument performance and ambient temperature, humidity, air pressure, and light levels — the Elemental Machines Sensory Network offers clarity, transparency, and consistency of results.
Arable (Princeton, NJ)
Arable is a business intelligence solution for agriculture founded on in-field measurements. Arable’s solution combines data from weather, environmental drivers of crop growth, and crop biological status, in conjunction with its predictive analytics, to more accurately predict yields, quality, and optimal harvest windows.
Falkonry (San Jose, Calif.)
Falkonry has democratized machine learning for monitoring by providing its AI-enabled solutions to its customers. The Falkonry Service provides a cognitive/AI service that can automate the interpretation of telemetry and sensor data from industrial activity, IT processes, and high-end consumer assets. Through simple APIs, the Falkonry Service can be rapidly embedded into applications and solutions. No data science experts are needed and domain expertise can be easily added through its intuitive user interface.
BioInspira (Berkeley, Calif.)
BioInspira is building safer cities by providing a sensor-enabling detection grid for natural gas leaks, and delivering remote and real-time leak monitoring and risk prioritization to utilities and any parties of interest for safety, security, and environmental purposes. BioInspira seeks to solve such issues by providing a detection grid for real-time and remote monitoring of natural gas leaks. The company uses virus-based colorimetric chemical sensors that currently detect 13 types of gases.
LocusLabs (San Francisco, Calif.)
LocusLabs provides the platform and tools that enable apps to be location-aware on a micro level. LocusLabs is going a level deeper than existing mapping solutions by not only mapping places, but also people, products, and things, using technology that scales. LocusLabs’ mission is to provide an easy-to-use platform that allows enterprises to manage and publish geospatial data to any device, while providing tools that make it possible for anyone to build and use geospatial applications.
Drop (Dublin, Ireland)
Drop’s vision is to promote cooking as a joyful experience that brings people together over delicious food. Drop’s focus begins with baking. Accordingly, Drop’s flagship product is the Drop Scale that works with its Drop Recipes app to ensure home bakers consistently get great results using specially selected interactive recipes. The Drop Scale is able to rescale quantities, substitute ingredients, offer in-recipe tips, and share recipes and photos online.
Augmented Knowledge (Incheon, South Korea)
Augmented Knowledge is an augmented reality (AR) solutions company currently focused on the airline and machinery maintenance industries. The company’s flagship product revolutionizes aircraft maintenance through the use of image recognition technology and real-time AR visualization of mechanical parts and the work environment.
Rok Won IT (Incheon, South Korea)
Rok Won IT develops IoT-based, real-time monitoring, control, and 3D visualization solutions for logistics and supply chain management. The company’s Virtual Terminal and Eagle Eye Server products enable clients such as ports to reduce costs by streamlining processes through sensor-based real-time data and both process and mechanical automation.
iDL (Seoul, South Korea)
iDL is a healthcare company that develops children’s wearable devices and a mobile application that tracks and monitors their physical activity levels. Through partnerships with major local hospitals and medical research centers, iDL is planning to build a child healthcare program that allows parents to manage the health of their children through an integrated platform.
Alt-A (Seoul, South Korea)
Alt-A is developing a “next-generation connected convex mirror” as a smart traffic safety solution. In particular, urban private land (residential, university, hospital) areas lack basic infrastructure typically seen in public spaces — for example, convex mirrors, street signs, and stoplights — creating many blind spots for vehicles and thus causing significant safety risks for children, and people in general.
CUBExUS (Taipei, Taiwan)
CUBExUS is a team of designers and engineers who are also parents and who want to disrupt the ed-tech industry for open innovations. Rather than asking students to sit through lectures in a traditional educational system, CUBExUS believes that students should work collaboratively and dynamically on real-world problems and projects while leveraging technological tools. Using its patented, function-versatile “Magic Cubes” to construct electronic applications, students learn to create new products and applications, limited only by their imagination.
SecuChip (Lausanne, Switzerland)
SecuChip provides a layer of security to data transmission for contactless payment cards, car keys, and personal ID by using encrypted ultrasound. Transmission emitted via SecuChip cannot be intercepted or cloned, ensuring full integrity of your data.
Oizom (Gujarat, India)
Oizom is an Environmental Solution Company. Started with a life-centric approach, Oizom builds data-driven solutions for natural resources like air, water, soil, and energy. By evolving with technology and through extensive R&D, Oizom Instruments aspires to set a class apart in its measurement accuracy and precision. Their first product is Polludrone, a solar-powered IoT ambient air-quality monitoring system.
Freestyle (Sydney, Australia)
Freestyle has built a connected device platform targeting utilities, but the company will expand into logistics, agriculture, healthcare, and other verticals in the coming years. Freestyle’s primary product is a microengine for remote services that can be integrated into any device such as electricity meters, smart plugs, street lights, and others, within one or two months.
SparkLabs’ advisors include William Wang, founder of Vizio, which just sold his company for $2 billion, and Martin Hartono (from one of the wealthiest families in Indonesia), who is an active technology investor and builder. They are joined by dozens of active mentors from SAP, Sphero, IBM, Amazon and other companies.