Household brands EE, John Lewis and Unilever have pledged their support for a £1m Launchpad competition which will provide support for early and growth stage businesses working in the Internet of Things space.
Launched today at the inaugural London Technology Week (16 June) the competition is the result of a collaboration between Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless and will provide business and marketing support, mentorship, routes to market and grant funding to successful applicants who are developing ideas, prototypes, or have an existing business, and want to accelerate their development.
Up to £1m grant funding will be shared across the successful applicants to the Launchpad competition.
Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO, commented: “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. 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.”
EE will provide retail and marketing space across selected EE stores, along with marketing support and distribution channels, while Unilever has agreed to match funding up to 50 percent for any suitable competition winners and offer them business and marketing support along with mentorship.
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.
Seed investment fund and mentoring programme Seedcamp and Cambridge-based software firm Red Gate have also offered their services.
The competition 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. Closing date for submissions is 3 September 2014.