Cisco and British Gas join £1m Internet of Things initiative run by Tech City UK

Cisco and British Gas are the newest companies to support an Internet of Things [IoT] initiative that aims to spark innovation by offering up a prize fund of £1 million to competitors.

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Tech City UK welcomed a total of five new partners to take part in the initiative that includes Bosch, RPD International and Fab Lab London as well as Hive by British Gas and Cisco with all three providing support to startups and small and medium sized enterprises [SMBs] working on IoT projects.

“We are delighted to add a group of such high-calibre brands to an already great list of Launchpad partners. Working with early stage startups, these companies will provide the mentoring and financial support needed for successful acceleration. Their activity will greatly aid our aim to create an IoT ‘super-cluster’, drawing on the software and marketing expertise of London and the hardware and network expertise of Cambridge,” said Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO.

The competition has been running since the CeBIT conference earlier this year when it was first announced by Prime Minister David Cameron and is geared towards early stage start-ups or SMEs.

Hive by British Gas is offering winners the chance to be integrated into their systems in addition to giving mentoring and business support to any companies lucky enough to be shortlisted.

“With our Hive Active Heating product now in nearly 100,000 British homes, our business is a great example of the Internet of Things in action every day. Through the guidance and support we will offer companies on the programme, we hope even more people will see the benefits of connected technology products that make our lives easier,” said Seb Chakraborty, director of technology at British Gas Connected Homes.

Cisco, meanwhile, plans to offer successful candidates access to engineering, marketing and sales experts, the Cisco DevNet and Cisco Solution Partner Programme, and possible introductions to relevant customers and partners.

"By being involved in the Launchpad we hope to uncover emerging new talent that we can nurture and accelerate through a variety of the programmes that we already run in the UK," said Tom Kneen, head of business development, the British Innovation Gateway, Cisco UK and Ireland.

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Partners already include EE, John Lewis, Seed Camp, and Red Gate with the closing date for submissions on 3 September.