Internet of Things Be-Bound

The San Francisco IoT incubators relive the excitement of the 00′ years

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It’s a return to the future. In San Francisco, as in the ’00 years when the startups of Web 2.0, nestled on the South Market district, not far from the Financial district and its growing skyscrapers, and dreamed of supplanting Google.

Today these startups are back, with another big ambition, more uncertain but equally exciting: to become the leader of the new digital revolution underway, that of the Internet of Things.

A good way to measure their ubiquity and the enthusiasm in the city: they cluster in highly specialized incubators. Highway 1, HeavyBit or WearableWorld are among the most famous.

“In the last six months, their rise in power has been phenomenal,” says Jim Reich, a manager of another of these incubators for start-up IoT, IoT Town. For him, as for many other observers of the phenomenon, the craze for San Francisco start-ups related to communicating objects is easily explained.

First, the infrastructure and the expertise dating back to the Web 2.0 years has never really gone: other growing incubators like RocketSpace are there to prove it. There, the IoT has a lot to do with mobility and wireless networks, all areas where there is a lot of expertise, with models much easier to fund, because they are easy to understand. For example,  a startup that develops an app connected to a lighter, in order to help smokers to quit. Or a sensor installed in a cushion which transmits information on the habits of the sitting station …

In most cases, local business angels used to finance traditional mobility solutions are enthusiastic about the ability to finance these projects with relatively little money. And also because some of the ideas are really disruptive. When they come from Google, Facebook or Apple, these angel investors know what that word disruptive means.


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