The Technology Strategy Board, Tech City UK and Cambridge Wireless have begun a £1m Launchpad competition aimed at supporting Internet of Things startups.
First announced by David Cameron at the CEBIT conference earlier this year, the competition is aimed at growing early stage startups and small businesses centred in London and Cambridge who are working in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. The £1m fund will be shared between multiple winners, with prizes of up to £150,000.
The competition is being aided by multiple major brands including Unilever, John Lewis and EE, who have all pledged marketing and business support, mentorship, funding matches and assistance with distribution. Both John Lewis and Unilever have recently launched their own technology incubators aimed at digital marketing and retail pioneers.
"We strive to be at the forefront of marketing and media innovation; to have our brands engage in the most creative, efficient and effective ways with the people we serve," said Keith Weed, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer in a statement to Marketing Week. "That is why we launched The Unilever Foundation and it is also why we are delighted to be participating in the internet of things competition."
"We have been working with start-ups for years and twinned with our commitment to being at the leading edge of internet of things development, this competition will afford us a further exciting opportunity to engage with tech start-ups."