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IoT business acceleration kicks off

TelecomTV will be there filming this week and over the full 13 week course of the accelerator programme where we'll chart the progress of selected teams.

Springboard was developed for the Web/software industry to, as the name suggests, "accelerate" the process of developing and prototyping a project to get it to the investor presentation stage. The programme selects 10 or so individuals or teams and transports them - in this case - to Cambridge, UK to expose them to facilities, help and advice and lots of other smart people - entrepreneurs, investors and potential partners.

At the end there is an investor day where final presentations are made and investments offered (or not).

Springboard has been running for three years, but this year Springboard IoT (Internet of Things) has been introduced. We interviewed Springboard founder and CEO Jon Bradford and asked him, "Why IoT?

As hardware costs fall, the speed at which you can prototype start to align themselves with the Springboard model, he says. Essentially, the dynamics of specialist hardware development is starting to look a lot more like Web development looked about five years ago.

The teams come from all over the world and Jon claims that dislocation is probably key.

"People who travel tend to do better than those who are local." That's because the locals usually try to live their normal lives and squeeze Springboard in, he says. But if you come to Cambridge from somewhere else all you do is live and breath what you're trying to do.

"Most people think these programmes are designed for 21 year-olds fresh from university ... but what we've discovered is that slightly older teams tend to do better."

It's all about emotional intelligence, he claims. "A lot of what starting a business is about is relationships: how you build them with other people like investors, co-workers and customers, so being that little bit older actually gives you the ability to digest all the information you've been given, engage, interact, and - most importantly - to work with potential investors."

"The older generation actually fit the model better. That was a real surprise to me."

See our Interview with Jon Bradford here. Watch out for our videos charting the progress of Springboard IoT over the next three months.

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