That’s it ! After months of reflection hanging on Techcrunch or HackerNews you found a great idea! You and your co-founders are highly motivated, ready to launch your startup.
Luckily, creating your company has never been so easy, cheap and trendy! You’ve read the McKinsey study on the market for connected objects and since the #InternetOfThings promises exponential growth, it will be your playground! You have decided to shift from a web startup to an #IOT startup.
But unlike the web, the #IOT requires far more resources and expertise : It’s the end of startups Culture’s myth : The garage!
The difference in resources to design an app or to make a connected device.
In a web startup, to create the newest “funkiest” application of all time, the hardware requirements are minimal and resources abound on the net! Special mention for the inevitable twitter bootstrap.
Ok, now that Parse is dead, it will be a little harder … Direction CodeCanyon, phpsources.org… or even codeur.com for the lazy who want to outsource in Mauritius!
In an #IOT startup part of your value proposition is based on the hardware part of your solution. To complete that part, you need expensive and rare equipments in order to create your prototype, test it and make it evolve.
In the launching phase of your project, when you need to find the money to finance your prototype, it is better to join a startup accelerator that acts as a facilitator by providing an electronic lab with 3D printer, oscilloscope, pick and place, Signal Generator …
Another problem is that there are millions of different components, thousands of suppliers, and many strategies like choosing between making your own PCb card or use a pre-fabricated module.
Simon Vacher LeConnected.Camp “In 2014 I had the chance to be a part of CampingToulouse. Conceptualizing the Connected Camp, we wanted to create a great place where everything was made so that the startups could stay focus on their projects, clear of all other constraints”
Find web resources or make the sourcing of components.
Everyday the web startuper reads in the Product Hunt newsletter news of everything out on startups, web and mobile services, applications, games, scripts, or mobile applications …
In a hardware startup, to upgrade your product, you have to roll up your sleeves, go around the web and maybe even go to Shenzhen to source components and chipsets. No way to know which new product came out, which provider developed its range, stopped production of this or that piece … Not to mention the second part of the equation : you need a software that makes your device work.
Rent disk space or a production hall.
On one hand, when you want to create an app or build a website, 3 computers, a few extension cords and multi-sockets are enough, all placed either on a sofa, in a basement or a garden shed at your parents’.
You host the code you bought / copied / stole / developed yourself (delete as appropriate) on your github repot. It leaves you space to store packs of beers, cakes, candies … on the shelves.
On the other hand, with a connected object you are bound to transform your family room into a mini-Foxconn: you use the shelves to store spare parts, more tables to your assembly line, a set for your workshop, room for the machinery, packaging and finished goods inventory.
For the atmosphere, it will be rather Redbull than beer!
Make adwords or a kickstarter campaign.
To distribute your app or drive customers to your website, you need to treat your SEO and do some marketing (SEO / SEA) to appear in the top results of the store and be well positioned in Google search pages . Sales are generated on the app-stores or in the form of online subscriptions.
To sell your IoT solution, you must also treat your visibility and SEO, but not only! First of all there are all the conventional solutions:
- Create your ecommerce website to sell directly or in affiliation.
- Find a distribution network so your customers can find you on the shelves of their favorite shop; customers choose online but go in store to achieve the act of purchase (web to store).
Or the fashion plan : Go to Kickstarter or Indiegogo !
But what seemed easy at first is a real steeplechase. Crowdfunding platforms have become very competitive and professional. Today, for a successful crowdfunding campaign, you’ll need to…
- Perform one or more punchy videos to present your product.
- Manage and organize press relations and media, especially in the US.
- Create, and activate your communities and develop a base of emails as big as possible.
- Monitor and answer questions from potential backers in real time.
- Etc …
Online Community against physical ecosystem
There is a huge community of web startups on a too large number of sites, forums, facebook groups to be named. (1001startups.fr, mystartup.paris.fr, frenchstartups.io, french startupers hall of fame …)
The IoT is a new field, in full emergence. There are still few startups, it’s a small and poorly represented group on the web community. To find them, you have to be in the heart of the ecosystem, the best place to debate, exchange opinions, and share some solutions.
In the accelerator, daily sharing with the others startupers who have common problems, allows to help each other by sharing resources and experiences. There is a synergy that permits to accelerate the development of projects. The confrontation with other allows you to stay open minded. It’s common to give a hand to the neighbor on a subject that you master. It’s the spirit of “pay it forward”.
Pierre Marie (pack edition) “We have entrusted the technical specifications of a chipset at a startup who sends a collaborator in Shenzhen for sourcing.”
Marion Fontana “Startups that are in LeConnectedCamp and working on IoT topics are more advanced, with more mature projects, and they are not only looking for the startup spirit; they already have prototypes or clients when they arrive. They have proven their product-market fit. They are focused on finding professional contacts to do business. It allows them to move faster with the support and coaching of our mentors. Their major concern is to deliver! “
Recruit a web freelance or industrial designer
Need help with marketing, a graphic designer or a community manager to develop your audience? No problem! Go to Hopwork freelance directory. Just have to choose from the 16307 referenced profiles.
Looking for a freelance industrial designer? No luck, there is only one on 404works.com (big-up “Big Bear” Yes, yes, that’s his name! => https://www.404works.com/profil/Duquenoy ) and 2 on Hopwork … well, it looks like it’s going to be a little more complicated.
The context and the upheavals caused by emergence of the #IOT :
The Internet of Things will come disrupt the economies, changing consumption patterns, and traditional industries.
Ludovic Le Moan (Sigfox)
“The development of companies like Airbnb, Uber, or BlaBlaCar demonstrates that we can now disrupt trades, industries or uses in very little time. These companies that were never heared of four or five years ago, are now at the heart of a major change!
All resources can now be “Uberised” a parking spot, an empty apartment, a seat in a movie theatre, a plane or a train that takes off with an empty seat …
This transformation will impact all kinds of activities. It is a threat to those who remain motionless, but it generates, a huge opportunity for those who are rethinking the future through the cloud and digital technologies.“
IoT Valley aims to become the European Capital of Startups in the IOT field. With industry locomotives like Sigfox or OVH-IOT, it is at the heart of the ecosystem. Bringing together forty startups (@connit, @intensens, @Axible, @Mobirider, @citymeo …) on 5000 m2, it’s ambition is to grow and become the European capital of the Internet of Things, hosting 150 Startups on a campus of 15,000 m2.
At the heart of the ecosystem, IoT Valley has its own accelerator: LeConnectedCamp. Founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, which aims to help young shoots to go from prototype to industrialization while placing them on the business launchpad with the strong partnerships of major industry groups (Intel , samsung …) and large companies (SNCF, via-santé …)
Bertran Ruiz “Partnerships with major groups (Intel, AG2R, EBV Elektronik …) ensure a market for startups that meet the industrial needs of our key account partners”
As a conclusion: An accelerator like @LeConnected.camp, makes every effort to facilitate the life of your startup everyday. By acting as a facilitator, highlighting your project, providing skills, knowledge, network and logistics, joining Le Connected Camp is the best way to boost your project.
Finally, the best reason to take advantage of Le Connected Camp it, is that it is free if your project is accepted! In short, not a single minute to lose to present your application …
Feel free to leave comments and share your startuper experience in comments !