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EE, John Lewis and other big-name brands support start-up competition

Clare McDonald

A £1m Launchpad competition designed to support small businesses producing innovations in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector is open for entries today on the first day of London Technology Week.

The initiative, which is a joint venture between Tech City UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Cambridge Wireless, is backed by firms EE, John Lewis, Unilever, Seedcamp and Red Gate, which will provide winning SMEs with support, mentorship, routes to market and grant funding to accelerate their business ideas.

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“The Internet of Things is a transformative development, representing a major growth area and economic opportunity.” said Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO,

“It’s vital that we create the right conditions to enable digital businesses to pioneer in the internet of things (IoT).”

The winners of the competition will have the £1m shared between them, as well as retail and marketing space from EE, business support and mentoring from John Lewis and Seedcamp, office space from Red Gate and additional funding from Unilever.

Those involved hope the competition will allow startups with more innovative ideas to contribute towards this growing sector of technology.

Soraya Jones, CEO of Cambridge Wireless, said: “UK wireless innovation among SMEs is at its peak. We have seen a surge of promising business, academic and amateur entrepreneurs driving technology innovation forward, the agile nature of SMEs allow them to react to market needs, with less restrictions that we see in the larger corporations in bringing their ideas to market.”

A number of advancements have been made around IoT recently, including the Milton Keynes IoT project to make the city the first in the UK to have its own open-access IoT.

The Launchpad competition is open to all UK registered entrepreneurs who have a working connection with the London or Cambridge technology clusters.


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