We have had an incredible year in Barnsley at the IoT Engine pre-accelerator programme! We are supporting 23 start-up and small businesses to adopt, integrate, and develop any aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT) into their company through 1:1 mentoring, hands-on-validation and prototyping support. The programme is part of the TEAM SY project powered by Connexin and delivered in partnership with Barnsley Council and Capital Enterprise. The aim is to validate business concepts, build an early version of a prototype, and expand companies by introducing a new product or service to them.

One of our key aims for the year, alongside running the programme, was to make IoT more accessible and break down its complexity to show how beneficial it can be to businesses. To do this, we created a few short video guides, explaining all about what the IoT is, how it works, and how it can help startups and SMEs in the region and beyond:

We are so proud of the companies we are working with through the programme, and we have had some incredible successes with them throughout the year. There are certainly too many to name them all, but we have to highlight a few of our companies who have completed, or are near closing their projects with us, and are driving their businesses forward as we head into 2023.

We have supported;

  • Co-founders Grant and Fran at Family Phone to build a prototype for an ambient assisted living device for those living with dementia. They told us that this has accelerated their business by three years, and are now ready to seek investment!
  • Sheffield Tribology Services, using the facilities at the excellent Barnsley DMC MakerLab to 3D print their initial prototype for rail friction testing – which will hopefully be adopted across the rail industry and avoid some of those dreaded delays!
  • Andel Ltd to diversify their existing flood and leak monitoring systems to utilise the IoT. We’ve designed a new device with them which interfaces between their existing products and a cloud solution to enable remote monitoring, alerts and control, and have supported them to engage with Binary Forge to develop a robust cloud platform and mobile app to allow easy provisioning and management of a fleet of devices.
  • Twin Dynamics to develop an IoT sensor suite to provide live temperature, pressure, humidity and door activity data from the co-working space at DMC 02. The data provided via this IoT solution enabled them to develop their novel air quality/energy monitoring software.

 

We have also been working with a whole host of companies across South Yorkshire in a variety of different sectors from manufacturing to machine automation, and cyber security to astronomy! Many of these businesses spoke at our IoT Engine Showcase evening, which was an amazing night celebrating all of their successes and the achievements they have made whilst being on the programme.

But, it doesn’t end there. We have also been a part of growing a connected and collaborative IoT Community in South Yorkshire, and organise regular Internet of Things Meetups for likeminded individuals to come together, listen to some great speakers, and network with beer and food. We have had topics ranging from IoT in Space, Agritech, Rail and Flood Defence, and are looking forward to hosting more in the New Year! Recently, we took to the (cinema) stage at the South Yorkshire Tech Summit in Barnsley to share everything we have been up to recently and spread the word about how great the programme is (of course!).

At the Summit, TEAM SY launched their ‘Tech 100’ Report, of the hottest 100 tech start-ups in South Yorkshire, and we are so proud that 7 IoT Engine participating companies were listed! We are really lucky to work with such brilliant start-ups and SMEs across the region, and it is great to see so many of them getting the recognition they deserve in this report!

So, overall, it has been an extremely rewarding and successful year for the IoT Engine, and we look forward to what 2023 has to bring! We accept rolling applications for the programme until June 2023, and if you would like to find out more you can visit our website or email me at l.shale@connexin.co.uk – we would love to chat with you more about the work we are doing!