What is IoT Engine?

IoT Engine is a new pre-accelerator programme based at the brand-new Barnsley DMC02 MakerLab which will provide at least 12 hours of support for your business with aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT) and associated technology. 

The programme is fully funded by ERDF, Connexin, Capital Enterprise and Barnsley Council, meaning your space on the programme is at no cost to you or your business.  We’re delighted to be partnering with Connexin, an innovative and disruptive technology company specialising in building and operating award-winning Smart City Infrastructure to support the Internet of Things.  

The programme will provide support through 1:1 mentoring, hands-on validation and proof-of-concept support, workshops, and networking events with customers, suppliers and thought leaders.

The programme aims to validate your business concept(s), build an early version of a product, and generate sales such that you can establish a new company, expand your existing company, or introduce a new product or service to your business. 

Who is it for? 

IoT Engine is aimed at start-ups or SMEs in the South Yorkshire region who are developing IoT products and services, connecting devices to the internet to share data and bring insights and efficiencies. It will also support IT providers to move into IoT, and existing SMEs to adopt new connected technologies. You do not necessarily need to be a “techie” to benefit from this programme! There is provision for 30 businesses to participate in a minimum of 12 hours of activity, so register early to avoid disappointment.  

This is an inclusive programme, and we particularly welcome applications from underrepresented founders and entrepreneurs. 

Your business must: 

  • Be an independent small to medium-sized tech business employing fewer than 250 people 
  • Have an annual turnover below €50m (approx. £43m)  
  • Have a balance sheet below €43m (approx. £37m) 
  • Not be a subsidiary and/or under the control of a larger SME entity (25% or more) 
  • Be an existing limited company registered and/or trading in South Yorkshire. 

What will it cover?

Businesses will gain access to: 

  • Expert advice and mentoring on key themes such as;
      • IoT sensors and devices 
      • IoT solution infrastructure and architecture 
      • Edge and cloud platforms 
      • Analytics and visualisation platforms 
      • IoT business benefits 
  • A maker space, equipment, and software for developing prototypes 
  • Access to a network of thought leaders, suppliers, potential customers and investors.  

The programme is expected to run from January 2022 until June 2023, can be joined at any time, and will comprise a mix of scheduled group events and bespoke/agile individual sessions tailored to the overall and individual interests and requirements of the participants. 

At the end of the programme, you will have a working prototype or MVP to solidify your business proposal, be in a more confident or informed position in order to seek investment or recruitment, and/or be exposed to new partnership opportunities to grow your business. 

How will the programme be delivered? 

The programme will be tailored to each business and will be formed of the following:

1:1’s with the Senior Technical Lead

Group Sessions

Maker Lab: As the programme is based at the DMC02 participants will have access to the fabulous makerlab facility. If there are any specific pieces of equipment or technologies you are interested in, please indicate this as part of the registration process, if known.

Talks/Workshops: A preliminary agenda of talks and/or workshops that form part of the programme may focus on the following key topics:

  • A holistic overview of the IoT
  • IoT Deep Dive: Things
  • IoT Deep Dive: Connectivity
  • IoT Deep Dive: Data Processing
  • Deep Dive: User Interface
  • IoT use cases and Applications
  • Participant Requests (This session can comprise anything that participants wish to cover)

Programme Leaders

Dr Rikki Coles

Dr Rikki Coles

Senior Technical Lead (IoT)

Rikki brings 15+ years of experience in IoT, Analytics, Physics (including medical), and Software Engineering to the programme from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham, and the retail sector. During this time, Rikki has delivered novel peer-reviewed research in applied quantum physics, industrial innovation around Industry 4.0 in the high value manufacturing sector, and data-driven business insights across a range of sectors. Rikki has a wealth of experience in engaging with start-ups and SMEs, public sector institutions and open-source communities, plus large international organisations with everything from hands-on technical development to solution architecture, dissemination, leadership, and strategy/policy.  Rikki’s passion is solving, or helping others to solve, challenging technical problems for the benefit of people and planet! 

Ralph Varcoe

Ralph Varcoe

Chief Growth Officer and MD IoT at Connexin

Connexin is a technology company specialising in connecting people and things. From fibre and telecoms services to consumers and businesses, to IoT solutions built on LoRaWAN and other network technologies, connecting sensors and existing systems through to its leading IoT platform, ConnexinOS. Connexin is all about enabling businesses, councils, health authorities, communities and individuals to harness the power of data from the connected world to improve the way we all live. Driving efficiencies, social development, health improvements and enabling cities, buildings and communities to become smarter and make decisions that enhance people’s lives and improve the planet we all share. 

Ceri Batchelder

Ceri Batchelder

Super Connector, TEAM SY

Ceri is highly involved in Internet of Things (IoT) activities in the region and will be supporting the network around the IoT Engine programme. After running some introductory IoT events in Yorkshire for Digital Catapult in 2017, Ceri became Partnerships Manager for the IoT Tribe North technology accelerator (2018-19), helping IoT tech startups to make regional connections. Since then (2019-21), she has worked closely with the Pitch-In project at the University of Sheffield to strengthen the IoT ecosystem – setting up business collaborations, running two student internship programmes and co-founding the Sheffield (now South Yorkshire) IoT meetup. IoT Engine represents the next step in the growth of our ecosystem development. Ceri would love to see South Yorkshire businesses adopting IoT technology to improve efficiencies and productivity, both for regional economic benefit and to reach our net zero ambitions.