Investing in IoT is a Bumpy Ride

Navigating investment climates is tough. It’s even tougher in IoT– especially when the tides change so quickly and without much warning. For the past few years, IoT has been on everyone’s hot list, but the good times may be slowing down. And according to CB Insights, corporate venture arms, which represent 5 out of the top 12 major investors in IoT, may also be scaling back funding.

Personally, I don’t buy it. Not a day goes by where a CVC does not reach out to me about our new IoT class. Seems like the money is still flowing in corporate land!

Here’s a look at where Techstars has been investing in IoT:




Presenting Techstars IoT Class of 2016

Rewiring Legacy Industries and Creating the IoT Universe

By 2025, IoT’s yearly economic impact will be more than $10 trillion. Where will we see the majority of that impact? Industries and commercial enterprise.

To tap into this enormous opportunity, Techstars IoT aims to build a new ecosystem for IoT entrepreneurs with a B2B focus.

“While IoT is an exciting space with limitless opportunity, we are still early in that there is no real standardization or infrastructure that benefits everyone.” says Jenny Fielding, the Managing Director of Techstars. “This is why we partnered with GE, Verizon, PwC, Bosch and SAP, to provide a common ground for these industries to come together and help startups innovate.”

The 10 startups selected are rewiring legacy industries and enabling meaningful innovation through IoT. From healthcare to construction, we are proud to announce the future innovators of the B2B space.

Meet this year’s class:



Dronesmith Technologies enables developers to build, ship, and run drone applications easily by providing an open platform that simplifies cloud connectivity and scalability.


Nanotech Galaxy

Nanotech Galaxy uses deep learning to analyze medical images and empower healthcare organisations with predictive analytics.


Urban 3D

Urban 3D is automating and digitizing the construction industry using robotics, advanced manufacturing, and material science.


Pillar Technologies

Pillar prevents damages on construction sites using sensors and predictive analytics.



Fueloyal developes a smart fuel cap that prevents fuel theft and fuel card misuse in the trucking industry.


TEQ Charging

TEQ Charging is increasing the accessibility and affordability of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).


Mosaic Manufacturing

Mosaic Manufacturing develops multi-color material desktop printing technologies.


Union Crate

Union Crate is a predictive solution that digitizes the outdated supply chain infrastructure.


Xapix is a developer portal that makes it easy for enterprises to distribute data and services into an ecosystem of applications through a single point of contact.



Losant provides an Internet of Things solution platform that allows developers to build complex, connected solutions quickly and easily.

The Latest Trends and Themes of Industrial IoT

Techstars recently launched a new Internet of Things program in partnership with GE, PwC, Verizon, SAP and Bosch. We are not new to the IoT space, however, having invested in over 70 IoT companies across the Techstars portfolio. With an unprecedented number of IoT applications to the upcoming program, we looked at the data and uncovered trends and insights about startups innovating around IoT.

In 2016 we saw almost a 2X increase in the total number of IoT applications from our last IoT program in 2014. To put this into perspective, IoT applications rivaled those of our other huge verticals such as Healthcare, Fintech and Retail – indicating the strength and continued momentum of IoT. And considering the fact that the latest IoT program only focused on business and industrial companies, we would have received significantly more applications had we included consumer IoT as well.

But trust me, we didn’t just open up applications and hope for the best… we spent a great deal of time from April through June meeting with startups around the globe:

  • Over 1400 people attended our information sessions.
  • Our team visited 25 cities including Berlin, Reykjavik, Taiwan, Helsinki…
  • We met individually with over 150 startups.

Total Application Data:

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.23.07 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.23.15 PM

Geographic Breakdown:

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.19.33 PM

Some Takeaways from the Data:

  • Startups continue to pursue software platforms likely motivated in part by the general frustration and disappointment with standardization and interoperability.
  • Health is still an area of interest but in forms other than Wearables. We saw a number of exciting medical devices and room sensors for monitoring patient behavior.
  • Cleantech has found new life in IoT! Although the vertical has been out of favor with investors for the past decade, repackaging ‘Cleantech’ as ‘IoT’ may be the facelift it needs.
  • IoT on the construction sites is top of mind. First we saw various SaaS solutions working to solve human efficiently. Now, sensors have been added to the mix to track facility progress, worker safety etc.
  • Significant decline in the number of drone applications indicates that the unfriendly regulatory environment provides massive friction for drone innovators.
  • Logistics and supply chain startups seem to be using off-the-shelf hardware and instead focusing on data aggregation and dashboards and basic machine learning.
  • Geographically, there is a huge presence of Industrial IoT companies in parts of Europe (Munich, Germany; Paris, France), although the majority of the applications came from the U.S given our recruiting activities this time around.
  • The promise of VR continues to attract passionate founders. No longer just about games, VR startup founders are increasingly technical and trying to solve next generation media issues.
  • Throw some AI / ML on it to make it sexy. Loads of bot applications that teeter on the edge of IoT.
  • Security was underrepresented in our application pool. Either because we weren’t good at identifying those startups or because there aren’t enough of them. This is a HUGE untapped opportunity.

One Final Note on Diversity:

Although tracking most types of founder diversity requires more thorough research and verified data, our applications indicate that of our top 50 applications, 13 contain a female founder and 24 have at least one non-white male co-founder.

On September 28 we will announce the newest class of Techstars IoT. Stay tuned for that!

Announcing the Barclays Techstars NYC Class of 2016

We are thrilled to introduce the ten tremendous companies that are joining Techstars for the 2nd annual Barclays Accelerator in New York! Today kicks off the start of a 13-week intense program, capped by a Demo Day in September.

To help guide the companies through the unique FinTech landscape, we’re fortunate to have many of our 2015 alumni on the ground, as well as 100+ incredible mentors from all facets of technology and financial services.

Please join me in welcoming the 2016 Barclays Techstars companies:

Logo acuteIQ

acuteIQ  acuteIQ uses artificial intelligence to power customer acquisition throughout the sales cycle leading to a 4x improvement in performance.


Alpha Exchange – Alpha Exchange transforms the way institutional participants interact, share knowledge and discover investment insight by creating the first open network for the capital markets community.

HORIZONTAL transparent

Bloomfield – Bloomfield’s platform for commercial real estate transactions allows brokers to efficiently market deals to lenders and negotiate the best financing package.


Chroma – Chroma is the only platform that enables non-accredited investors to put their money into the local economy using a managed Virtual Private Fund.


Create – Create builds smart 3D maps enriched with millions of data points on the urban environment for investors, brokers, and service providers.


Ernit – Ernit created the world’s first smart piggy to allow modern parents to teach children how to give, save and spend money wisely.


Morty – Morty empowers home-buyers to find the right mortgage with a modern, online, and fully-digital experience.


Painless1099 – Painless1099 simplifies tax season for independent contractors through a smart bank account that eliminates the guesswork from tax savings.


PierceMatrix – PierceMatrix improves company security by identifying and orchestrating the removal of hackers from the network leveraging artificial intelligence to power recommendations.


Windrush – Windrush makes it possible for non-technical employees to bring data to life as fully-responsive, well designed, interactive online documents.

Meet with the Team at Techstars Internet of Things!

Techstars IoT is partnering with PwC, GE, Bosch, SAP and Verizon to provide an unparalleled depth of experience to founders.

We are looking for startups that are positioned to rewire the infrastructure of the future with specific emphasis on software and artificial intelligence, connected enterprise, smart cities and energy, advanced manufacturing, health and wearables, logistics and automotive, VR, AR, drones and robotics, agriculture and the connected home.

Meet Techstars IoT in Person:

May 17


IoT Chicago meetup with Techstars + Office Hours

May 18


ATX Hardware Meetup + Office Hours in Downtown Austin

May 23


IoT Central NYC meetup with Techstars

May 24


IoT NY meetup with Techstars

May 25


IoT Philly meetup with Techstars + Office Hours

May 27


IoT Panel with Uber + Office Hours in Downtown Pittsburg 

June 6


Techstars & IoTC Event

June 7


Office Hours @Techstars Berlin

June 13


IoT Boston/New England meetup with Techstars + Office Hours @ Techstars

June 14


Techstars & Internet of Things Consortium [IoTC] Event + Office Hours

June 14

San Diego

Techstars & Hardware Massive Event + Office Hours @ Startup Week

June 22


Office Hours

June 23


Meet the Team Happy Hour

July 6


IoT Minneapolis Event + Office Hours


Catch us Online:



Virtual Office Hours

May 31

  12:00pm ET

Webinar Registration

June 16

  12:00pm ET

Webinar Registration

June 30

  12:00pm ET

Webinar Registration

July 7

  12:00pm ET

Webinar Registration

Applications Open for Techstars IoT

We are excited to announce that applications open today for the Techstars IoT Accelerator in New York City with partners PwC, GE, Bosch, SAP and Verizon. This collection of partners accounts for total revenue of $380+ billion and a depth of experience in everything from sensor design to big data analytics. We are active IoT investors and our accelerators’ IoT alumni include Revolv (acquired by Nest), Owlet, Astro and Sphero.

Techstars IoT, located in NYC at Barclays Rise, brings additional focus on the “Industrial Internet” and connecting the infrastructure of business and industry. The accelerator unites IoT industry leaders with a select group of the most innovative emerging startups for a 15 week, mentorship-driven program.

We are looking for startups that are positioned to rewire the infrastructure of the future with specific emphasis on software and artificial intelligence, connected enterprise, smart cities and energy, advanced manufacturing, health and wearables, logistics and automotive, VR, AR, drones and robotics, agriculture, and the connected home.

We are thrilled to partner with this select group of corporate leaders to help develop these innovations and support the deployment of solutions as integration partners and possibly as customers. These partners are directly involved in sourcing, selecting and mentoring the companies in the program and bringing their wealth of domain and customer experience.

Apply early, connect with us at or apply for office hours.

Barclays NYC 2016 Applications Open

I am excited to announce that we have opened applications for the second Barclays Techstars Accelerator class in NYC!

Start your application right here for our Summer 2016 class.

Fintech is arguably one of the hottest areas in tech right now and we’re excited to be in the thick of it, at our accelerator space Rise NYC. Many disagree on exactly what technologies or business models fit in the category of fintech. To us, if a business can disrupt or innovate a financial services company in any way, we are interested.

From payments to lending, security to blockchain, capital markets to data and analytics, the opportunity to partner with a top tier bank like Barclays is incredibly impactful.

Don’t take our word for it, hear from a few of our founders themselves at our recent demo day: Liveoak, Chainalysis, Rangeforce and Seeds.

To learn more about the upcoming NYC program, attend one of our information sessions or apply for office hours:

Meet Techstars in Person:

Open NYC Office Hours
April 7 San Diego Office Hours
April 11 San Francisco Office Hours at Lendit
April 18 NYC Meet the Team Happy Hour

Catch us Online:

Open Virtual Office Hours
April 6 12:00pm ET Webinar Registration

Key Dates:

  • Applications Close – April 20th
  • Program Begins – June 20th

Apply here to be part of the Barclays Techstars Accelerator in NYC

Want to disrupt FinTech? Join the Barclays Accelerator

FinTech is arguably one of the hottest areas in tech right now and we’re excited to be in the thick of it, at our amazing office at Rise NYC. Many disagree on exactly what technology or business model fits in the category of FinTech. To us, if a business can disrupt or innovate a financial services company in any way, we are interested. From payments to lending, security to blockchain, capital markets to data and analytics, the opportunity to partner with a top tier bank like Barclays is incredibly impactful.

But don’t take our word for it, hear it from a few of our founders themselves at our recent Barclays Techstars Accelerator demo day: Liveoak, Chainalysis, Rangeforce and Seeds.

To learn more about the upcoming NYC program, attend one of our information sessions or apply for office hours:

Meet Techstars in Person:

March 10 6:00pm – 8:00pm ET NYC Techstars Second Thursday + Fireside Chat with Empire Startups
March 14 Austin Office Hours at SXSW
March 16 DC Office Hours
March 18 SF Office Hours
March 25 Boston Office Hours
March 29 LA Office Hours
April 8 Montreal Office Hours

Catch us Online:

Virtual Office Hours
March 16 12:00pm ET Webinar Registration
March 30 12:00pm ET Webinar Registration

FinTech Startups: Apply to Barclays Accelerator NYC, Powered by Techstars

The question I often get is: “Who will claim the crown of being the FinTech capital of the world? New York or London?”

One year ago we launched our first FinTech-focused program in London in partnership with Barclays. Earlier this year, we proudly announced the expansion of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, to New York City. Maybe the question just got a whole lot harder to answer. The reality is that both cities are going to be centers of one of the largest industry disruptions that we have seen. And Techstars and Barclays plan on being in the middle of it.

Video frame-NYC01To give you a sense of the opportunity that FinTech presents, let’s put things in perspective. Financial services in the United States is seven times larger than all of advertising spend (including TV, online, search, etc). And yet, when we compare the number of exits and IPOs between FinTech and AdTech (Google and Facebook included), one might logically conclude that things are in reverse – that it must be advertising that is seven times larger. The cynics would say that this disparity represents the barriers of a regulated industry. While regulation cannot be denied, I prefer to think that the blue ocean that is FinTech has simply been waiting for the timing to be right.

And that time is now. First, the talent shift is tipping. Do you remember when you were in college, and many of the most brilliant minds were recruited into the banks? Well, with the significant industry shake-up that we’ve seen over the last few years, there’s a steady stream of talent leaving to establish FinTech companies to solve the problems that they experienced working in the industry.

Second, regulators are taking a much more proactive stance on regulation for the financial services industry, which is creating opportunities for FinTech startups. This is an outgrowth of government initiatives meant to decrease the influence of “too big to fail” mentality.

Third, the venture capitalists are playing their part, funneling hundred of millions of dollars into FinTech innovation and in so doing, are making FinTech the fastest growing segment in the VC market. Finally, the incumbents are waking up and taking an active stance in fostering innovation. This is a critical final piece of the puzzle because the incumbent banks play a critical role for the ecosystem as they can be partner, distributor, investor, and acquirer, all rolled up into one.

Through our accelerator partnership, Barclays is taking a leadership position in the development of both the London and now New York City FinTech ecosystems. It has a strong presence in both cities and plans to bring its international banking network to bear in helping start-ups who are admitted to the accelerator. The question I often get is: “Why is Barclays doing this?” I can only answer this from what I have seen managing the London program with them. Barclays sees a future where a large portion of financial services innovation is going to happen outside its walls. In response, Barclays believes that a big part of its future success will be based on its ability to support and partner with the drivers of outside innovation, namely FinTech startups.

Both the New York and London accelerators are Barclays’ tent pole initiatives to work with early stage companies. It is being driven from the top down with tremendous support and participation by the entire senior management team. Quite frankly, if you are a startup that would like to work with an international financial services provider that operates in over 50 countries and serves customers across the globe, you will want to apply for this program now.

Applications to the inaugural Barclays NYC Accelerator powered by Techstars are open. Applications close May 10.

Apply here:

Barclays NYC FinTech Accelerator: What Startups Need to Know

Are you working on a FinTech start-up? Into crypto, cyber security, next gen payments, machine learning? Want to work with a leading global bank that can help take your company to the next level?

Then join one of our upcoming events to learn more about the Barclays Accelerator NYC. Jenny Fielding, Managing Director of the program, will be on hand to answer questions and provide further details about the program.

Sign up for in-person Office Hours and Events:

Sign up for on-line Webinars:

Barclays Accelerator NYC kicks off on July 20th in a newly designed work space in Manhattan. Applications close on May 10 – apply here.