Introducing the First Class of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator

Today, we’re pleased to welcome the first class of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars. These startups are representative of the tremendously talented entrepreneurs creating the future of robotics. In this class, the companies are creating commercial and consumer robots, new robot-enabling technologies, and the infrastructure for a robot powered economy.

Our 2015 class represents seven countries: Greece, Italy, Germany, Canada, Singapore, the UK, and the US–the most international class ever assembled for a US based Techstars accelerator. Two of the startups are homegrown here in San Diego, a testament to the strength of the local robotics ecosystem.

We’re excited to introduce the 2015 class of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars:

Carbon Robotics out of San Francisco, CA, is a robotic arm company geared towards consumers and mid-sized businesses that combines affordable hardware with an open platform. They are building TOBI, a table top arm targeted at developers.
CleverPet from San Diego, CA, is a technology company dedicated to teaching your pet new behaviors. Founded by a team of cognitive scientists and neuroscientists, CleverPet’s first product is a smart, in-home robot that provides your dog with the daily mental and physical stimulation he or she craves.
CtrlWorks, based in Singapore, is dedicated to transforming any mobile platform into an intelligent robot at an affordable price. Their first robot, Axon, attaches to just about anything and turns it into a fully autonomous robot through cloud navigation and specialized hardware.
Inova Drone, from San Diego, designs and develops advanced, professional unmanned aerial systems for the global commercial market. Their first product is a drone targeted at first responders and search and rescue applications.
Rational Robotics, from Edmonton, Alberta, CA, produces robots that automate the restorative automotive painting process. Utilizing 3D vision and advanced path planning, Rational Robots provide a safe and efficient way to paint cars on the shop floor.
Reach Robotics, from Bristol, UK, is developing Mecha Monsters – the world’s first gaming monster robots. They are controlled via smartphone or tablets and serve to bridge the physical and digital components of the gaming world. Mecha Monsters come with accessories that provide special abilities that make them more powerful.
Skyfront, based in Hoboken, NJ, builds hybrid-electric technology for long endurance drones. Skyfront’s technology extends typical drone flight times up to 10x and enables UAVs to be used for extended commercial applications.
Sky Robotics, from Athens, Greece, is enabling the streamlined, affordable creation of robots. Their OPRA (open platform for robotics applications) is a development platform that combines high-performance modular hardware and intuitive open source software to catalyze the realization of an infinite variety of robots.
Skysense, based in Berlin, Germany, builds and sells charging infrastructure for drones, enabling remote-controlled flights and autonomous missions. Their technology involves a gold plated charging station pad that can be easily scaled depending on the drone and application.
Solenica, out of Rome, IT, makes Lucy – a sleek, sophisticated robot that brings sunlight directly into your home. Powered by solar cells, Lucy follows the sun throughout the day to reflect light into your home or office, creating natural illumination while simultaneously reducing electricity use.







The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is hitting the road!

We want to meet you and your intelligent machines, so we’re hitting the road in 2015! We are looking for robotics start-ups looking to take their company to the next level. If you’re going to be at CES or you’re in Boston or New York, let us introduce ourselves at one of our Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Meetups.

January 7, CES in Las Vegas

Source the Right Financing Panel
Techstars will be participating in a panel discussion in the Investing In Emerging Technologies program sponsored by our partners at Qualcomm Ventures.

Office Hours with the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Team
Set up a meeting with our Managing Director at Eureka Park to pitch your robotics startup and learn more about the accelerator. Spots are limited. Click here and navigate to Jan 7 to see available times.

Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Info Session
5-7 PM at Work In Progress in Downtown Vegas
Meet the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator teams from Techstars and Qualcomm Ventures for food and drinks plus hear from Mark Bowles, Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Mentor and founder of ecoATM, and Danny Ellis, founder and CEO of Skyspecs, currently at the R/GA Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Register at Eventbrite
Note: This is a joint meetup with Techstars Mobility, Driven by Detroit. We’ll be talking robotics and intelligent machines from 5-7pm and mobility and transportation from 7-9pm.

January 12, Boston, MA

Office Hours with the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Team
Set up a meeting with our Managing Director at the Techstars Boston office to pitch your robotics startup and learn more about the accelerator. Spots are limited. Click here and navigate to Jan 12 to see available times.

Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Info Session
6:30 – 8:30pm at Techstars Boston
Meet the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator teams from Techstars and Qualcomm Ventures for food and drinks plus hear from Rise Robotics co-founder and CEO and Techstars alum Arron Acosta. Register at Eventbrite

January 15, New York, NY

Office Hours with the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Team
Set up a meeting with our Managing Director at the Techstars New York office to pitch your robotics startup and learn more about the accelerator. Spots are limited. Click here and navigate to Jan 15 to see available times.

Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator Info Session
6:30 – 8:30pm at Techstars NY
Meet the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator teams from Techstars and Qualcomm Ventures for food and drinks. Get all of your questions answered about the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator and let us in on what you’re working on. Register at Eventbrite

Stay tuned for additional events coming up in San Francisco and San Diego. Follow @ts_robotics for updates. Learn more about the accelerator and how to apply at http://qualcommaccelerator.com

Hope to see you soon!








Ryan Kuder Joins Techstars as Qualcomm Managing Director

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

Back in 2009, I was part of a team that won a coding competition called the Rails Rumble. Our prize was a No Expenses Paid trip to Boulder, Colorado to meet David Cohen and the Techstars mentors and spend a week working on our project at the Techstars Bunker, which at that time was in a basement under a shoe store. The mentors and companies working in that space were among the most creative and driven I’d ever met. They did more faster than any startups I’d ever seen.

Throughout my career, I’ve been a founder of a handful of tech startups, been through a couple of exits and more than a couple of failures. I’ve seen just about every phase of the startup stack from two guys working in my living room to multi hundred million dollar exits. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about starting up, and I’ve spent a lot of time working with founders helping them see the things I’ve already seen.

So a few months ago, when Techstars approached me with the opportunity to build an accelerator to help founders (whoo!) in my home town of San Diego (rad!) partnered with San Diego’s biggest company and industry innovator Qualcomm (wow!) to help robotics startups (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) it didn’t take much to convince me.

I’m humbled to join the Techstars team and work with Qualcomm to build the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator powered by Techstars. The revolution in robotics is just getting started and by bringing together Techstars’ great history of helping founders build great companies and Qualcomm’s tradition of innovation and invention, we’re excited to be building the future of robotics right here in San Diego.

If you’re a founder working on a robotics startup, we’d love to talk to you. Hit us up on Twitter at @TS_Robotics or visit us at http://qualcommaccelerator.com.

Let’s build some robots!