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Is it possible to figure out IoT in just a weekend?

Well…maybe not, but IoT and hardware have come a long way since the days where you needed $5M+ just to start a company. With off-the-shelf components readily available and sensors practically everywhere that instantly spit out a steady stream of data, IoT startups can now leverage existing infrastructure to build quickly, test functionality more efficiently, and focus on other things, like building robust software.

This past weekend, Techstars hosted Startup Weekend IoT — and for anyone not familiar with Startup Weekend, you need to stop living under a rock! Last year, 1100 Startup Weekends took place around the world, inspiring thousands of budding entrepreneurs to take action and create!

Here are some themes that emerged from the Startup Weekend IoT edition in New York:

Enterprise Automation

AI and efficiency are on everyone’s brain these days.

One promising team used an AI-enabled plugin to solve the never ending powerpoint slide creation issue. The founder, a longtime management consultant, wasted countless hours creating presentation slides from scratch, having to recreate the design every single time.

Another team created a personal article librarian to solve the problem of having a million open tabs and losing research. The AI bot can automatically search through all the articles and content tagged for easy recall when you need it.

Built Efficiency

The built environment is the next frontier– at Techstars, we are seeing a lot of emerging startups that are pursuing this vertical.

One team tackled delayed shipments on construction sites with a clever SaaS platform that provides greater transparency on the flow of deliveries and materials.  

Health and Wellness

Another team created RFID tags to track patients throughout the check-in, admission and care processes, giving patients more freedom to leave the facility and come back when they can be attended to.

Agriculture Technology

The market opportunity for IoT in AgTech is in the trillions. Need I say more?

One team created an IoT kit and real-time analytics tool to monitor the soil quality for farmers. The collected data can be monetized by insurers and associations. This team even had a live demo, presenting both the hardware and the software components they created over the weekend.

Are you working on an IoT startup? I’d love to hear about it. Applications are currently open for Techstars IoT in New York City, learn more and apply here.

Jenny Fielding
Managing Director in Rotation at Techstars. Prior to joining Techstars, Jenny headed up a corporate venture and digital innovation group at BBC Worldwide where she made strategic investments and led business development deals. @jefielding