This article was 1st published on our sister Site, The Internet Of All Things.
One of the world’s early Internet of Things (IoT) accelerators, the San Francisco, US-based Wearable IoT World (WIoTW) today officially launched the US-Pan Asia IoT Superhighway accelerator in Hong Kong.
Closing a round of US $4.5 million led by Radiant Venture Capital, the accelerator, said WIoTW in a written statement, will focus on driving IoT innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Asia, while pushing forward IoT development globally. Other investors include TEEC Angel Fund and wCapital. Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) is the official partner of this initiative where it will house WIoTW’s executive office and WIoTW Labs.
“With the establishment of Innovation and Technology Bureau, we have further strengthened our efforts in coordinating, supporting and expediting the development of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology industries. In the 2016 Policy Address, the Chief Executive stated that the Government will set aside HKD 2 billion to set up an Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to co-invest in local startups with private venture capital funds on a matching basis. Through the joint forces of different stakeholders, we intend to further intensify the development of startups, entrepreneurship, business angels and accelerators in driving high-value innovation and technology industries,” said Ir. Allen Yeung, Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR.
“We are thrilled to be able to extend our expertise from the US to this region through a full suite of services for startups and enterprises to excel in IoT, wearables and emerging technologies. This marks a long-awaited milestone in our continued quest to build the easiest pathway to product creation, market awareness, investment and distribution for related startups around the world,” said Redg Snodgrass, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of WIoTW.
Chief Labs Officer and Co-founder of WIoTW Kyle Ellicott added, “I cannot wait to see the synergy that is sure to unfold with our first class of startups in Hong Kong, and we are truly grateful for the enthusiasm and support of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Radiant Venture Capital and our local partners.”
“Asia is arguably leading the way when it comes to wearable technology, and the development of IoT in the region shows equally promising signs. Their proven ability to create a viable ecosystem for both game-changing entrepreneurs and existing corporations gives us high conviction that the accelerator will serve as a springboard to bring success for Hong Kong and Asian startups in today’s globalized world,” said Duncan Chiu, Managing Director of Radiant Venture Capital.
Making its first foray into Asia through Hong Kong, WIoTW said it would continue to expand its support for wearable and IoT startups in other Asian markets, including Shenzhen, Singapore and Southeast Asia. With Content and concept tailored for Asia, the 15-week accelerator in Hong Kong will empower bright entrepreneurial talents with an extensive suite of services, including customised mentorship, education, office space and business services, designed to create synergy between local and global wearable and IoT sectors. A 15-week accelerator will also be conducted in Shenzhen in the third quarter of 2016. Details of the programs in Singapore and Southeast Asia will be announced later.
WIoTW’s executive office and WIoTW Labs will be opened at Cyberport in Hong Kong. As part of the partnership, Cyberport and WIoTW will also join hands in organising accelerator events and executive programs that serve the IoT and wearables community.
The WIoTW Labs has incubated numerous successful startups in the US, many of which have attracted significant media spotlight, including Skully, the smart motorcycle helmet, and CreoPop, the world’s first 3D pen with cool ink. Aimed ultimately to foster a global community of IoT and wearable companies and talents, the WIoTW Labs will make its debut in Hong Kong through the U.S.-Pan Asia IoT Superhighway accelerator. It is now open for online application and set to kick off in Hong Kong this May.
The key selection criteria for the new accelerator include:
• No age qualification
• No stage requirement – such as pre-funding, seed, series
• Applicants must move to Hong Kong for the 15-week program
• Team of two or more
• Have a prototype
• Technical knowledge
• Focus: IoT and Wearables, Emerging Technologies, B2C and B2B
Founded in May 2013, Wearable IoT World pioneered the world’s first accelerator focused on the IoT, Wearables, and emerging technologies. Wearable IoT World functioned as an innovation hub that later expanded its services to include customised accelerator and advisory programs that develop startup innovation and culture within a corporate environment.
Image Credit: Wearable IoT World