IOT Innovation in Spain

Welcome to the new Mr. Marshall “Americanos”

Ha pasado un año desde la segunda edición de “Spain Startup & Investor Summit 2013. Más de 53 millones de euros han logrado captar desde 2013 las empresas finalistas de las dos anteriores ediciones del Start Up Summit.

Organizada por Spain Startup, IE Business School y Comunica, esta semana pude atender a la tercera edición Spain Startup: The South summit  en la que han presentado los 100 mejores proyectos (seleccionados de entre casi 3000) de empresas de nueva creación, no sólo de España sino también del resto de países del Mediterráneo e Iberoamérica.

El evento reunió en tres días 8-10 de octubre a más de 6500 personas de 25 países, 35 fondos de inversión internacionales, 400 inversores, 35 grandes corporaciones buscando oportunidades de negocio y a 3500 emprendedores.

Aunque sabemos que son pocos los proyectos startup que sobreviven, la realidad es que hay cada vez más emprendedores que lo intentan. Los emprendedores con los que puede hablar no se arrepienten de haberlo intentado.

El lugar elegido este año no puede ser más tópico y típico español, la plaza de Toros de Las Ventas en Madrid. A pesar de que el tiempo no acompaño, el Sol lució por su ausencia y la fuerte lluvia a veces interrumpía las presentaciones, solo a los organizadores pareció importarles.

España necesita impulsar el emprendimiento y a fe mía que lo está intentando con eventos como este, seduciendo a talento propio y foráneo que le gusta la calidad de vida que ofrece España y parece que poco a poco también atrayendo a inversores extranjeros y nacionales.

Enhorabuena a los participantes y en especial a los ganadores en cada una de la categorías Energia (Votex), HiTech (PlayGiga), Biotecnología y e-Salud  (Mint Labs) , B2B (Forcemanager) y B2C (Ludei).  El Premio por votación popular, elegido a través de Twitter, ha ido a parar a la empresa balear PlaySpace. La empresa Nice People at Work se ha alzado con el ‘Premio FICOD a la start-up más innovadora’.

Para concluir, resaltar que al menos para mí, extraño escuchar del presidente mundial de Google, Eric Schmidt, que “el 75% de los nuevos empleos en España van a venir de la mano de las startups” y que “el futuro de España pasa por la mano del conocimiento, y para eso necesitamos un espacio para la innovación”. Le pasarían la chuleta o es que el bueno de Schmidt sabe más que nosotros de la realidad de nuestro país. Aunque a Schmidt lo que le preocupa es la sobrerregulación europea porque según el “Impiden el desarrollo de la innovación”. Puede que Schmidt esté preocupado por los números casos abiertos que tiene el Gigante de Internet con las autoridades comunitarias.

Pero agradecemos que Google invierta en España y anuncié que abrirá un campus para emprendedores en Madrid en 2015. Quizás veamos pronto a otras compañías internacionales seguir su ejemplo. Bienvenidos los Nuevos Mister Marshall.

Spain Startup; Investor Summit 2013: Entrepreneurs, Passion and Innovation made in Spain

I attended last week the second edition of “Spain Startup & Investor Summit 2013”. It was a very rewarding event because besides being able to see firsthand the talent and creativity of young and not so young who presented their projects, I could reaffirm and expand during these days my passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. I was envious. I wanted to be there presenting my IOT project as excited as these magnificent entrepreneurs. Maybe next year.

There is no doubt that for years (too many for my taste) large companies, seeking short-term results, despite the information that may be published in the media, the reality is that does not innovate as much as they should. The talents and entrepreneurs fleeing the “big names” soon and these can do little to retain them. Because the real entrepreneurs always looking for new and continuing opportunities, searching to create new business models and without doubt that their future will depend on continuously invest in innovation. I have seen great enthusiasm and passion for innovation, but I’ve also seen entrepreneurs most committed to social responsibility.

And how could it be otherwise the Internet of Things has been the source of inspiration for some of these Start Up in several categories. For those who do you read on the post , then I leave some names of Start Up to which I wish to get the finance they need to take the next step.

  • TAB MOB – Excelera: Eases the integration of sensor systems in all kind of devices and markets. Excelera’s products simplify sensors systems design and boost their performance while reducing costs and time-to-market.
  • DC TECHNOLOGY: They are focuses on sectors of research and development of monitoring and wireless controlling like Smart cities, Road Safety,…
  • GEKO NAVSAT: Is a small company that develops devices and wearable navigation solutions highly innovative, that enable high user interaction without interfering with its activity and allowing solve cooperative navigation problems in the harshest environments.
  • GREEN MOMIT: Momit Smart Thermostat is a device that learns from your daily routine, habits and tastes. A device that you can control from the Internet, with your smartphone, tablet and/or computer. Momit Smart Thermostat can reduce up to 20% your energy bill.
  • CATCHOOM: Catchoom is a cloud image recognition provider. We enable developers to build apps that link real objects with custom digital experiences; including gaming, advertising, publishing and e-commerce.
  • UAV NAVIGATION: A pioneer in the development of inertial navigation systems for unmanned aircraft avionics, with aircraft leading customers in Israel, USA, Australia. Derivations of its core technology now used in commercial products in different areas of aeronautics, such as sports equipment, motor sports, automotive, etc. Very interesting the Motion processor for sports, health, fitness and other wearable applications.

As Maria Benjumea, president of the Governing Council of Spain Startup & Investor Summit said, the event shown that entrepreneur is not only internet, but I must add that the Internet of the Things is and will be a source of inspiration for many entrepreneurs and innovators for the next coming years.

SIMO 2013 :The New and The Old Brave World

If last week I attended 2 and ½ days in the second edition of “Spain Startup & Investor Summit 2013”, this week I only attended ½ day of SIMO 2013 . For those of you that are nostalgic like me, maybe is better not continue reading this post to avoid crying for a past better IT world. I only found in wikipedia links to SIMO since last 2005, but believe me that in the 90´s IT people killed for a ticket.

During the last 5 year, the big names did not spend marketing funds in SIMO and therefore, SIMO has been reinvented. This year with the aim of providing a platform to promote entrepreneurship in Spain and Latin America, SIMO Network 2013 has invited entries to its third “15 Minutes of Glory” competition. The competition begins with entries being submitted and shortlisted via social networks. The intention was to provide visibility for and raise awareness of new ideas and projects in which technology and the Internet play a key role, all within the framework of the trade fair.

And as you can imagine I found very few interesting Machine to Machine (M2M) or Internet of the Things(IoT)  projects, only a couple of engineers from Oporto University presenting a M2M solution for farming and more colleagues that I meet in the Spain Start Up Summit looking for investors. Entrepreneurs are more interested in the social internet and replicate US internet models with a Spanish flavor.

I would like that next year one of the key focus areas of SIMO 2014 was “The Web of the Things” and see many companies and speakers talking about innovative and real IoT projects. I would like to see a pilot where Big Data for Sensor platforms are capturing data from millions of public and private sensors and running real time analytics that are integrated in business and citizen processes running in hybrid clouds with all level of data security and privacy required. For next year, I would like to see Connected Car, I would like to see wearable devices, I would like to see Smart Homes and Smart Living, For next year I would love be part of the SIMO IoT.

Note: Contingency if SIMO 2014 do not focus on this: I am planning an M2M / IoT event in Spain in 2014. Looking for sponsors and colleagues to help me with the organization.

Barcelona Smart City @ Cisco Internet of Things World Forum event

This week I was at the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum, hosted by Cisco in Barcelona. During 2 and ½ days, I was discussing and learning from Cisco, sponsors like Oracle, SAP, IBM, Intel, Qualcomm, Zebra Technologies, Bosh Software, and others, and of course from illustrated members and friends of the IoT community about the opportunities for igniting innovation, the obstacles to overcome and the partnerships that need to be built to bring the Internet of Things to life.

The event was impressive, but maybe the focus was more in the internet, and less in the things.  I do not want the idea of combine many messages or other hot technologies like Big Data to justify the big opportunity of the IoT.  As a premonition of this critic, one of my Linkedin professional contact, Mr. Magnus Melander, a Swedish entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of the M2M consulting company B3 Connect Compute (B3CC), asked me to read and comment his post  yesterday. I read it and I agree with him that the expectations about the IoT have been so high and because the predictions are not being corresponding with reality (still looking for business models and business cases to justify investment), that analysts and vendors are bringing into the IoT/M2M discussions other “hot topics like Big Data, Cloud or Mobile Apps to continue with the optimism.

I also miss in the forum the participation of Communication Service Providers in spite that Cisco CEO Mr John Chambers use Telefonica as source in one of the slides of his interesting keynote presentation and he encourage in Cisco Call to Action to partnership to deliver projects in l2 -18 months and not in 3-4 years, the lack of this important component of the value chain induce to think that the ecosystems need more adjustments.

I cannot agree more with the words of Mr. Chambers during the keynote session that the IoT effect only will work if we don’t deploy in silos and the consumer, industry and public sectors use public and private sensors data and process capacity to accelerate innovation, improve business process and increase quality of life of citizens.

During the Smart City Tour I could explore several ready-today Internet of Things applications in an urban setting but my y impression was that there are just small pilots where sensors from different vendors detect temperature, humidity, noise, dust and gases, help manage parking, and IP-enabled waste containers but there are not yet integrated as a whole and offered as a service to citizens and third-parties. The project is not scaled to the whole city and the vast number of citizens are not aware of the benefits of them.  Anyway, it is a start, but we need to avoid that politics or economic conditions stop the journey to make Barcelona one of the Smart Cities to follow.

However the good news in the Forum was that some big companies in the manufacturing, automotive, logistic, oil and gas, health care, consumer electronics, and other industries are starting to change their business processes towards more use of M2M or Internet of the Thing services and many start-up are creating application, services, platforms to reduce complexity and risk of embed sensors to person to sensor business processes and capture and analyze in real time sensor data in their IT and OT environments.

To be honest, I am a little confuse about  how much of the revenue opportunity cake predicted by the different analyst, GSMA association and vendors will be the piece of the big, medium and small players of the IoT crowded ecosystem (see also Amdocs post) but it is important that all companies can get benefits of it, not only the big ones.

We will see how legacy technologies and the business models primarily designed for human use and not machines, will be soon replaced by new technologies and new business models will include Machine to Machine to Person to Machine steps. Fun and exciting innovation (wearable technologies) will change the world as we know.

IoT revolution has started. The technology is not the problem. It will takes time to turn but once it changes direction, it will be unstoppable. Fun and exciting innovation like wearable devices, intelligent car, and smart homes and cities are expecting all of us out there. With passion & believe we will make it possible.

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