R/GA Ventures kickstarts UK-based venture program for Internet of Things startups

The Drum

R/GA Ventures, the agency’s startup accelerator, has kickstarted its UK-based venture program to help startups developing Internet of Things (IoT) products.

The R/GA IoT Venture Studio UK is launching in collaboration with InnovateUK, the UK government’s innovation agency, and will be based at R/GA London’s new headquarters.

Applications are open from today (1 September) for growth-stage startups and early-stage startups developing technologies in all areas of IoT, specifically connected hardware, data and AI, connected cities, connected finance, connected enterprise, among others.

R/GA will provide the selected startups with direct access to its marketing, branding, design and technology services, as well as access to its network of clients, industry partners, global brand leaders, mentors and investors. Matt Webb, founder and former chief executive of Berg Cloud, will lead the program as managing director.

Up to ten IoT startups will be selected to participate in the UK Venture Studio program. The program will conclude in May 2017 with a Demo Event, at which each company will have the opportunity to present to an invited audience of investors, industry leaders and press.

Stephen Plumlee, managing partner at R/GA Ventures and global chief operating officer at R/GA, said: “This is our third IoT program globally, and we are delighted to extend our unique R/GA Ventures approach to the UK as we look to support companies from around the world that want to bring their technologies to the UK market.”

The R/GA IoT Venture Studio UK joins the likes of Mindshare, which last month launched a startup incubator Grow@Mindshare as a way to get closer with businesses at an early stage of marketing.

The move comes at a time when the wider industry is facing some challenges when it comes to investing in innovation hubs, following the closure of Ogilvy Labs last month.

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