How do IoT start-ups survive and thrive?

How do IoT start-ups survive and thrive?

IoB asks IoT start-ups Domotz, OSeven and Quantifyle how they keep their heads above water in an increasingly competitive market.

Simply remaining intact as an IoT start up is a difficult task. You need investment, industry partnerships and a variety of skilled personal to sustain such a business, let alone push it forward.

However, with IoT now at the ‘peak of inflated expectations‘ (according to Gartner), there is appetite for IoT start-ups from venture capitalists. In the first quarter of 2016, $846 million was pumped into these companies, according to figures from CB Insights.

At the Internet of Insurance conference in June, Domotz COO Patrizia Cozzoli, OSeven CEO and founder Vassilis Stivaktakis and Quantifyle’s Philippe Marchal and Dele Atanda (CEO and president respectively) discussed the key ingredients to start-up success, with AXA PPP’s head of innovation Clare Selway chiming in on the importance of corporate accelerator programmes.

The experts agreed that skilled personnel are absolutely essential for IoT start-ups to be successful. Stivaktakis said: “The value of a start-up is in the people working for the start-up.”

Related: Are VCs closing the door on Internet of Things start-ups?

IoT start-ups and business models

The importance of being appealing is similarly addressed by Atanda, who says that identifying the perfect business model was the largest challenge they themselves had faced.

Using industry expertise, he urged start-ups to “iterate multiple times until you find that sweet spot” of having a proposition that is truly valued by the customer.

“Go out and see what solutions people are asking for” is the key advice offered by Selway.

Cozzoli, meanwhile, said that start-up should look to get themselves out there and network.

“There is fierce competition and many [industry] players” said Cozzoli, who added that start-ups should look to establish partnerships, sponsorships or support through accelerator companies.

But ultimately some believe that it does to a state of mind, and a strong work ethic. Stivaktakis says that you need to stay focused” and that “this is the most important thing for any start-up”.

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By Oliver Baxandall

Related: The 10 hottest Internet of Things start-ups to watch in 2016