Month: May 2015

Affective Computing

My latest comes to you via LinkedIn. Catch me 5/21/2015 at Stanford GSB where I’m co-chairing an ’emotional’ night.  Check out: Computers can know your feelings. How does that make you feel?

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IoT Anonymous

If there were such a thing as IoT Anonymous, I would most certainly be member and it most certainly would not be anonymous.  What is this IoT?  The Internet of Things is devices sensing, computing and/or transmitting information to other machines (M2M) via the Internet at a large scale resulting in actionable insight that enhances human capacity.

In the race to enhance human capacity via IoT solutions, IoT Anonymous members are jockeying for markets being created by billions of device solutions, jockeying for the VC dollars to make those solutions a reality, jockeying for the right to be the standards leader in IoT, and much more.  Why? Where the internet itself brought about productivity improvements and efficiency for people such as going from the postal system to email, IoT solutions will bring efficiency to things.  Every ‘thing’ in the world as an enabler of efficiency spells value.

In the race to understand the value of IoT solutions IoT addicts from around the world will convene tomorrow and Wednesday in San Francisco at the Internet of Things World Conference in the Moscone Center.  Find me there.  I’m looking for people creating real value, monetizable value, by putting IoT technology to work.  Tickets and free expo passes are available to IoT World by visiting http://iotworldevent.com/.

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Questions for Intel at IoT World 2015

iot-world-300x250The who’s who of IoT devices, solutions and enthusiasts will convene in San Francisco May 12-13 at the Moscone Center for Internet of Things World 2015.  This includes Rose Schooler, VP of the Internet of Things Group and GM of the IoT Strategy and Technology Office for Intel who will give a keynote address discussing the opportunities and challenges of scaling IoT solutions during the event.

“The IoT will take data, create information, analyze that information and transform every industry, the way it works, the way it’s optimized, and create new business models, not to mention the way we live and the way we play,” Schooler said in a video on Intel’s website dedicated to Intel at Internet of Things World 2015 that also includes details about what Intel will demo during the conference expo.

Knowing where to start is one of the challenges developers face when contemplating solutions with the impact to transform every industry.  Intel is offering IoT solutions at all levels from “security technologies as a foundation, to silicon and software, offering those each as individual building blocks but also offering pre-configured and pre-validated solutions to accelerate that deployment,” Schooler explains to prospective conference attendees.

These are the questions I hope to find answers for during Schooler’s keynote:

Are promises of insights that will transform every industry hype or reality?  Can IoT really boost productivity, reduce costs and downtime, improve efficiency, optimize operations, increase throughput, save energy and improve and enrich lives?  How can the value of IoT solutions be realized amid the challenges in the space?

Will you be at IoT World with an answer to these questions or a compelling IoT solution?  If so, drop me a line and lets plan to meet up.  Tickets and free expo passes are available to IoT World by visiting http://iotworldevent.com/

Silicon Valley Startup Accelerators: An International Innovation Resource

Steve Hoffman, Co-Founder & CEO of San Francisco-based startup accelerator Founders Space, understands business, understands startups and understands innovation.  He recently returned from a visit to Asia that included meeting with Taiwan’s Prime Minister Mao Chi-kuo.  “Innovation isn’t confined to Silicon Valley,” Hoffman said when discussing international opportunities.  “There are talented people and a high concentration of capital here, but there is a critical mass of creativity and capital in Beijing, Taipei, Seoul and other tech hubs,” he explained.

Silicon Valley is an international innovation resource.  Governments, businesses, and research institutions throughout the world are acutely aware of and interested in the innovation that occurs in and enters global markets from Silicon Valley.  Entrepreneurs are also aware and come from all over the world to establish businesses in Silicon Valley.

Because of the nature of the connected world, entrepreneurs do not have to always be in Silicon Valley to benefit from its influence.  Entrepreneurs can come to Silicon Valley, build relationships with the local startup ecosystem, including Silicon Valley venture capitalists, and then return to their home states or countries bringing Silicon Valley influence and capital back to their teams.  Startup accelerators and incubators in Silicon Valley are becoming the common path to success for startup CEOs to accomplish these objectives.  When coming to Silicon Valley is not an option, entrepreneurs can connect to Silicon Valley startup accelerators that are expanding globally or connect to local startup ecosystems with connections to Silicon Valley.

Startup Accelerator Differentiation

Startup accelerators are beginning to differentiate in various ways.  In addition to attending events at several Silicon Valley startup accelerators, I’ve had the opportunity to work with startups in three startup accelerators, Plug and Play Technology Center, Wearable World and Founders Space.  Through those experiences it is clear each accelerator is different and has something unique to offer.

For example, most startup accelerators have a program that typically runs for around twelve weeks with events and official mentoring sessions one to three times a week and a pitch day at the end of the program.  Founders Space, in contrast, has an accelerated accelerator accomplishing the same objectives in a shorter period of time.  “Every weekday for an entire month we have people coming in to coach our entrepreneurs, to provide mentoring and to empower entrepreneurs,” said Hoffman.  “They are able to come, network, learn and accomplish their objectives in a shorter period of time, which is critical if you’re coming from overseas and only have a 3-month visa.”

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Because of the many differences between startup accelerators, the best thing an entrepreneur can do is to first determine objectives that need to be accomplished for their company while in an accelerator. This means a bit of footwork is required outlining objectives.  Spend more time deciding what you want from a startup accelerator than on what you want from your next car.

After determining objectives, find the startup accelerator that will provide the best match to those objectives.  In the search for the appropriate accelerator the decision process should extend far beyond comparing web pages.  Make time to connect either with the startup accelerator or with entrepreneurs who have participated in their programs before making a decision.

Once in Silicon Valley, review your objectives often to remain focused.  It is your responsibility to get the most out of your accelerator experience.