Three ways for start-ups to cash in on the Internet of things

9 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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There ought to be an app for that.

“There is money to be made in the internet of things”, said Steve Brumer, a partner at 151 Advisors. “There is a vertical market, there is a horizontal market and there’s an ecosystem” that innovative entrepreneurs can tap into to make money. “There’s not one vertical that’s not touched by the Internet of things”.

Big companies might be building the infrastructure, but figuring out what to do with the data they collect is anyone’s game. Brumer was joined by executives from some of the major players – Lowes, John Deere, Deutsche Telekom, ILS Technology – in a conversation about challenges in search of solutions at CES this afternoon. Opportunities include…

  • Sifting through the flood of data from diverse sources, aggregating it and making it useful. Data volume has outstripped the ability of companies to figure it out for themselves. “Unless it’s actionable data, it’s fairly useless”, said Niclas Andersson from DT. “You need to know what you’re going to accomplish with it”.
  • Wrapping services around connectivity. “All of our machines are connected to a cloud based server”, said John Deere’s Keith Soltwedel. But they rely on individual dealers to identify and sell services that use it. Creating those services is an open field for entrepreneurs.
  • Building tools that help consumers and small businesses find value in their data. “You have to be able save money, make money or manage some level of compliance”, said Fredrick Yentz, CEO of ILS Technology. “Otherwise it’s a cost”.

Capital is chasing the IoT, too, according to Brumer, who says there’s no shortage of investors, himself included. “I am looking for disruptive technology”.