29 April 2020 Point.IoT – Empowering Innovation Using IoT Technologies In 2011, Thomas Tanghe and his team started working on the first acceleration programme for space data. At the time, there weren’t many space start-ups and such innovation support was relatively new in the space sector. Nowadays, the situation is completely different. Many support programmes exist. What Does Point.IoT Do? “At Point.IoT, we provide innovators and entrepreneurs access to industry experts, tailor-made training and the right advice to transform their IoT ideas into reality. Our partnership with Tech Tour supports this goal with access to funding for selected teams. The funding side is an important piece of the puzzle that start-ups have to solve, and it's important that portfolio companies also have access to investors,” explains Mr. Tanghe, Principal at SpaceTec Partners. Point.IoT’s programme includes support for start-ups. This is done through giving them access to experts they normally can’t reach. The support also includes virtual training, market validation exercises, training on how to be a better entrepreneur, as well as access to the right investors. “One of the key elements I think start-ups struggle with, and one we keep emphasising, is looking at the market needs. That is not so simple to solve for them,” shares Thomas Tanghe. On the technical side, start-ups are very well versed and are experts in their domain. However, understanding what the customer needs is trickier because you can't just pick up the phone and call a large corporate. “We decided to help them with a programme that would help bridge the gap between start-ups and corporates,” describes Mr. Tanghe. They do that using industry challenges. In Point.IoT, they have two industry challenges, which are backed by corporate challenge owners. The Two Industry Challenges for Participants in Point.IoT’s Programme The first challenge asks teams to design and develop the next generation of asset tracking and management solutions for industries with large-scale infrastructure. Asset-intensive operations often struggle to know exactly when and where their high-value items are along the value chain, and IoT can provide the solution. The second challenge is about personal safety in the workplace. The challenge set for start-ups that join the programme is to design and develop a real-time risk and location monitoring device that employees can wear on or around the body to improve personal safety in the workplace. Industries with large gatherings and hazardous working conditions need safety monitoring systems to minimise personal risk. “The company or the team that offers the best solution will receive a monetary price of 20,000 EUR. The top teams will also be invited to an investor event that Tech Tour has kindly agreed to organise,” concludes Thomas Tanghe. Check the Point.IoT website for further information and to apply here to tackle the challenges.