SparkLabs Launches Connex IoT, an Accelerator Program for Smart City Tech

At a Glance:


  • SparkLabs group launches Connex, a new startup accelerator program focusing on IoT, smart cities, and proptech.

  • Singapore will continue to remain one of the top investors in smart cities initiatives followed by Tokyo, New York City, and London.

  • Smart utility metering and video surveillance will hold a significant portion of the smart city segment, with the number of connections representing 87% of the total estimate of smart city connections by 2026: ABI Research.


Cities are facing new threats, such as cyberattacks, climate change, and natural disasters. As a result, they are embracing, new smart city solutions. In fact, according to the ABI research, the investments in smart city technologies will eclipse $61 billion by 2026. According to the United Nations by 2050, 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas. This increase in population and urbanization has led the community leaders to rethink how cities are organized and more specifically how digitization and new technologies can help the cities become smart.


SparkLabs Group launched SparkLabs Connex, the latest program in its network of startup accelerators and venture funds. Focused on real estate technology (proptech) and the Internet of Things, SparkLabs Connex will tap into startup ecosystems in Silicon Valley, Seoul, Shenzhen, Taipei, and Singapore.


 

Learn more: Sparklabs Connex, a New IoT, Smart City & proptech Accelerator, Unites the Supply & Demand sides of the Technology Ecosystem to Accelerate Access to Innovation


 

SparkLabs Connex’s start-ups will be tasked with leveraging technology enablers that underpin B2B IoT, smart city and PropTech solutions, such as connectivity (5G, NB-IoT, eSIM, etc), analytics and AI, and security. Charles Reed Anderson, the founder of Singapore-based IoT, mobility and smart city advisory firm CRA & Associates, will lead SparkLabs Connex as its managing partner.


We are fortunate to have Charles Reed Anderson join us as the Managing Partner of SparkLabs Connex. He is one of Asia's leading advisors to governments, enterprise customers and technology vendors on how to successfully navigate the increasingly complex IoT, smart city and proptech solution ecosystems. He is a recognized thought leader in these areas, so we are excited to have him on board.

Jay McCarthy, Co-founder of SparkLabs Group.


My ambition for SparkLabs Connex is to become the innovation hub for the IoT, smart city, and proptech ecosystems, and I’m excited with the quality and variety of partnerships we have signed at launch-and will sign in the future. SparkLabs Connex is more than an accelerator, it’s an ecosystem play, and we believe it creates a unique value proposition for startups, partners and investors.

Charles Reed Anderson, Managing Partner of SparkLabs Connex.


The program’s partners include Nokia, True Digital, Beca and Skyroam, as well as the cities of Taipei, Taiwan, Songdo, South Korea, and Darwin, Australia, which will be working with its portfolio startups to test and deploy their technology. SparkLabs Connex is also working with Go Smart, the Taipei City initiative to create a global network of smart cities, and the Urban Technology Alliance, which tests smart city tech in France, Spain, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.


 

Learn more: Here’s why smart IoT  is future


One customer looking at Connex is Nokia. “Working with SparkLabs Connex will enable us to address the growing smart city opportunity. We can help solve the challenges of smart city orchestration with our solutions, and expand our smart city ecosystem while answering the needs of our enterprise customers.

Danial Mausoof, global head of enterprise sales at Nokia.


According to IDC research last month, worldwide spending on smart city initiatives will total £95 billion in 2020 at an increase of 18.9% year over year. The top 100 cities that made investments in smart initiatives in 2019 represented nearly 29% of global spending, the research found. IDC also predicted that Singapore will continue to remain one of the top investors in smart cities initiatives followed by Tokyo, New York City, and London.


Additionally, ABI Research’s latest smart cities market data report, released in January, predicted that smart utility metering and video surveillance will hold a significant portion of the smart city segment, with the number of connections representing 87% of the total number of smart city connections by 2026. According to the report, though surveillance cameras with embedded AI computing capabilities from vendors like NVIDIA are already being deployed, low latency 5G connectivity will allow real-time local response management in the future by utilizing powerful cloud-based AI capabilities.


About SparkLabs Group


SparkLabs Group is a network of startup accelerators and venture capital funds that have invested in over 280 companies across 6 continents. SparkLabs Group was awarded the Newsweek Momentum Award in November 2019, ranking it as one of the "Top 100 Smart City Partners" globally, and the only venture capital firm or accelerator included in the ranking.

SparkLabs' accelerator network consists of SparkLabs Korea (Seoul), SparkLabs Cultiv8 (AgTech, FoodTech & Sustainability in Sydney & Orange, Australia), SparkLabs Taipei, SparkLabs Frontier - ASU (Arizona State University), and others. In 2019, SparkLabs Group launched SparkLabs Foundry, an "innovation-as-a-service" platform for the Forbes Global 2000.

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