An interview with IoT accelerator BreedReply
BreedReply is an accelerator focused solely on IoT (Internet of Things) early stage startups in Europe and the US started byReply, a consulting, systems integration and digital services company.
Similar accelerators such as Startupbootcamp IoT & Data and HAXLR8R are organized around varied sponsors in the public and private sector. Breed’s offer is a 12 month “bespoke” incubation period, where startups can take advantage of Reply’s own corporate network and expertise. Reply Group is a consulting, systems integration, and digital services company, which helps provide both the network, investors, and mentors in the accelerator.
“During this year, we work very closely with our startups offering bespoke support in all main areas, from general management to sales & marketing and technology,” says Emanuele Angelidis, our CEO, Breed’s CEO. “We back our startups from the prototype phase to the delivery of the product to the market, with support on aspects like testing, selection of and negotiations with suppliers and manufacturers, and quality control.”
BreedReply must compete in the booming European accelerator market by offering solutions that are attractive to startups, so although many entrepreneurs are wary of corporate involvement, others embrace the possibilities of what can be more streamlined market entry and experienced industry mentors.
We asked Emanuele a few questions about BreedReply’s scaling process, how they achieve their goals, and what kind of startups they accept.
What is the company about? Is it a project of a bigger company?
We are part of the Reply Group, a leading consulting, systems integration and digital services company with market presence all over Europe and the USA. The value of being part of the Reply organization is that we can also offer a strong network of contacts, potential customers, investors and mentors who can help to scale our startups.
What do you mean by focusing only on IoT? Which part?
That means that we invest in solutions involving connected devices (hardware+software) and solutions that enable physical objects to be connected, involving dynamics such as sensing, filtering data and acting on context. We do this in significant markets that include: Fitness and wellness, Healthcare, Smart Home, Manufacturing, Transportation and Energy.
Do you have any competition? How do you differ? (in Europe, in World)
Of course there are programs dedicated to IoT and hardware startups, for example the accelerators Startupbootcamp IoT & Data and HAXLR8R.
What we offer is different from various point of view: first, the amount of our seed funding is at the top end of the market expectation and it’s not the same amount for all the startups. As a second element, the 12 months incubation period is is tailored made to the specific needs of our venture partners. During this year, we work very closely with our startups offering bespoke support in all main areas, from general management to sales & marketing and technology. As last point, our commitment doesn’t end there, but continues after the 12 months with support on the go-to market and the next round of financing.
Are you aiming at early or more mature startups? Do you also help in production?
We invest in early stage, but normally with financing at the top end of the market expectation. What we look for in a startup is a clear understanding of customer needs, a strong technical vision with the ability to execute, and a big addressable market.
We back our startups from the prototype phase to the delivery of the product to the market, with support on aspects like testing, selection of and negotiations with suppliers and manufacturers, and quality control.
What kind of challenges have you met? What was your solution?
Being a startup ourselves, we faced (and still do!) the typical challenges of a new business: from recruiting a new team from scratch, to building and implementing a strategy and making ourselves known into the market. Moreover, on the business side, we had to make our brand visible to the startups, in order to generate deal flow: today we can say that we achieved our target and we are very well connected within the IoT scene in Europe