On Thursday night, IPG Media Lab attended an information session for Qualcomm’s Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The session was spearheaded by Ryan Kuder, managing director of TechStars San Diegom along with Houman Haghighi, investor at Qualcomm Ventures. They discussed how technology and hardware powered by today’s super-fast processors, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chipsets, are taking the robotics industry to the next level.
While in the past, startup accelerators accepted early stage startups from a wide range of industries, in recent years there has been a shift. The Qualcomm and TechStar partnership is one example of how big brands and corporations are investing dollars and resources in well-established startup accelerators to speed up industry-specific innovation.
R/GA and Techstars announced an unprecedented partnership to form a startup accelerator around Connected Devices. Having already designed Nike’s FuelBand, R/GA has plenty of experience in the field, and in combination with the startup knowledge of Techstars they’ve chosen 10 companies to mentor in the three-month intensive program. The ultimate goal of the venture is to build connected products and services while providing business mentorship and brand consulting. From R/GA’s side, the accelerator makes sense as well; it keeps the company on the front foot in terms of innovation, and leverages new technology to keep them ahead of advertising and internal branding opportunities. And, at the same time, it keeps R/GA in touch with the connection of physical and digital realities, but in a quite visceral manner. What’s more, the Lab’s own Alexander Rea is one of several mentors on the project, so we’ll be sure to have all the latest details from the ground-breaking work happening in the accelerator. Stay tuned: the startups will be presenting their projects at a special SXSWi event in March, and to angel investors and R/GA clients in New York.