I went to a reception last week at Wayra- a Telefonica funded incubator -” a digital start up accelerator with a global network of 13 academies in 12 countries” is how they describe themselves).It was courtesy of the kind people at The Foundation who hosted the evening
(Telefonica have put seed funding into 20 start ups in London and are repeating the exercise in other innovation hubs around the world- money it seems is coming from the cash rich corporates rather than the banks
There was an insightful talk by Niall Murphy -a technologist and serial-entrepreneur. Niall co-founded pan European WiFi network The Cloud in 2003
His tip for finding an opportunity for a new business start up :-
“Spot the inevitabilities”. He thought wifi an inevitability in 2003 and set up without having completely worked out the business model. He just knew it would be important and decided to set up in the space.And now he is doing the same thing with the internet of things- hence his new start up.
What is inevitable at some point in the next few years?
Niall was right about wifi and the full implications of this are still working their way through
Stadia and festivals will be high speed Wifi enabled hubs in the next few years.
Many new things will flow from this enabling technology and US sports stadia are leading the way
The likes of Manchester city and man u will be into this too….better fan experience and revenue opportunities ( in game betting etc)As for the Internet of things – be interesting so see how Niall works out the business model at evrythng
I liked too his observation about how big incumbents are a good source of funding for start ups. Faced with disruptive innovation, big corporates find it difficult to adapt. But they know they have to react-one way is to hedge. Place a bet against yourself with the start up that threatens you. If it goes wrong no matter-it does not affect the mothership. If it does prove to be the future, they have placed a smart bet. Top tip then is to approach the people whose business you are about to undermine-the smart ones will invest in you as a hedge.