NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- R/GA, the company for the connected age, has announced the 10 startups chosen for the second R/GA Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The 10 companies reflect the fast growing realm of the Internet of Things that is powering connected devices - from homes and cars to warehouses and aircraft. The accelerator will lead the companies through a rigorous program that taps into R/GA's best-in-class expertise in business and brand consulting, product and services innovation, and marketing and communications. The program is built on Techstars' proven methodology and also provides access to mentors from R/GA's global network of clients.
"This year we had an unprecedented number of applications that has demonstrated the broad adoption of IoT technology across numerous industry verticals," said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer, R/GA. "We are excited to kick off this second class with Techstars because our partnership has already proven that it can enable startups to build a brand, not just a product, which helps grow their businesses and increase their chances for success."
This year's companies come from a wide variety of locations and backgrounds. The R/GA Accelerator companies are:
- Astro – A New York City-based company that has created a series of automated devices that change the way consumers interact with their homes.
- Bitfinder – Based in Seoul, Korea and San Francisco, Bitfinder's portable device and software platform detect airborne and environmental irritants.
- Chargifi – London-based start-up that provides wireless and location-based charging stations with a platform for content or advertising.
- Diagenetix – The Honolulu startup has built a low-cost, portable diagnostics tool that allows food producers, processors, and buyers to test for pathogens.
- Freedom Audio – Reflecting its Florida roots, this company develops durable and waterproof wireless audio products.
- Latch – Based in Washington, DC, this start-up has developed a connected, keyless entry security platform using beacons to manage building access.
- LISNR – With its supersonic beacon platform, this Cincinnati company can activate second-screen experiences from any source with a speaker.
- One Million Metrics – A New York City-based company that creates connected devices for the workplace – including connected warehouse and office building tracking systems.
- Pinoccio – A Reno, NV startup that has developed an IoT kit to build wireless, web-enabled projects that are mesh-networked, open source and Arduino compatible.
- SkySpecs – Hailing from Ann Arbor, this startup offers a hardware-enabled software system to avoid drone collisions.
"We're looking forward to building on the momentum we have with R/GA in an industry such as IoT and connected devices that continues to evolve at rapid rates," said David Cohen, Managing Partner, Techstars. "This year's class represents a very diverse group of companies – many of whom have already made great strides – and I can't wait to see what they accomplish given the backing from R/GA."
The R/GA Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is an initiative of R/GA Ventures, a recently formed LLC created in partnership with The Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG). R/GA Ventures will oversee investments made by R/GA and Interpublic through programs such as the R/GA Accelerator.
Supporting R/GA and Techstars in this second edition of the Accelerator are world-class industrial design firm Astro Studios and PCH International, global leader in manufacturing and supply chain logistics, as well as industry leaders Stratasys, MakerBot and SOLIDWORKS. Techstars Managing Director Jenny Fielding, who most recently served as Head of Digital Ventures at BBC Worldwide, will lead the program. Combined with R/GA and Techstars, the offering provides startups in the program truly an unfair advantage in the increasingly crowded space, where there are significant barriers for independent product developers building scalable product businesses.
The program aims to serve the growing list of startups in the "Internet of Things" space that are developing connected mobile apps, hardware, products, and services. An on-site, R/GA-dedicated services team as well as program mentors will provide design, innovation, development, business, brand, and marketing consulting for the companies.
At the end of the program, all 10 companies will present to investors, media, select R/GA clients, and industry leaders, at an invite-only Demo Day in NYC, in February 2015. Each accepted team is eligible to receive up to $120,000 in funding from R/GA and Techstars.
R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients' brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,400 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), one of the world's largest advertising and marketing services organizations. For more information on R/GA, please visit us at www.rga.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
About Techstars The massive Techstars interconnected network of over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and corporate partners help the most promising startups do more faster. With 13 programs worldwide, our mentorship-driven accelerators fund the best companies in the most entrepreneurial communities. Since 2006, 80% of the 500 companies from almost 40 Techstars programs have received funding, representing approximately $2 billion in market capitalization.