When starting any IoT project with prospect of being successful, beside a bit of luck, you’ll need some essential resources, like proper skill set, time and money. In this post I’ll focus on where to get funding and some steps that I find important to consider.
One thing that you need to be aware, at the very beginning of your IoT entrepreneurial journey, is all the technical competencies you’ll need – HW development, SW development, networking, security, cloud computing. For sure it’s hard to be the one that can cover all of those complex technological areas at once and that’s the reason why you should get the right people in your team. After that next step would be a getting a valid business case that you’d be able to present to whomever you are asking for the money.
As I’ve said before “Since overall idea of IoT is to improve our day to day life, make it easier, make it safer” we need to have that idea in our business case as well. I find design thinking as a good way of creating an IoT solution with good chance of success, since it imposes these five steps that you can recursively repeat: defining the problem, research, form the idea, prototype and test it. We are all living in a connected world and you should use it to see if there’s already a solution similar to yours, how they are positioned on the market, do you have better solution for the same problem, what’s your unique selling point – for sure we need to be proactive but also realistic to succeed in the end.
All the funding partners will seek to invest in a company that can provide sustainable business model, that has the ability to deliver the product and knows how to keep customers satisfied. Some of them will help you with their resources and expertise and some of them are just looking for high Return On Investment (ROI).
Anyhow, when money is involved, you need to have a good lawyer with corporate and commercial experience. I know that they are not cheap, but if you are serious with your IoT business, this is one of the crucial moments that you need to take care of.
Who’s the right funding partner for you? It’s hard to say in general, but if possible I’d go with someone who can understand the complexity of an IoT project and who’s not looking for quick and easy money.