More and more, we are seeing great ideas crowd-funded through social programs like KickStarter and venues like GoFundMe. Lots of young, struggling companies have a great idea, but little or no support for getting that idea to market. In the past, most startup business incubators have been funded by the government or large universities and have focused on biotech, medical technology, clean tech or other product-centric companies.
Over the past few years, NFC Bootcamp has met many entrepreneurs, all hoping to bring their great ideas for near field communication (NFC) to market. Our NFC Bootcamp programs have centered on how businesses can leverage NFC to build brand awareness and enhance customer engagement. But that wasn’t enough. The mix of NFC Bootcamp participants has included not just marketing and customer experience professionals wanting to learn about using the technology, but also NFC enthusiasts and entrepreneurs looking to network with thought leaders in the ecosystem. They were all searching for a path and a support system to help them bring their companies from ideas to products.
This was the motivation for AccelerateNFC, a seed accelerator designed to nurture, mentor, advise and help fund NFC-based start-up companies. Our plan is to fill this void in application development and enable businesses to drive the growth and adoption of NFC — essentially building the industry “one tap at a time.” Through our NFC Bootcamp experiences, we knew there was a segment of the market that needed this support, as the industry struggled through its early phases.
On January 21, after an intense vetting process, AccelerateNFC began its inaugural program with four exciting NFC-focused companies—each with a different slant on NFC implementations.
inProximity, LLC is the creator of the EatingOut mobile web app. It provides hotel guests and employees of local companies with hyper-localized information on restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, cafes, bars and more via a smartphone enabled with NFC or a QR scanner… all without installing an app.
NFC Game Studio, LLC is a technology company that develops video games, board games and educational products using NFC to bridge the real world and the digital world. NFC Game Studio is the creator of the NFC Touchstone™, a hardware/software gaming platform that uses NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to connect physical assets to virtual environments.
TapSpaces, Inc., is an NFC product design company focusing on marketing activation sites and interaction-based efforts. TapSpaces provides a seamless way to connect your customers with your brand while also capturing how they interact.
True Mileage, Inc., is the creator of the True Mileage™ in-vehicle device, which captures driving information and generates a summary that is accessible with any NFC-enabled smart phone and may be used to improve safety and lower costs. True Mileage offers a complete usage-based insurance program including privacy sensitive devices, efficient data transfer, and in-depth analytics that can reduce insurance premiums up to 50%.
NFC Bootcamp and AccelerateNFC are excited about the potential for each of these companies in the marketplace. We invite you to follow their progress over the next few months as they go through the program with some of the most respected leaders in the NFC industry.
About the Author:
Robert P. Sabella has 20+ years of legal and entrepreneurial experience and is considered one of the most innovative leaders in developing and bringing new technologies to market. He is the founder of the NFC Bootcamp™ training series and has recently co-founded the AccelerateNFC incubator program, dedicated to fostering start-ups in bringing NFC technology to the market. He is co-author of RFID+™ and a prolific writer and speaker on NFC and RFID.