Wearable World today announced it is launching an accelerator programme in London specifically for European businesses focusing on developing wearable technology.
The San Francisco-based organisation, whose mission is to create an ecosystem for business around wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT), said it is expanding its accelerator programme to Europe because it feels that wearable tech startups on this side of the Atlantic aren’t achieving their full potential.
Redg Snodgrass, CEO and co-founder of Wearable World, said: “Investors have been holding back companies in this space for years now. Over 30 percent of the companies in our current programme are from outside the US and the reason for this is because of the bad valuations and adversarial investors they have faced at home.”
Labs was launched in the US last year and since then the first cohort of 35 companies, which includes several from Europe, have collectively raised over $9 million (£5.6 million) in investor backing and over $5 million (£3.1 million) from crowdfunding.
European firms that were part of the San Francisco accelerator programme include: Sensum, which has developed the technology to capture emotional data to enhance user experience; CreoPop, which is working on the world’s first 3D printing pen; and MiriQ, which has created Ripple, an intelligent smartphone charger and lifestyle accessory.
The European Labs programme will be officially announced next week at the Glazed 2014: Dawn of the Wearables conference, where more details around the size of the first European cohort and the amount of money on offer to them, are likely to be unveiled.
The expansion across Europe will be led by seasoned entrepreneur Marcus Sandberg, who will work with five others on the mission.
Kyle Ellicott, director of the Wearable World Labs programme, said: “Wearable World wants to have a transformative effect on investment in wearables in Europe, inspiring others to follow our lead so we can create a really strong, localised angel class and ecosystem for this market.”