(Editor’s note: This was originally posted on the Usine website. It’s reposted here with the permission of the author.)
By ÉLODIE GERRIET
The thematic hardware acceleration program finally welcomes your applications.
Because of the uniqueness of our service, we’ve faced many challenges since we opened in 2014.
Two of them have been partly covered, but we always felt something was missing in the services we offered, both to the community of hardware entrepreneurs and larger corporations:
1. How and in what context we could provide even more value to startups and SME’s in a specific industry
2. How we can partner with larger corporations looking to close the gap between them and seed-stage startups or more mature SMEs
That’s why we decided to launch a dedicated service to address those two challenges at once: FOCUS by Usine IO, a unique thematic hardware acceleration programme that will run every 4–6 months on a specific industry.
The first program will start in September 2017 and will be operated from StationF, our neighbour and the largest innovation project to date in Europe.
We’ll use a simple and straightforward business model to finance it — either a cut on the future revenue with a minimum floor level and for a limited time or an equity stake in the company.
We’ll work with corporate partners and high-end experts to complement our in-house expertise, which we’ve been honing for the last 2 years with more than 500 projects and counting. Design, UX, ergonomics, embedded systems or supply chain are just some examples of the improved Usine IO experience.
This program is an opportunity for us to use our newly defined membership. As we’ve doubled our team to address more accurately and with more expertise projects at their different levels of maturity, FOCUS will be able to support any team regardless of their stage of development.
We’ll start the program by listing specific deliverables with each team depending on their maturity. These deliverables can be numerous: Proof of concept, V2 of their current product, live experimentation, corporate partnerships, market entry, etc.
The first batch will be dedicated to autonomous and connected vehicles: terrestrial, airborne or seaborne.
We plan to welcome international startups, R&D departments and SME’s at any stage of maturity.
The first corporate and expert partners will be major players in robotics, transportation, AI, image processing, autonomy, electronics, automation, public policy, legal management, strategy consulting and insurance.
Future program themes are still in the making, but we’re already looking at recycling and environment, specific challenges in healthcare, or even space.
With the strong partners we’re currently working with, the sky is the limit. We can already count on more than 10 partners such as PSA, Valeo, Systra, Allianz, ECA Group, nVidia, PWC, Autokab, Mov’eo or VEDECOM.