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    Kristie Wong

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    Contributor. Currently based in Tokyo. A third culture kid from Australia, Hong Kong and San Francisco. Lover of social technology and pop culture, and always excited for a good brand story.

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  • May 4, 2015


Top 8 IoT Startups of 2015

As part of the btrax Design the Future event series, The Future of IoT gathered eight of the most promising and diverse startups in the IoT space at the PCH San Francisco office on April 23.

The program of the sold out event included time for the audience to check out product demos by participating startups and a 45 minute fireside chat with IoT founders.


Photos by: Mark Avery

Featured Startups

1. Sproutling – Stay connected with your baby, anytime, anywhere

Sproutling is a family technology company that creates thoughtfully designed products to help parents and their families thrive. Their product is a wearable band for infants. A smart charger and a mobile app work together to monitor, learn and predict the baby’s sleep habits and optimal sleep conditions. Sproutling was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco.

Chris Bruce, the founder and CEO of Sproutling, was one of the fireside chat speakers at the event. Prior to Sproutling, Chris spent over a year in the health industry as a senior engineer for companies like One Medical Group and WellnessFX, and founded a company called Diversion, which is an entertainment and gaming related startup.

2. Automatic – Drive smarter

Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing Automatic’s award-winning connected car adapter and apps for iPhone, Android, and web, drivers are able to enhance their driving experience with a host of connected services on the Automatic platform.

Thejo Kote is the co-founder and CEO of Automatic. He was one of the fireside chat speakers at the event. He founded Automatic in 2011 while in graduate school at Berkeley.

3. FarmX – Helping farmers grow more sustainably

FarmX is committed to helping farmers get the most out of their farm using FarmMap, the first farm health monitoring system of it’s kind and is affordable enough for any grower. FarmMap continuously monitors the farm, providing real-time information on soil and crop health information to grow the most with every drop of water. FarmX was founded in 2014.

Sanjau Rajpoot, co-founder and CEO of FarmX, was one of the fireside chat speakers at the event. Prior to FarmX, he was the founder and CEO of Sustainable Microfarms.


Photo by: FarmX

4. BKON – Rewrite the rules of customer engagement

The Physical Web, with its UriBeacons, is poised to rewrite the rules of customer engagement. This transformative tech lowers the barrier to entry for anyone who can benefit from being part of the IoT. Real Estate agents, small business owners, teachers and promoters are going to find all kinds of new and exciting ways to engage with their clients, customers, students and fans without major investment dollars in app development. Founded in 2013, BKON makes beacons and software that makes them smarter.

Richard Graves, founder and CEO of BKON, was a fireside chat speaker at the Future of IoT. He is an entrepreneur and angel investor with a background in telecom and technology startups.


Photo by: BKON

5. Helium – Connect to the web without Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular data


Founded in 2013, Helium is a complete platform for connecting smart devices to the web without Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular data. The platform can route billions of messages in a highly available, highly reliable and secure fashion. Helium’s infrastructure is built to be flexible and secure, while also being easy to use and deploy. Anywhere Helium coverage exists, devices outfitted with a Helium Atom (pictured below) can immediately and securely join the network and send and receive trusted data.


Photos by: Helium

6. Switchmate – Never come home to darkness again!

Switchmate, founded in 2014, is a Palo Alto-based startup dedicated to making the simplest smart home devices on the market. Their first product is a smart light switch that requires no rewiring or installation. The device is a sleek, minimalist lighting solution that snaps magnetically over standard switch plates, instantly turning them into smart switches.


Photo by: Switchmate

The Switchmate companion app allows users to turn lights on and off, on schedule or on demand, from their smart phone. Switchmate is a Highway 1 and StartX portfolio company.

7. Looksee – A new generation of fashion technology

Founded in 2014, Looksee produces fashion technology. Their first product is a smart cuff bracelet with an ultra-thin, always-on e-ink display. The bracelet has a built-in mini USB port and connects via bluetooth to your smartphone’s Looksee app. The app allows you to change the design on the accessory. Custom notifications are also delivered from your phone how and when you want them – you can get transmit clock faces, maps, notifications, QR codes, boarding passes and more on the bracelet. The battery life can last up to one year on a 10 minute charge.

8. Sentri – Home security all-in-one

Founded in 2014, Sentri is an all-in-one device that combines video monitoring, tracking key environmental stats, and home automation in one elegant display. It adapts to your home and delivers personalized alerts along with a live video feed straight to your phone. You can connect all your smart home devices to Sentri and use it as a hub to view and control all devices in one place.

Design the Future

Be sure to check out more photos from the event here.

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