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The DIY Renaissance: U.K. Accelerator Springboard Launches Dedicated Bootcamp For Hardware Startups

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Move over, software: the London and Cambridge, U.K.-based accelerator, Springboard, is launching a dedicated program for hardware startups, focusing on the Internet of Things. The new three-month accelerator bootcamp — called Springboard Internet of Things — is backed by program partners ARM, Unilever, Neul and Raspberry Pi, who will play an active role in supporting Springboard founders and providing senior mentors to participants.

Here’s how Springboard describes the new accelerator, which will be based in Cambridge

Springboard Internet of Things (“IoT”) is an accelerator program that accepts the ten best teams in any area of IoT technology — from bright idea to Series A funding.  Participating founders receive more than $150,000 of free services, seed capital and mentoring from more than 100 industry leaders around the world, in an intensive three-month bootcamp.

Springboard founder Jon Bradford said he believes the time is right for a dedicated hardware accelerator, with the rise of Internet of Things projects on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter (now accepting U.K.-based projects), and a general sense of growing momentum and energy in the maker community. He also points to Chris Anderson’s new book Makers, which talks of a new industrial revolution powered by garage tinkerers and enthusiasts, and references a recent post by YC co-founder Paul Graham on why hardware is ‘having a moment’.

“We believe that there is a massive untapped opportunity with low power device technology — which has been demonstrated by the maker and Kickstarter community,” Bradford added in a statement.

Eben Upton, CEO and Founder of the low cost mini computer Raspberry Pi, said in a statement: “To date, the Internet of Things has been largely the playground of corporates. Dramatically falling hardware costs are shifting innovation toward smaller teams in a similar manner to how web technologies have evolved over the last 10 years.”

Springboard IoT will sit alongside Springboard’s other programs — as a supplement to the London-based Springboard web and the Springboard Mobile accelerators. Mentors for IoT include Hermann Hauser (Amadeus), Sherry Coutu, Niall Murphy (Evrythng & The Cloud), Usman Haque (Cosm & Pachube), Pilgrim Beart (AlertMe) and Brad Feld (Foundry Group & FitBit).

Entrepreneurs wanting to bag a place on the Springboard IoT program have until January 6, 2013 to compete for one of ten available slots. To apply for a place on Springboard IoT visit www.springboard.com.