Another IoT World is in the books, and you can see the evidence of real-life IIoT use cases coming to life all around us. As a four-year veteran of IoT World, it’s both eye-opening and satisfying to see how ROI goals provide the traction to drive Connected Industry forward.
In short: It’s all starting to “work.”
The Momenta Partners team was prominent at the event, from chairing presentation tracks on the IoT ecosystem and smart manufacturing, to moderating panels around the future of IoT in the smart factory, to judging startups, handing out awards and discussing the future of staffing and the workplace.
With our Advisory, Talent and Ventures partners involved across the event, here are some insights we gleaned:
Back on the Smart Farm
Our Ventures team spent a lot of time looking at the next generation of agricultural technologies revolutionizing decades-old systems, processes and business models. Yet even with all the new tech on display, some challenges transcend “disruption,” and farming innovation might come from the last place suspected: farmers themselves.
We learned that, in California, labor is a key bottleneck for a lot of crops. There are just not enough people to harvest. A very low-tech challenge, but the byproduct of a hot economy and immigration turmoil.
Bushel CEO Jake Jorannstad said VCs often don’t understand the food supply chain, and farmers are more advanced than the rest of that supply chain. This may make farmers a great target group for future innovation, and startups developing technology in that area could have an industrial automation greenfield in front of them.
The VC world also had these observations on the AgTech space:
“They look at technologies that transform the way (food) products get to market. It is surprising how fast consumers adjust to the market (e.g. the rollout of Beyond Meat). We need new technologies that help consumers to get access to new/different food. Tech can do to food and agriculture what Amazon did to retail.”
“I have talked to a few entrepreneurs in the vertical farming space. Interesting point-of-view — new farming technologies allow us to grow food where it is consumed, not where it can be grown best. Grow produce close to bigger cities on smaller parcels instead of rural areas.”
“Blockchain can be a significant factor in generating trust for the consumer when they make purchase decisions.”
“[On Amazon’s impact in retail] This reference was related to the thought that we can get anything we want within a short period of time. Anything! Technology will give consumers access to any fresh produce in the shortest period of time and at the freshest quality. A revolutionization of the supply chain, logistics, and also production.”
At Momenta, this makes us ask how our clients look at product challenges from a consumer perspective. What problem does the technology solve from the end-consumer perspective. And is that problem big enough to solve to earn a business’ focus?
The winds of IIoT adoption are definitely at industry’s back, with forward-looking indicators like hiring, funding and advisory showing a strong uptick around SME service firms. It’s going to be interesting to see how these new use cases play out between now and the next time we’re all in Santa Clara again.
Momenta Partners encompasses leading Strategic Advisory, Talent, and Investment practices. We’re the guiding hand behind leading industrials’ IoT strategies, over 200+ IoT leadership placements, and 25+ young IoT disruptors. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our Connected Industry practice.