By @SimonCocking

Bay McLaughlin I am passionate about helping… period! I focus on helping hardware and software founders around the world. I am what I do.

Your background?

I’ve been working in tech companies for the last 10+ years, starting with Apple back on the East Coast. I moved after my masters to get into smaller startups in San Francisco and did that for three years with two failures and one exit. One of the failures has turned into two investments via Brinc, so you can always turn an old failure into a lesson learned. Then, I went back to Apple to help them create their Small to Medium Business division. After that was scaling, I created my own channel at Apple focusing on supporting VCs and tech entrepreneurs. After that last big adventure at Apple (4 years), I started searching for what was next and decided to move to Hong Kong to start working in IoT. Since, I’ve been working on, an IoT platform that helps IoT entrepreneurs at all stages of their company’s development; ideation, product development, launching, and manufacturing, and global distribution and sales.

Are you going to Web Summit & Surf Summit?

Yep, and investor and accelerator summit. Don’t even know how that happened to be honest an not sure how you can even go to more than one of these, but I’m about to find out! It’s going to be manic, but I love the energy, so I’m all about it. Can’t wait to hit the summit hard with all the other great IoT investors and programs and then take a few days to enjoy the beautifully rugged northern coast  (editor nb Sligo is on the north west coast – don’t get lost!) of Ireland for Surf Summit with a bunch of like-minded tech people. I really love the idea and want to do something similar in Asia. Maybe we can get a surf summit together for Indonesia or Taiwan someday. I’d love to host that.

What are you hoping to get out of each? Who do you want to talk to?

I’m hoping to learn about the IoT ecosystem in Europe and also meet heaps of great investors and other programs. I’m always looking to meet with great IoT entrepreneurs as well, but I think that goes without saying. Overall, we’re learning alongside all the other great IoT programs out there and are excited to get involved with Web Summit as we did in Hong Kong when they brought Rise to our neck of the woods.

HK / SF / NYC – how does that work, and how do you manage it?

Ha. The truth is that I don’t well. My wife surely doesn’t love the travel, but it’s all part of it. You just have to ask yourself, ‘would you want to be doing anything else today?’ As long as the answer is ‘of course not’, then you keep pushing. The Hong Kong Hustle surely helps. We work insane hours, which helps you keep tabs on all of the time zones. I spent 8 years in SF and will always have a real presence there and my wife and I still own our place in the West Village in NYC and have been blown away with their IoT and hardware scenes. Can’t wait to be there in three days to get back involved in the scene. Love it on both coasts.

Tips for Irish companies starting up?

Keep the hunger and hustle your way to the finish line. I also highly recommend getting out of Ireland and utilizing the other ecosystems around the world for what they’re good at. If you’re doing IoT, you need to get involved in Asia at some point. Feel free to stop by our Hong Kong offices at any point. We’d love to host you!


Crowdfunding – are we hitting a second wave of more pragmatic investments? Does it still work?

Good timing for this question. We’ve done 15+ launches now and we’ve learned so much. Honestly, the learning never ends and you’re correct to ask about the changing landscape for crowdfunding. I think it works well for mass market products that have done a lot of preparation. I think we’re past launches that are half-baked and raise huge amounts, but you can review a huge launch just last week that raised a lot on both platforms and deemed a scam, so who knows? Our belief is that it still has a huge role to play in the IoT space and isn’t going away anytime soon. However, we make our teams treat crowdfunding like any product launch. At Apple, I was fortunate to be a small part in launching six products (maybe more? 🙂 and I believe that you have to be seriously prepared. The expectations are higher than ever and they won’t get any easier.

IoT, what are you excited about?

I’m really excited about having more of these amazing ideas find their ways to retail shelves and into our daily lives world-wide. We’re still seeing the vast majority of ideas and companies die for very solvable issues. At Brinc, that’s exactly what we focus on. Repeatable and sustainable product development, launching, and scaling. We want IoT to become more common and the only way we know how to do that is to ensure that every single founder and product we work with comes out on time, on price, and to specification. Beyond that, say in 3-5 years, I’m excited for what we call IoT v2.0 where our devices begin to interoperate to make our lives easier and tell us more about ourselves. Get ready because we’re not that far off!

What cool projects are you working on at the moment?

Oh man, always so many. We have three products public at the moment and another 6 or 7 coming early next year. You’ll just have to watch out for our next launch to find out 🙂 Ok, a little teaser… we’re definitely launching a few products in the medical / health space and are super excited to show these to the world early / mid next year.

You are what you do, but how do you manage the online / offline, work / life aspects of what do you?

Yeah… about that 🙂 My wife wouldn’t say I do a good job of this. I plan on getting better, but it comes and goes in phases. We’ve been firing on all cylinders lately, but things will back off just a little prior to holiday (though my travel schedule won’t unfortunately). I think it’s common for founders to get lost in what they do as it is naturally an extension of who they are. We’re no different at Brinc. We work all days, all hours, and spend every minute thinking about the work we do for our founders. It’s just who we are and we like it that way. I’m getting better and letting my wife take control of my weekend calendar every few weeks to ensure I turn off and enjoy all the amazing travel opportunities around Asia. We just surfed in Taiwan two weekends ago and those kind of strike missions for two days at a time really recharge the batteries.

Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?

I think we’ve covered most of it, but I would like to say that IoT is going through an amazing transformation where everything is becoming more and more transparent. It’s exciting and we can’t wait to continue to learn, build, and grow with our amazing founders, investors, and partners around the world. There couldn’t be a more exciting space and time to be doing connected products. Here’s to the future!

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or @SimonCocking

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