A version of this article appeared on the Digital Skills Academy website. Mark Bannon, Founder & CEO of VT Networks quoted from an interview with Jemima Burke. Image from Pixabay.

The IoT is going to bring a lot of business opportunities. Real practical business solutions. IoT will need some good, practical hardware solutions to our desire to be ever more interconnected. For all of our devices, across all of the ways that we want to use them.

Gartner, the tech insights company have produced a great report with clearly defined areas where there are opportunities for businesses and startups to develop IoT technologies. Gartner, Inc. has highlighted the top 10 Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that should be on every organization’s radar through the next two years. The report lists the top 10 IoT technologies for 2017 and 2018, which gives you a great starting point for identifying your own possible business opportunities.

An example of an entrepreneur who found a IoT niche is Mark Bannon, Founder & CEO of VT Networks. At the recent Galway IoT Summi Bannon provided a great case study into the potential for success if you can identify the right opportunities. Bannon explained in more detail:

Two years ago I was an accountant in London, disillusioned with life to be honest and I started reading about IoT. I heard about smart fridges and I was just like “What’s the point in a smart fridge?”

I didn’t see the business model. I started to look more and more and then started seeing, “Right OK, IoT is about long-lasting devices that are cheap to deploy, that are cheap to make and cheap in ongoing costs.”

I matched this to certain industries. One of them was tracking wearable for people with dementia because my grandad had dementia and he would wander. There were existing solutions on mobile networks and they lasted for 24 hours in terms of battery. They were hugely expensive and you had to pay ongoing SIM card fees.

Now we have a product on the market right now that has a 2 year battery life. It’s lightweight and low cost, 600 times more efficient than existing solutions that were possible before our network.

I was on the New Frontiers course in Galway, Enterprise Ireland course, they helped develop my business model. (Then) I moved away from product development into networks and we raised €1.2 million. I can announce today Colm Lyon is a new investor, the founder of Realex. We also did a partnership with 2RN who are an RTÉ subsidiary rolling our base stations on their towers and masts across the country.

It was 8 months ago when it all started really. It’s been a rapid rise and growth in terms of the company and we’re looking to add to multiply even more over the next few years….

The opportunities are out there. Like Mark Bannon and many other emerging IoT entrepreneurs, try to identify an area where you feel something can be improved with new, cost effective IoT technologies.

See more about the Digital Skills Academy here.

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 on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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