For the second year in a row, Farnell element14 is proud to be an official partner of Startupbootcamp IoT, an intensive three-month acceleration program for tech-based startups. We recently traveled to Startupbootcamp IoT's London headquarters to meet the participating startups for the 2017 cohort.
Unifi.id is an innovative system that allows business and building managers to gain real-time information on the movement and behaviours of customers who visit their premises. It is an user-friendly opt-in system built around an electronic tag that can be embedded into a customer loyalty card or a user ID access card, which interacts with sensors that can be placed in the facility. These sensors collect information which is then processed by a dedicated software service to provide insights that the client can use to improve their business processes.
The company started life as an enterprise called Reward Technology, which was set up in 2010 as a response to rapid changes in the way smartphones were being used in retail. At that time, an awareness was beginning to form that the customer journey was often only being captured after the point of transaction. If smartphone technology could be used to develop a better understanding of the customer journey from end to end, business leaders could use this data to deliver better service, create more targeted advertisements and inspire a greater level of customer loyalty.
The main challenge, according to Unifi.id COO Tim Swift, was low adoption. By putting up too many barriers, many early data gathering applications ended up turning the customer off. Unifi.id was developed to tackle this problem by enabling a greater understanding of the customer's movements in a seamless, unobtrusive and above all optional package.
Joining Startupbootcamp IoT...
As one of the more long-established startups on the Startupbootcamp IoT program this year, Unifi.id COO Tim Swift hopes that participating in the program will help them to change the way they talk about their business to reflect their current priorities. "We developed the technology for one specific purpose" Swift explains "...but we've subsequently found a lot of other potential uses for it. The challenge we have now is to create a universal value proposition, but not so universal as to become intangible."
Swift and his colleagues are also looking forward to diving deep into marketing strategy and prioritisation. With a major funding round on the horizon, creating a strong, focused package that they can deliver to investors is a major priority over the coming weeks. "[Working with the mentors] is going to give us a great opportunity to expand our thinking and refocus - which really appeals to me as an engineer and operations guy. It's going to be a real eye opener..."
We'll be continuing to check in with Unifi.id and the other Startupbootcamp participants over the coming weeks, so keep checking this space for more updates. You can also learn more about Unifi.id on their official website and on the Startupbootcamp website.