Why We Support the Seamless Accelerator

Mentoring and partnering up with IoT startups


When the majority of the country thinks about West Michigan or Grand Rapids in general, they may think about Beer City, ArtPrize or Gerald R. Ford. While those are big pieces of our story, that certainly isn’t everything. What’s less known about West Michigan is our dedicated and diverse crowd of software developers and our rich investment in technology. One of those investments in technology comes in the form of Seamless, an accelerator program by Start Garden.

Seamless is a global commercialization partner that helps startups bring their IoT products to market. IoT startups accepted into the program receive:

  • Seed money
  • Access to world-class, enterprise-level companies
  • Direct support from a network of over 30 resource partners
  • Global market access, real consumer data, and insights

Collective Idea has been a part of the Seamless Accelerator as both a mentor and resource partner since it started in 2015. This is an initiative we are proud to be a part of and here’s why:

Seamless is unique

There are a number of accelerators out there, but Seamless is one of the few that focuses just on IoT. Even right here in Michigan, most of the accelerators are focused on the life sciences. Seamless specifically wants to help out IoT startups interested in the areas of healthcare, home automation, workplace innovation, and more.

Brings bright minds to West Michigan

Every startup accepted into the accelerator must commit to having at least two of their founders stay in Grand Rapids for the 12-week program. Because Seamless accepts applications from around the country, the initiative so far has included people from New York City, Chicago, Honolulu, and more.

Additionally, the program brings more awareness to those that might not be aware of the history of innovation in the area. West Michigan is home to a few worldwide headquarters for very large manufacturing companies like Amway and Steelcase. Both of those companies, as well as a few other very large businesses, are a part of the Seamless Consortium. IoT startups looking to commercialize a device have a very good chance of success if partnered with one of the Consortium partners due to those partners’ very large distribution channels.

Collaboration is good for everyone

Perhaps another unique aspect about the Seamless Accelerator is that it was born when a few big companies in the area recognized the need for something like this. Even though some of the companies involved in Seamless are in direct competition with one another, they put that aside for the greater good of bringing talent and awareness to the region. We personally love collaboration, so this is something we can stand behind.

We love the mentorship aspect

One thing we truly enjoy doing as professionals in the software development industry is to give back, so when Seamless approached us about interest in being mentors and resource partners, we jumped at the opportunity. As mentors we regularly meet with the startups accepted into the Seamless Accelerator. If they have questions on how to do something or just need help solving a technical problem, we can serve as their lifeline in the process.

Since we’re also a resource partner, we sometimes get to help build out the IoT application part of a startup’s idea. During this past season for Seamless, a few of our team members at Collective Idea worked on building an app that integrates with new geothermal heating and cooling technology. We view this as a great way to contribute, learn, and play all at the same time.

Apply today

Seamless is looking for eight startups for the Fall 2016 season. If you’re an IoT startup that is ready to take that leap into commercialization, then you’re more than welcome to apply. Seamless is particularly interested in companies that are in the following areas:

  • Smart Home
  • Healthcare
  • Workplace Innovation
  • Manufacturing/Enterprise Solutions
  • Automotive
  • Retail

The application deadline is June 30, so be sure to apply today. Perhaps we’ll be your mentor or resource partner in the near future!

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Photo of Sasha Wolff

Sasha leads the marketing, communications, and PR at Collective Idea. She also leads marketing efforts for Dead Man’s Snitch and Harmony. Sasha considers herself a jack of all trades and prides herself on learning new skills.