Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Seamless Accelerator

seamless accelerator

Seamless Accelerator is an Internet of Things commercialization program that focuses on the startups that are discovering ways to converge the physical and the digital world to make people’s everyday lives more connected and enjoyable.

Seamless AcceleratorName of Accelerator: Seamless Accelerator

Location:   Grand Rapids, MI


(Interview with Brian Burch, Public Relations)

This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

Seamless is a global commercialization program, pairing startups with large enterprises, to bring smart, connected things to market. This first-of-its-kind collaboration merges the best from startup culture and enterprise expertise.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

Seamless Accelerator is an Internet of Things commercialization program that focuses on the startups that are discovering ways to converge the physical and the digital world to make people’s everyday lives more connected and enjoyable.

Our coalition of companies are specifically interested in the following markets:

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

Seamless’ coalition of world-class industry leaders will give you unrivaled access to market insight and commercialization capacity. By bringing together global business resources and the visionary expertise of startups, we can build momentum for true innovation.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

Startups at all stages have the capabilities to quickly develop a software platform and get it into the marketplace. Unfortunately, manufacturing hardware and working with materials is a different capability. Additionally, there’s not always a simple “app store” where everyone buys their things, so startups need networks for distribution with the potential for a global reach. Furthermore, they need insight and research as they move into a physical marketplace. These are the essentials of producing something and selling it, and it’s why the Seamless Consortium of enterprises is so valuable.

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Seamless AcceleratorWhat do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with the entrepreneurial startups?

Startup teams are unique people. The best have typically spent time understanding a customer’s needs and quickly developing a solution to that problem, so they have an uncanny ability to bring new value to the marketplace. They are willing to experiment and test their ideas. This process operates to validate hidden demands in the market that larger businesses often overlook or ignore because it not “what they do”. Finally, we’ve found startup teams will do whatever it takes to realize their ideas. They are tireless in their efforts and that attitude is contagious to other teams – even at large enterprises.

The Perfect Entrepreneurial T-E-A-M: Transformer, Examiner, Architect, and Mover

Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

Seamless is only approaching our second season, but our first class had eight members, and saw all of them build new value for their startups with the enterprise coalition.   Some highlights include:

  1. Hoana, a smart connected bed cover that created with Faurecia, the Active Wellness automobile seat to detect road rage or drowsiness in drivers (as seen on CNBC).
  2. HAAS developed its alerting hardware and software API to integrate into automobiles and Bluetooth helmets. As a result of Seamless participation, it secured tests at M-City, City of Grand Rapids Fire Department and now the Chicago Fire Department.
  3. AlSentis, with Steelcase, created a development kit that will showcase the technology’s ability to sense touch through any fabric and it’s integration into almost any surface, as well as equity financing rounds by Start Garden Fund and Steelcase.
  4. Scanalytics, inventor of Internet-connected floor sensors, announced a $200,000 investment from Start Garden Fund.

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

Who is your team? What is your message? What do you want to accomplish?

The Value of Vision and Mission, Or Lack Thereof

What else would you like to share?

TSeamless Acceleratorraditional accelerator programs are often seeking startups at very early stages. Seamless is actually looking for founders and ideas that have a prototype that needs to be manufactured or into the market. In that way, Seamless is looking for a range of early stage startups with whom the enterprise partners can work.

In search of an accelerator that aligns with your startup’s needs?  Try TurboFunder’s Find My Accelerator search tool!

Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be highlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them in the comments below!


Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.