Silicon Valley Innovation Center kicks off 2016 with Smart Investing and IoT— a disruptive conference

This year, 5.5 million new “things” will become connected every single day, a 30% rise from 2015 (Gartner). By 2020, the world will have no less than 20.8 billion connected devices (Gartner). Not only that, but forecasts predict $6 trillion will be the amount invested on IoT solutions over the next half decade! (Business Insider). The face of business as we know it today, will experience tectonic shifts once again as governments and companies alike make long strides towards cutting operating costs, optimizing productivity, growing across geo-boundaries and strongly improving customer service. 

Inspired by the hotbed of possibility that is IoT, Silicon Valley Innovation Center (SVIC) kicked off 2016 with a dynamic 2-day disruptive technology conference Smart Investing and the Internet of Things on January 11th in Menlo Park, CA.

With over 270 attendees and 30 angel investors, venture capitalists and c-suite executive  speakers, energy levels were high and curiosity even higher as we explored hot topics in exciting panels like Where is the next Google of IoT, The sweet spot of corporate investing and Top industries at risk of disruption.

Trailblazers, tech enthusiasts and front-runners from companies big and small brought their appetite for IoT discussion ⎯ from understanding the future face of this phenomenon to its impact on daily business functions across a spectrum of industries. The core message: how to capitalize in this dynamic space with strong financial paybacks.

Conference startup showcase Judge Karen Jaw-Madson chirped:


Dave McClure’s morning keynote IoT – The Biggest Growth Phenomenon of our Lifetime, set the tone for Day 1 with his insights regarding how thinking about timing is as important as margin:


Attendee Cindy Dam tweeted her excitement:


Dave’s  talk highlighted important basics like the structure of startups before and now: up until around the year 2000, they were clunky “dinosaurs” but after 2008, they tend to be agile “cockroaches” — thanks to a fundamental shift where building a quality product and getting it to market demands infinitely less capital. And they have to be, in order to capture attention and seize market share in a space with a growing number of consumers, users and buyers with fickle tastes.

Dave also underscored “most VC funds are too concentrated in a small number, around 20-40 companies”. The smart thing to do is diversify that portfolio, especially “early stage investors where startup attrition is greater.” This is how you will find the unicorn!

He explained that the 500 Startups strategy ‘Moneybag for startups’ correlates to Peter Sims book “Lots of Little Bets”, where there are a couple of simple principles — “quantitative investing before traction” (the  suggestion  is to invest in 100+ early stage startups) and doubling down on this investment for the top 20% performers in  the first 2 years. The final step: give it 3-10 years for returns to kick-off, then take action accordingly.

As Karen Jaw-Madson puts it:


Paul Brody of Ernst & Young gave a compelling afternoon keynote about Bitcoin, Blockchain and The Next Big Productivity Revolution,  focused on how “global economic output corresponds closely with…two big industrial revolutions” He suggested that productivity in industry has always taken importance over the concept of productivity in service, probably because it didn’t quite seem possible— “can we improve the productivity of a string quartet? If we eliminate players, it’s not a quartet. If they play faster, it’s not Mozart”.

Paul  inspired the audience by explaining that a revolution in productivity is finally starting to happen and it’s  fueled by two concepts — asset utilization, or finding the instrument that shows what data is being generated by assets, to optimize how assets are being used and then monetizing to maximize value; and cycle time compression.


Throughout these interesting presentations and panels, anticipation built up all day around the late-afternoon Unicorn Quest Startup Challenge. More than 20 innovative and emerging disruptors took the  stage to pitch the next big thing in IoT. By unanimous vote of both judges and the crowd, Cocoon Cam took home the glory with their game-changing wearable-free wellness video baby monitor. Eman Security Inc. and Zentri were the second and third runners up with their own innovative solutions!

On Day 2, top IoT-focused Silicon Valley companies, like FarmX, Moti and krtkl, opened their doors to host conference attendees for special on-site visits and presentations to continue exploration and education in how IoT is innovating business across industries. 1-650-274-0214