IoT Engine pre-accelerator programme opens for applications

South Yorkshire based entrepreneurs and start-ups to apply for support to develop new IoT solutions through a new business support initiative.


A first of its kind Internet of Things (IoT) pre-accelerator programme for South Yorkshire has officially launched, opening applications to help businesses and entrepreneurs in the region develop IoT products and services.

The project, which is based out of Barnsley Digital Media Centre (DMC), has been developed in collaboration between Connexin, Capital Enterprise and Barnsley Council through the Technology Ecosystem Acceleration, and Market-Making South Yorkshire (TEAM SY) project.

The “IoT Engine – powered by Connexin and DMC” programme will support up to 30 early-stage entrepreneurs and start-ups with their initial IoT solution concept. The pre-accelerator will enable prototyping through development and testing, as well as giving the cohorts guidance and mentorship in technology adoption and business growth.

The partnership will provide successful applicants with expert support from the Connexin team in developing solutions and taking them to market. They will also benefit from guidance on operationalising ideas and models. As a leading smart city and IoT operator in the UK, Connexin has vast experience in developing IoT solutions as well as providing city-wide carrier-grade connectivity through LoRaWAN® network deployments so are well positioned to support early-stage businesses who are following a similar pathway.

As well as supporting the creation and support of the pre-accelerator, Connexin is deploying a dedicated LoRaWAN® IoT network in Barnsley to support businesses and entrepreneurs looking to test or deploy IoT solutions with dedicated IoT connectivity. The cohort will also be able to make use of the state-of-the-art facilities across the DMC campus including a dedicated “IoT MakerLab” within DMC 02.


Ralph Varcoe, Chief Growth Officer at Connexin said of the project: “As a technology company born and bred in the north, we are passionate about helping other digital businesses grow and thrive in the region, as well as making the area a flourishing tech hub.

“Working with Capital Enterprise and TEAM SY we can further support the tech ecosystem in South Yorkshire, as well as make a real, material difference to tech entrepreneurs, the world of IoT and the end-users of IoT solutions.

“We can’t wait to see what fantastic projects come out of this which will hopefully go on to create more digitally enhanced offerings in the area and beyond.”


Darren Balcombe, Deputy CEO at Capital Enterprise said: “Partnering with an organisation such as Connexin for our IoT Engine programme is a great way to support technology entrepreneurs and start-ups in IoT prototype development and testing as part of the TEAM SY project.

“Connexin has vast experience in developing IoT solutions and taking them to market and will provide valuable insight and expertise to the organisations embarking on their IoT Engine journey, creating a pathway for the next generation of IoT start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to make a difference.

“The investment in dedicated IoT infrastructure alongside this programme will play a big part in supporting the tech ecosystem in South Yorkshire and help organisations harness the power of the Internet of Things.”


Rikki Coles, Senior Technical Lead – IoT at Capital Enterprise said: “As a proud northern techno geek I am both thrilled and privileged to have this opportunity to help SMEs and start-ups, based at the Barnsley Digital Media Centre and beyond, develop innovative IoT solutions.

“Capital Enterprise, TEAM SY, and Connexin together bring a wealth of technical and entrepreneurial experience to the programme. The Barnsley Digital Media Centre is catalysing the digital ecosystem throughout the region and I’m excited to work with their fantastic facilities and people. This is a great consortium which provides an enriched foundation upon which to build innovative projects.”


If you are a business interested in applying for the pre-accelerator programme, then please register interest at




About Connexin

Founded in Hull in 2006, Connexin is an innovative and disruptive technology company specialising in building and operating award-winning Smart City infrastructure to support the Internet of Things.

Connexin has established itself as a market leader in the provision of end-to-end Smart City solutions, such as Smart Water, Smart Parking, Smart Lighting and Smart Waste.

Hull became the first city in the UK to benefit from its own purpose-built Smart City Operating System thanks to Connexin.

Connexin gave Sheffield a smart technology overhaul with the ConnexinOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information to improve highway maintenance services and revolutionise service delivery across the city and surrounding areas.

Connexin in partnership with Cisco and Newcastle City Council has helped deliver the UK’s smartest street, which was announced at the Great Exhibition of the North.

Connexin was named one of the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in the Northern Tech Awards.



TEAM SY (Technology Ecosystem Acceleration, and Market-Making South Yorkshire) exists to expand and improve the start-up support and investment ecosystem in South Yorkshire by attracting, co-developing and funding world-class pre-accelerator, accelerator and investment readiness programmes to the region.

A £4.6m ERDF part-funded project delivered by Capital Enterprise with delivery partners, Barnsley Council and will run from October 2020 until June 2023.

The TEAM SY project encompasses three main strands of activities:

Connect People: Being a visible presence in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, making introductions, signposting entrepreneurs to resources.

Connect Institutions: Ensuring that the ecosystem is “joined up” by sharing information between entrepreneurial support organisations and institutions.

Increase pre-acceleration and acceleration in South Yorkshire: Work with local, regional and national partners to co-design and fund industry-specific pre-accelerators and accelerators, and work with external partners to attract acceleration programmes to the region.


About DMC

DMC is a place to start and grow your business across two buildings within a community of outside the box thinkers. We’re creating a new technology community in Barnsley and bringing the programmes, connections and people together to make it a success.

DMC 01 and DMC 02 are part of The Seam digital campus in Barnsley town centre. Owned and managed by Barnsley Council, DMC 01 is home to the Enterprising Barnsley business support programme and aims to provide a nurturing environment for digital businesses and businesses which embrace digital technology to support growth.

The MakerLab at DMC 02 is a dedicated facility for creating, making, testing and prototyping new products and ideas. As well as a range of kit, the Lab will host demo days by a range of experts and companies to showcase the latest technologies.