SmartThings wins Spark of Genius start-up contest at Dublin Web Summit (video)

18 Oct 2012

Jeff Hagins, Andrew Brooks, Ben Edwards and Alex Hawkinson from SmartThings receive the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Award 2012 with Margaret Colton, ESB Electric and Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Dublin Web Summit

Since yesterday, more than 100 international start-ups have been pitching their ideas at the Dublin Web Summit to compete for a prize fund worth more than €100,000. The winner of the 2012 Spark of Genius award is the US start-up SmartThings.

The Washington D.C.-based SmartThings, which has raised over US$1.2m on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, garnering 5,694 backers, is aiming to add a sprinkling of intelligence to everyday objects, transforming them into smart objects, by connecting the things in the physical world to the internet via smartphone. 

The platform consists of a hub that connects to the internet and devices that communicate with this hub while also sensing and controlling everyday things. It’s aiming to let you monitor, control and automate physical objects. For example, SmartThings can control things such as air conditioning, lights, fans and heaters from their mobile phone.

Before the winner was announced this afternoon, Paddy Cosgrave, organiser of the Dublin Web Summit, had previous winners on stage, including Redeem & Get, which won the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Award in 2011, and the Irish relationship management start-up Datahug, which won the competition in 2010.

“This is the first year we’ve had entries to the competition from overseas,” said Cosgrave.

Then Margaret Colton, head of marketing at Electric Ireland, took to the podium to announce the winning start-up.

Firstly, she said that the award recognises the creativity and courage of true entrepreneurial spirit.

Colton said that the panel of judges had picked the winning start-up (SmartThings) because it had “clearly identified a product that addresses a real business need in a high-growth market”.

Accepting the award Alex Hawkinson from SmartThings said that the company would definitely consider Dublin for an international office when it expands in the future. So watch this space!

Check out our video interview with Hawkinson who speaks about the start-up that is aiming to become the remote control for everything in our daily lives.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic