The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1

Our series of snapshots showing what it's like to be on the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program continues. This week, SAM Labs tells us about making the Internet of Things as simple as Lego
The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1

Microsoft Ventures is giving budding tech startups a helping hand with its Accelerator program – and SAM Labs is one of the lucky few.

The 12-week Accelerator gathers together a dozen of the world's most exciting startups, from innovative parking apps to eye-tracking VR developers – and gives them hands-on input and advice from a team of mentors.

SAM Labs wants to make the Internet of Things as simple as Lego – it creates modular sensors that can be programmed with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. You can hook up a SAM unit to almost anything; your front door, your home appliances, even your clothing – and turn it into an internet-connected smart device.

SAM Labs has raised over twice its funding goal on Kickstarter – and Microsoft Ventures is helping it work out what to do with that cash injection. Joachim Horn, founder and CEO of SAM Labs, tells us how it's working out.

Play it again, SAM

The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1

We’ve been part of Microsoft Ventures since September 1st 2014 and we have been enjoying it thoroughly.

Microsoft Ventures provides us with entry training for our team, which we are then able to absorb to our experience in order to tackle any problems that may come our way. We’ve met incredible people and enjoyed lectures and workshops covering everything from pitching your startup effectively, to how one can market and sell to businesses and consumers. One lesson we've learnt is to make sure that you always thank everyone along your path, which most often than not goes further than one thinks.

The open office space allows for free and open movement, which is vital for us to retain the table tennis championship title, heavyweight division…  On a serious note however, we thoroughly enjoyed the kickoff to our Kickstart as everyone came over to cheer us on. Since then our Kickstarter campaign, which ran for 30 days, has been 251% funded with over 800 backers and has been featured in a wide variety of world-class publications! We have hustled hard and been presenting SAM at major events, as we firmly believe that hard work pays off.

The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1
The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1
The startup diaries: SAM Labs #1

We got to present SAM to peers, Microsoft employees and friends, and we were even mentioned by Natya Sadella at Future Decoded! We were able to answer questions about SAM, which also lets you reflect on where there may be some areas of improvement and get how to effectively get SAM to those that are interested.

The Friday evening “chill outs” are pretty great, as it lets you reflect on your week, give and receive constructive advice. Our drive continues to be fueled by determination and team spirit. Our team has been literally working around the clock and continues to stay hungry, while having the most incredible experience.

We’ve also made SAMs available for pre-order on our website – which means that if you missed the Kickstarter you can now get your very own SAM kit, ready for March.

READ MORE: The startup diaries: Fove #1