It’s been a tough year for the manufacturing industry, with COVID-19-related shutdowns creating a host of logistical, financial and labor challenges. In early June, the Biden Administration issued a series of recommendations to address near-term and long-term supply chain bottlenecks in a number of industries, including manufacturing. Shortly after the White House announcement, Microsoft coincidentally held its inaugural M12 Manufacturing Summit, ‘Futureproofting the Enterprise’. The event featured a panel discussion about the global supply chain and how to handle disruptions. It also showcased six M12 portfolio companies - the list of which included Webee (along with Acerta, FarEye, Prevedere, Rescale and Wandelbots).
During the summit, the panelists (Robert Locke, SVP of Corporate Development of Johnson Controls; David Petrucci, Microsoft Industry Strategy Leader; and Samir Kumar, GM and Managing Director at M12) discussed how to best leverage technology to bolster the manufacturing sector. Here are some observations and recommendations from the conversation:
Following the panel discussion and a short Q&A series, the Summit transitioned to its M12 start-up showcase. The showcase kicked off with Prevedere, an intelligent forecasting and predictive analytics company that gives companies the ability to look beyond their four walls and use external data as easily as they can internal data. Prevedere was followed by FarEye, an intelligent delivery management platform helping scale delivery operations and rescale, a provider of high-performance computing technology.
Following rescale, our co-founder and COO Cecilia Flores presented. She shared an overview of our product and mission – we are an industrial IoT and AI company building a no-code toolset for industrial manufacturing to help organizations obtain real-time insights. She also discussed some of the challenges manufacturing customers are facing and the feedback they have shared with us, such as the extensive amount of manual controls leading to human error, the lack of visibility into legacy machines, and delayed problem detection. We noted the goal of our solution is to quickly and efficiently collect information that will allow our customers to set up workflows in a drag-and-drop environment. We pointed out that Webee allows customers to simulate scenarios and manipulate information in an agile way and enables them to connect disparate machines and then make sense of the subsequent data. We concluded by sharing use cases that best captured how the product works.
Following our session, Wandelbots, a no-code robotics company based in Germany, expanded on its goal of teaching industrial robots without writing a line of code. Closing out the showcase was Acerta, a company with the goal of empowering manufacturers with the data that’s being collected across manufacturing, assembly and production lines and then connecting that data with in-service operational information. This in turn drives cost-savings and improvement in how the data is being leveraged.
Interested in learning more about the Summit? Both the panel and showcase talks were recorded and can be found here.
IoT Evolution and Expo
Last week we attended in the 2021 IoT Evolution and Expo that was held in Miami Florida, the first show after the COVID-19 pandemic. What a tremendous event!
Coming off Coronavirus and the global pandemic, it was phenomenal to see so many companies and leaders across IoT participate in this event. Companies from all across the globe from all the different IoT stacks were at the event; hardware, software and connectivity. The ability to finally get back to traveling for business, networking and hosting in-person meetings with partners, customers and clients was a great value for us here at Webee. Also, the ability to see the latest trends in IIoT, IoT, LoRaWAN, 5G and other market disrupting technologies was phenomenal. There were so many great presenters, panelists and cool new things to explore in the Expo hall.
The IoT Evolution and Expo had many shows & informative sessions within this world class event:
One of my main takeaways is that, due to the global pandemic, companies are needing to adopt remote solutions, drive better operational efficiencies and scale their IoT deployments globally. These key trends and needs have only accelerated IoT market growth over the last 12-18 months. The conference had a ton of great panels, breakout sessions, and also an expansive expo featuring over 120 different companies showcasing their products, solutions and technologies. Some of the new and more disruptive solutions that are center to the discussion are around Artificial Intelligence, Edge Computing, LoRaWAN, Industrial IoT and new ruggedized hardware options. Also, we can not forget about 5G and it's impact in IoT adoption, one of the most used buzzwords and incredible network deployments occurring globally right now.
A common challenge and issue that still seems to be arising as a commonality for organizations is integration. Still companies seem to be confused on where to start and how to select the right IoT partners as well as which will enable them to achieve their IoT goals and initiatives. This has been a common challenge over the years and continues to be in the IoT market. With even more technology providers, hardware options and the ever growing cumbersome challenge of integrating legacy assets, infrastructure, hardware, systems and devices, there is now more noise than ever before. It is always important to focus inward on the reason you are looking to deploy an IoT solution and what it will enable.
Here at Webee, we were able to share all the exciting things we are doing and working on to provide the IoT sector and companies the ability to leverage intelligence based software to drive more successful IIoT deployments at scale. We also got to talk about our SmartFactory, SmartFarm and our no-code, AI and computer vision visual IoT designer tool set.
As the world opens back up and as trade shows and conferences are hosted in person again, we look forward to participating in more of these global events and sharing the Webee story!
Tory Burch Foundation Welcomes Cecilia Flores as one of the 50 women entrepreneurs into the Annual Fellows Program
New York, NY: Friday, June 25, 2021 – The Tory Burch Foundation announced today the 50 early-stage women entrepreneurs selected for the 2021 class of the Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program, now in its seventh year.
Receiving over a thousand applications, the Foundation selected a cohort of diverse small businesses for the year-long education program. The Fellows also have access to a premier online peer-to-peer network, a $5,000 grant for business education, inventory loan-fund and extensive mentorship opportunities.
Traditionally providing four days of workshops in Tory Burch’s New York office, the program evolved in 2020 to focus on virtual learning due to the pandemic. “We pivoted quickly and redesigned our programs to navigate women through the crisis,” noted Laurie Fabiano, President of the Tory Burch Foundation. “As a result, we found better ways to deliver programming and meet the greatest needs of our community.”
Tory welcomed the new group of Fellows. “To amass this group of women is why I started the company,” said Tory Burch in a virtual welcome address to the incoming Fellows class. “I don’t talk about it a lot, but 17 years ago, that was my business plan: to start a global fashion company so I could start a foundation for women. To see it come to fruition like this; to see this beauty on my screen; hearing you speak, is so inspiring.”
Hailing from 18 states and Washington, D.C., and ranging in age from 24 to 60, the 2021 Fellows are diverse in every sense of the word. The top industries represented are retail, apparel, food/beverage and technology, with two entrepreneurs making strides in the male-dominated construction industry. Several of the companies represented are purpose-driven, with many focusing on sustainability initiatives. Fifty-eight percent are founders of color.
The majority of the entrepreneurs have been in business less than five years, and considering that nearly half of all small businesses fail within those first five years, it is a critical time. In addition, women founders are less likely to pass $1 million in revenue.
The Foundation is dedicated to helping the Fellows reach and surpass these key indicators of success.
The 2021-2022 Fellows program is made possible with support from:
General Atlantic Foundation
Trott Family Philanthropies
Silicon Valley Business Journal Honors Webee Co-Founder and COO Cecilia Flores in 2021 Women of Influence Awards
Cecilia Flores, Co-Founder and COO of Webee, has been named one of the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence Awards program. This award honors established business leaders who have a strong record of innovation in their fields, outstanding performance in their companies and meaningful community involvement. SVBJ recognizes women from all industries and professions who have made a remarkable difference in their communities, blazed a trail and are making a mark in Silicon Valley. Honorees were selected from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
Originally from Salta, Argentina and now based in Silicon Valley, Cecilia Flores is a tech entrepreneur who is passionate about the social impact of disruptive technologies and innovation. An advocate for inclusion and equal opportunities for Women in Tech, she is a mentor in the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur program, a member of the Vital Voices Network, and a board member of We-Evolution, a non-profit leading the women's third revolution. Cecilia frequently speaks to students around the world, sharing her learnings and encouraging them to pursue their dreams – she believes that no goal is too small to achieve. In 2013 she co-founded Webee, a hardware and software Internet of Things and AI company headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. that has attracted an impressive roster of Global Fortune 50 customers.
“It is truly an honor to be selected as a Woman of Influence. It is my number one priority to lead with empathy and compassion, while keeping community values at the forefront of everything we do,” said Cecilia. “At the core of our mission at Webee is to create technology that will directly reverse the negative effects of global food waste and positively impact lives.”
The Silicon Valley Business Journal will be virtually honoring and celebrating the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, June 30.
For more information on the ceremony and view the full list of SVBJ’s 2021 Women of Influence Award Honorees visit: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/event/166291/2021/women-of-influence-awards
Read Cecilia’s interview with SVBJ here: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2021/06/17/cecilia-flores-webee-woi-2021.html