Tyco Security Products wants to invest in your start-up

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WESTFORD, Mass.—In an attempt to accelerate the innovation process, Tyco Security Products announced that it is investing in tech startups.

TSP has invested in ideas, products and companies such as Qolsys, Exaqc and Visonic, but the investment and M&A process is time consuming, Anita Santos, TSP VP of marketing, told Security Systems News.

By soliciting applicants, TSP hopes to “create more of a pulse” and “take a step out of the process.”

TSP, a division of Tyco International, in March launched InnovationWorks, a program designed to “help innovators and entrepreneurs bring new and advanced ideas to the marketplace.”

Santos said that Qolsys “is a great example of [an innovative company which Tyco] now has a controlling interest in.”

While it is a young company, Qolsys had products and was generating revenue, but TSP has also “worked with entrepreneurs who have not even generated any revenue, they may have a concept, they may have IP around that concept. We look at a range of possibilities, not just established companies with existing revenue,” Santos said.

Tyco’s M&A group, Tyco Ventures is behind the InnovationWorks program, said Santos, who also is an SEC-accredited investor and owner of an investment company that invests outside of the physical security space.

What’s the benefit of working with Tyco Ventures? “Any private equity investor can [show an entrepreneur or small company] how to manage a business from an operational standpoint, but when you have an equity partner like Tyco, what you get is [security] market expertise which is very valuable,” Santos said. TSP also provides a “strong channel to market” for smaller players. 

Santos declined to name specific technologies that TSP is looking for, the market trends that TSP considers important include: “SaaS-driven solutions; what we consider mobile solutions; [those that are] less heavy-client or hardware-intensive. … [TSP is interested in] delivering products and services differently from how they were delivered in the past.”

TSP planned to hold an InnovationWorks Summit during ISC West in Las Vegas April 15-17. It will choose from submission it receives before the show. Interested innovators should apply online here.

You’ll have to answer questions about your company/product profile, present funding, channels and unique selling points.

Applications will be reviewed by Santos, Tyco VP of corporate development Robert Locke and other TSP managers.