Disney and McLaren are amongst a host of companies backing an IC Tomorrow initiative that will provide £210,000 in funding for startups with "ambitious concepts that explore wearable technologies in new ways".
IC tomorrow is an Innovate UK (an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) programme that aims to create a hub for digital innovation, connect startups with leading commercial partners and investors.
Essential reading: 5 things we learned about wearable tech at CES
The wearable tech competition will award six prizes of £35,000 in different categories, each of which is backed by a big-name brand in that area. Disney is on board for the 'wearables for kids' category, McLaren, along with Loughborough University, is funding the 'sensor technology and tracking performance' prize and the likes of Atos, GLH Hotels and Network Rail are all involved.
The prizes will be awarded based on commercial, creative and technical innovation, with the competition centred around areas such as health and fitness, identity and authentication, and smart textiles.
As well as the cash prize, the winning startups will also benefit from the expertise and contacts of their sponsors. It's like Dragon's Den but with less idiots...hopefully.
Industry evolving: What's new in wearable tech for 2015
“Wearables will be making an increasingly big impact across UK industries in the coming year," said Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC Tomorrow.
"We are looking for ambitious concepts that explore wearable technologies in new ways. The early movers identified in this contest will benefit from partnerships with established industry players, who will help bring their ideas to market."
The deadline for applications is 12pm on 10 March. Shortlisted entries will be invited to pitch their ideas live (see, we told you it was like Dragon's Den) and we can expect to see winning entries hitting the market next year.