It sometimes feels like software companies get all the attention from early investors. It might feel this way because software companies, unlike hardware, are usually easier and cheaper to get off the ground. But with the rise of cheaper electronics components, collaborative engineering communities and new prototyping tools like 3D printing, hardware has a chance to get in on the action.
HAXLR8R is a prime example of rapid hardware innovation in action. The program, funded by venture capitalist Cyril Ebersweiler, provides 10 selected hardware startups with seed funding ($6,000 per founder) and a 3½ month accelerator program to guide and support the startups as they build and refine their prototypes and determine concrete launch plans.
The program is taking place in Shenzhen, China, where the abundance of factories makes hardware development relatively cheap and easy. In the final few weeks of the program (in June), the startups will head to the Bay Area to deliver their product pitches and demos to potential investors.
According to Cyril Ebersweiler—“participating startups could cut the time it takes to bring an electronic device to market from 12 to 18 months to just three months.”
They don’t call it an accelerator program for nothing.
Stay up-to-date on all the HAXLR8R action
HAXLR8R is pretty secretive about which startups are participating, but we do know they come from the U.S., Europe and Asia. Also, each project will include a device from Sassor, a Tokyo-based company that makes home energy consumption monitors, electronic toys and an electric motorcycle.
You can follow developments in the HAXLR8R program on Twitter—@haxlr8r.
And if hardware prototyping is your thing, there’s one app you need to try.
Our newest (and free!) cloud prototyping app—Arena PartsList—lets you effortlessly capture critical part data with one click, pull datasheets from anywhere and import existing BOMs or reference designs to fill any documentation gaps. You can even share your list as a CSV or PDX file.