hardware startups

Tim Bradshaw

Hardware is hard, so the saying goes. Raising millions of dollars on Kickstarter or Indiegogo can create as many problems as it solves. So the recent explosion in hardware start-ups has produced a crop of incubator and accelerator programmes, such as Lemnos Labs and Haxlr8r. The latest, Highway 1, is a new project from Liam Casey’s PCH International, which typically handles supply chains for rather larger electronics companies such as Apple and Beats Electronics. 

An illustration by Toby Leigh depicting a taco drone©Toby Leigh

Before he invented Pintofeed, a smartphone-enabled pet food dispenser, Carlos Herrera made drones. How far morality played a role in his decision to move out of the drone business isn’t clear but there were, at least, other factors. People spend $100bn a year on pets globally, while commercial drones – the kind that don’t spy on or kill people – remain an unproven market proposition.

 

Tim Bradshaw

This week seems to be maker week in Silicon Valley. In the run-up to Saturday’s Maker Faire in San Mateo are a string of events and conferences for hardware startups and the folk building them.

Kickstarting the week, Haxlr8r – a hardware-hacker accelerator programme that takes ten startups to Shenzhen for three months – held its demo day at the Autodesk Gallery in downtown San Francisco on Monday afternoon. Ten startups pitched their ideas, fresh from the factory floor in China, to a group of early stage investors.