The first time I had a conversation with the Founders of Startupbootcamp, in particular Patrick de Zeeuw and Alex Farcet, the thing that struck me the most was their dedication to help the startup and tech ecosystems. Their relentless will to support entrepreneurs and give them the right tools to grow. One of their main mottos was always: “We don’t take board seats, we just want to be their best co-founders.”
I believe this is a winning principle and is more true than ever for our IoT | Connected Devices program. Our main mission is to ensure that all the IoT entrepreneurs joining us have access to everything they need to scale their company. This means providing them with expert mentors, a full Fast Prototyping lab to work and iterate their prototype in, support and advice on supply chain and manufacturing through our partners, and fast track access to capital via our wide network of investors.
Of course this support cannot be, and isn’t, a one-size-fits-all exercise for our startups. We’re expecting to see the variety of needs to be as large as the diversity of ideas. It’s crucial for startups to know where they need help as there are many different junctures that an accelerator can, and cannot, help at. At Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices we look to help startups who are at the following stages…
1. “I have started working on my prototype but it’s not final”
An accelerator can help a startup iterate and finalize their working prototype by giving the team access to the right tools (a Fast Prototyping Lab) and expertise. On their own no startup has a complete team, partly because they can’t afford to. However, our program aims to provide entrepreneurs with all the additional knowledge and technical skills they’ll need and this is why we have an Engineer and Designer in Residence.
2. “I have just finished prototyping”
A startup at this stage now needs guidance moving their design forward, something our partners RPD will be on hand for throughout the program, as well as establishing a real ready-to-manufacture product. Beyond defining a reasonable Bill of Material (BoM), our program helps startups when it comes to selecting the right manufacturer for their device. This is thanks to strong links to regions across the world, especially in Asia where are our partners HWTrek has created a unique hardware ecosystem that program startups can benefit from.
3. “I have just successfully crowdfunded”
Crowdfunding is just the beginning of the story for hardware startups, now it’s about producing and shipping a product. This is made a lot easier when a startup has in-depth knowledge of the multiple costs involved in managing and optimising a supply chain. This is where an accelerator’s experience, especially within the hardware field, can assist in connecting startups to relevant parties and helping to negotiate the best deals.
4. “I am interested in expanding beyond my local market”
Over the past few months we have spoken with a number of well-developed startups who you would typically say were beyond the acceleration stage. Often though they have been solely focused on their local market and now need backing in tapping into the European ecosystem, whether that be from an investment or distribution standpoint. Our global accelerator provides the infrastructure for International startups to do this, supporting their expansion to allow them to scale.
These four stages cover a very focused cross-section of the hardware development process and this is because we know that it is within this area that we can provide startups with the most value. Of course there then comes the need for further funding as the product and team develop, and here our network of Angels / VCs / and corporate investors (all with an eye or focus on hardware) come into play.
Scaling an IoT hardware device is hard; our aim at Startupbootcamp IoT | Connected Devices is to make it easier.
Think our program might be a good fit for you? Apply now! Deadline June 13th.