Taking hardware from concept to commercialisation

A program designed by hardware innovators for hardware innovators

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What is Elevate

Taking Hardware from concept to commercialization

Creating a hardware startup is easier than ever. The democratisation of hardware has made hardware accessible to non-technical people. Yet, scaling remains the single biggest challenge facing hardware startups and SMEs. Moving from design to mass production remains very challenging.

ELEVATE is an innovation education series, created by Western BACE and HardworX, funded by LaunchVIC that will consist of meetups, masterclasses, bootcamps, 1-1 expert support and an in depth innovation tour of the Melbourne hardware ecosystem.

Elevate supports Victorian Founders who have a desire to design, create, bring to market and mass manufacture a hardware product. This is not business or growth coaching, but rather mentoring with a technical focus. It will help startups with hardware product development, including anticipating the risks of scaling up, establishing manufacturing and their supply chain, and reducing execution risk.

ELEVATE is not an Accelerator Program or Incubator.

ELEVATE will be delivered as a not-for-profit, community-driven program with content created by hardware innovators experienced with the unique challenges of scaling a hardware company post prototyping and proof of concept stages.

Program Overview

Gain insights and capability to successfully design and deliver a hardware product at scale, from concept to commercialisation.

1:1 Mentoring by Hardware Experts

An opportunity for founders to receive free one-on-one mentoring from hardware experts about anything related to bringing a hardware product to market. Experts will be matched based on how well they can address the pain points of the startup to ensure that high value, impactful mentoring occurs.

This mentoring has been made possible thanks to funding from LaunchVic as part of the ‘ELEVATE – Taking hardware from concept to commercialisation’ innovation education series. If you think that your startup would benefit from this, please register your interest.


Why is this mentoring initiative different to other office hours/Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) offerings?
Our pool of mentors are hardware experts experienced with the unique challenges of scaling a hardware company post prototyping and proof of concept stages. This is not business or growth coaching, but rather mentoring with a technical focus. It will help startups with hardware product development, including anticipating the risks of scaling up, establishing manufacturing and their supply chain, and reducing execution risk. ELEVATE is not an Accelerator Program or Incubator.


What kind of startups and SMEs are we looking for?
We are looking for startups developing a physical hardware product, consisting of electronics and mechanicals, who are beyond the proof of concept stage / early prototyping stage.

Applications will first be screened for eligibility. ELEVATE is supported by LaunchVic funding, as such, first preference will be given to participants who are based in Victoria, but we do encourage those based in other states to apply. We will then evaluate applications based on the product and the challenges/pain points for which mentoring is being sought. Additionally, depending on the type of product and where the applicant is in the product development journey, we may look for evidence that there are potential customers for this product.


Cost
There is no cost to startups to access the ELEVATE Expert In Residence program. Hardware experts providing mentoring will be paid for their time by ELEVATE program funding received from LaunchVIC.
ELEVATE is delivered as a not-for-profit, community-driven program. We do not take equity or ownership of IP.


Who are the hardware experts?
The resident hardware expert for ELEVATE is Vela Georgiev from HardworX. In addition to Vela herself being available for one on one mentoring, part of HardworX’s role within ELEVATE is content curation, including sourcing of hardware experts. We have a pool of hardware experts in our network, previous ELEVATE events have featured experts from Blackmagic Design, LIFX, Outerspace Design, Tekt Industries and Pini IP; and will select experts based on how well they can address the pain points of the startup to ensure that high value, impactful mentoring occurs.


Logistics
Mentoring will be delivered one-on-one either via face to face sessions or via phone/video conference. There may be potential for mentoring to be conducted on-site at the startup premise.

Upcoming Events

Hardware Bootcamp #1: Product Quality, Reliability & Compliance

Consumers demand quality and reliability, and your product needs to deliver. The harsh reality of deploying a high value, complex hardware product is that once it’s deployed, it’s too late to make changes. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to ensure that your product undergoes adequate testing during the design, validation and pilot production stages. But what does it take to own your product quality?
This practical, hands-on masterclass, designed specifically for hardware innovators includes a site visit to a Test Compliance Laboratory to see and interact with test equipment and experts.

Outcomes

  • Understand the compliance process for (non-medical) hardware products
  • Learn how to translate product requirements into reliability, performance and compliance metrics
  • Learn the purpose of different types of reliability and performance tests and the common fault modes they detect
  • Understand the technical essentials of how to determine and specify test parameters & methods of testing
  • Develop a best-practice product test and certification plan for your product
  • Gain insights into the practicalities of product testing, including testing timelines, and tips to reduce time to market
  • Understand how pre-compliance testing can reduce risk and time to market
  • Network with other hardware innovators and industry experts

Who should attend?

This bootcamp is best suited for hardware innovators who are:
  • Currently undertaking detailed engineering design, design validation, or pilot production activities.
  • Working on an early-stage proof of concept or product prototype, but have a good understanding of their product requirements in terms of product reliability, performance and certification.
Technical and non-technical hardware innovators are also welcome. No prior knowledge of product testing and certification assumed.

Innovation Tour #1: Melbourne’s Manufacturing Scene

This three day, curated, immersive experience into Melbourne’s hardware manufacturing ecosystem is designed to demystify manufacturing and the hardware supply chain by providing insights into what it takes to design and deliver a hardware product at scale.
Limited to twenty participants and packed with site visits to manufacturers and workshops, this tour is designed to provide participants with knowledge, tools, networks and confidence to help them successfully manufacture their product.
The tour will focus on three core themes:
  • Design for manufacture and assembly;
  • Quality for mass production; and
  • Supply chain.
No prior knowledge of hardware product development, manufacturing or supply chain is assumed. There will be plenty of experts on hand throughout the tour to ensure no questions go unanswered and that all levels of knowledge and experience are catered for.

Outcomes

  • Understand the range of quality and cost options for manufacturing, from prototype through to high volume.
  • Learn about Design for Excellence (DFX) consideration, including design for manufacture, assembly and test.
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of end-to-end manufacturing processes for hardware box builds.
  • Gain exposure to quality systems and processes and an understanding of how to develop a Manufacturing Quality Plan for your product.
  • Meet potential suppliers and manufacturing partners.
  • Understand how to engage with suppliers and manufacturers to obtain quotes, perform due diligence and establish manufacturing relationships.
  • Gain familiarity with best practice, industry-standards, Advanced Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing.
  • Gain exposure to expert knowledge and learn about the support available for hardware startups in Melbourne.
  • Network with other hardware innovators and industry experts.

Who should attend?

This innovation tour is best suited for hardware innovators who are currently undertaking detailed engineering design, design validation or pilot production activities. However, hardware innovators working on an early-stage proof of concept or product prototype may also benefit from attending this tour.

Past Events

Meetups

Meetup #1 – Panel: Challenges of scaling a hardware business

Speakers:

Meetup #2 – Q&A with Grant Petty

Speakers:

Masterclasses

Masterclass #1 – How does a prototype become a product

Topics covered:
  • The typical stages in the development of hardware products
  • The key activities, outputs and deliverables required at each stage
  • The importance of documenting product requirements early
  • How to maximise outcomes from your product development effort
Presenters:

Masterclass #2 – Faster, cheaper, better – Managing trade-offs

Topics covered:
  • How the balance of quality, cost and speed shifts at different stages of the product development cycle
  • How to reduce risk and cost by focusing on the right things at the right time
  • How to maximise outcomes from your product development effort
  • How to apply lean startup principles to hardware product development
  • How to improve product quality and reduce manufacturing time
 Presenters:

Masterclass #3 – IP Protection for Hardware Startups

 Topics covered:
  • What is Intellectual Property (IP) from a hardware perspective
  • The importance of identifying and capturing IP
  • Different ways to protect your IP through legal and operational measures
  • How to avoid making mistakes that reduce the value of your IP
  • Common IP risks and strategies for protecting IP in global manufacturing environments
Presenters:

Gallery

Our Team

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A community driven business hub where people matter, feel a sense of belonging and are supported in striving for growth and excellence.

www.westernbace.com

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Demystifying manufacturing and the hardware supply chain to help startups and SMEs scale successfully and sustainably.

www.innovate.hardworx.io

Register your Interest

Full name*

Phone number*

Postcode of residence*

Email*

Gender*

Are you an entrepreneur working in a hardware startup?

YesNo

If no, what is your occupation?

Your company name
(your startup or employer business name)

What is your primary involvement with hardware?

How would you rate your knowledge of hardware product design processes

How would you rate your knowledge of hardware manufacturing processes

How would you rate your knowledge of supply chain management

Which of these best describes your current hardware development phase?