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 consists of meetups, masterclasses, bootcamps and 1-1 expert support.

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 is 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

Events Schedule

 Meetup #3: Engaging with manufacturers

Hardware innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, designers and manufacturers across Victoria are invited to join this virtual meetup on May 19th at 18:00 (AEST).
Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs face. Developing a new product is always hard, but is especially so for hardware products where manufacturing partnerships and supply chain impact your overall time to market, product cost and quality.
Join us for a conversation with leading Melbourne-based manufacturers who will share their perspectives on:
  • How to engage early and effectively with manufacturers so that your manufacturing partner is also your design partner.
  • Manufacture considerations that will inform early-stage product development.
  • Tips on how to best navigate the design to manufacture journey and avoid common pitfalls.

Facilitators & Presenters

Vela Georgiev – HardworX
Vela has a proven track record of successfully launching hardware products into volume manufacturing. With experience in a broad range of industries and technologies, from agtech to smoke detection, Vela has built a career in engineering with a focus on manufacturing, operations and supply chain. In 2016, Vela founded HardworX, to help growth-stage startups and scaling SMEs unlock the power of hardware by demystifying manufacturing and the hardware supply chain. 
Additional speakers to be announced.

Who should attend?

Our aim is to build community and connection within the Victorian hardware innovation ecosystems. This event is open to all and particularly suitable for startups, hardware innovators, entrepreneurs, designers and manufacturers.

Bootcamp #1 – Manufacturing & Supply Chain Strategies for Hardware

Hardware innovators, entrepreneurs and startups across Victoria are invited to join this virtual bootcamp on Manufacturing and Supply Chain Strategies for Hardware Startups which will be delivered in 5 x 90 min modules, scheduled over two weeks in June 2020.
Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs face. Developing a new product is always difficult. For hardware products, it’s especially challenging as manufacturing partnerships and supply chain play a vital part in the overall time to market, cost, and quality of your product.
Whether you are thinking about manufacturing in house or outsourcing, using local or international manufacturers, this bootcamp is for you. You will leave this bootcamp with the knowledge and tools to make the best decisions for your startup and product. This practical, hands-on bootcamp, designed specifically for hardware innovators and limited to 10 participants, will help you to:
  • Understand and evaluate various manufacturing models and supply chain structures.
  • Develop a manufacturing strategy for your product.
  • Develop a best-practice Request for Quote (RFQ) pack for your product.
  • Gain insights into how manufacturers work, what they look for, how to engage early and communicate effectively, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
  • Develop an effective supplier selection process.
  • Understand quality control for mass production and how to develop a manufacturing quality plan for your product.
  • Gain insights into the practicalities of managing your supply chain, including cost, timelines, and tips to reduce overall time to market.

Bootcamp format

This bootcamp will be delivered in 5 x 90 min modules, scheduled over two weeks in June 2020. To maximize outcomes, participants will also have access to 1:1 mentoring with hardware experts.
Dates and times:
  • Module #1 – Fri 5th June @ 10:00-11:30
  • Module #2 – Tue 9th June @ 10:00-11:30
  • Module #3 – Thu 11th June @ 10:00-11:30
  • Module #4 – Tue 16th June @ 10:00-11:30
  • Module #5 – Thu 18th June @ 10:00-11:30
  • Mentoring via office hours booking

Facilitators & Presenters

Vela Georgiev – HardworX
Vela has a proven track record of successfully launching hardware products into volume manufacturing. With experience in a broad range of industries and technologies, from agtech to smoke detection, Vela has built a career in engineering with a focus on manufacturing, operations and supply chain. In 2016, Vela founded HardworX, to help growth-stage startups and scaling SMEs unlock the power of hardware by demystifying manufacturing and the hardware supply chain. 
Additional speakers to be announced.

Who should attend?

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

Applications

This virtual bootcamp will take place via Zoom and attendee numbers will be limited to 10 startups to allow for a highly interactive experience and provide an opportunity to network with other hardware innovators and industry experts. As places are limited, please apply to attend this bootcamp by completing this short form.
ELEVATE is funded by LaunchVic and preference will be given to Victorian based startups and hardware innovators, as well as those already participating in other ELEVATE initiatives.

ELEVATE Hardware Masterclass #4: Scaling up successfully – managing risk

Hardware innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, designers and manufacturers across Victoria are invited to join this virtual masterclass on June 23rd at 18:00 (AEST).
Going from startup to scale-up can get complicated very quickly. As volume ramps up, the capabilities of your supply chain are tested, quality issues become costly, and cash flow management is critical. This masterclass, specifically designed for hardware innovators facing these challenges, will help you mitigate risk by providing practical advice to successfully navigate the transition from startup to scale up.
By the end of the masterclass, you will have a better understanding of:
  • Common strategies for managing working capital as production volumes increase.
  • Options for long-term, scalable business models and practices.
  • What’s required to ensure cost, quality and schedule are maintained as production volumes increase.
  • How manufacturers work, what they look for, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.
  • How to strategically use your supply chain to help you scale.
You’ll also get an opportunity to network with hardware innovators.

Facilitators & Presenters

Vela Georgiev – HardworX
Vela has a proven track record of successfully launching hardware products into volume manufacturing. With experience in a broad range of industries and technologies, from agtech to smoke detection, Vela has built a career in engineering with a focus on manufacturing, operations and supply chain. In 2016, Vela founded HardworX, to help growth-stage startups and scaling SMEs unlock the power of hardware by demystifying manufacturing and the hardware supply chain. 
Additional speakers to be announced.

Who should attend?

This bootcamp is best suited for entrepreneurs, startups and hardware innovators who are:
  • Currently undertaking design validation, pilot production activities or actively engaging with manufactures and planning for mass production.
  • Working on an early-stage proof of concept or product prototype, but have a good understanding of their product requirements in terms of manufacturing needs.
Technical and non-technical hardware innovators are welcome. No prior knowledge is assumed.

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.

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
Facilitators & 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?