Take a Trip to China and Launch a Hardware Startup with HAXLR8R

December 29, 2011

2:59 pm

If you’ve been toying with the idea for some cool new technology, consider applying to HAXLR8R, a 4-month accelerator program for hardware startups starting in March.

HAXLR8R takes place in Shenzhen, China, a hub for electronics manufacturing, with a demo day in Silicon Valley. According to cofounder Cyril Ebersweiler, also the founder of TechStars network’s Chinaccelerator, time in Shenzhen will help founders forge relationships with manufacturing partners and understand exactly how their product is built.

With investment from SOSventures, HAXLR8R provides office space, mentorship from advisers like Brad Feld, and seed funding: $6,000 per founder, plus an optional $5,000 for hardware, in exchange for 6-10 percent common stock.

Ebersweiler thinks now is an opportune moment for hardware startups, with computing power and other technologies advancing, the cost of computer parts decreasing, and shipping systems maturing – not to mention options for crowdfunding (like Kickstarter), crowdsourcing, and social media marketing.

“The missing part for startups is to wrap it all up into a polished final product, manufacture it with serious partners (most probably based in China), understand the logistics and the distribution aspects while making sure there is enough money in the bank,” says Ebersweiler, who cofounded HAXLR8R with Eric Pan of Seeed Studio and Sean O’Sullivan of Avego.

“The accelerator program aims at answering those very practical questions which – for the most part – have been answered hundreds of times by previous entrepreneurs, now turned mentors.”

Here are some suggestions from the HAXLR8R site, if you need inspiration:

  • Consumer devices in all fields (health, fitness, travel…)
  • Gadgets / Toys of a disruptive nature
  • Consumer electronics with a software play
  • A mean to an end
  • Appliances
  • Packaged goods

HAXLR8R will accept 10 startups, and applications are due January 31, 2012.


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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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