April 15, 2015
Highway1, PCH’s hardware accelerator, recently announced the new class of startups in their intensive four month program which began in February. The Spring 2015 class will be the first to work in Highway1’s newly opened 10,000 square foot facility, which sits adjacent to PCH’s Innovation Lab in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill.
In total there are 11 participating hardware startups that represent a broad range of sectors across healthcare, smart homes, agriculture, and drone technology. Combined, these startups have already raised $4 million in outside funding making this the best funded class in the history of the Highway1 program.
“We are very excited about this incoming class, which was selected from the most applications we have received – 275 – for any one semester. Many of them come with outside funding which indicates their ability to get market support from the get-go,” says Brady Forrest, VP of Highway1. ”Over the next four months, we will see these teams morph into companies that have working prototypes that they can share with investors.”
Highway1’s new 10,000 square foot home, which also houses PCH Access, was designed by MAP to be an ample, collaborative space for both individual teams and entire companies. The facility also features a 1,000 square foot state of the art prototyping lab that includes equipment like a CNC mill, spectrum analyzers, and 3D printers.
The new facility allows PCH to give the startups an environment that fosters creativity and innovation, along with access to some of the best prototyping resources in the world.
“We are glad to welcome another group of talented entrepreneurs into our hardware accelerator program,” says Liam Casey, founder and CEO of PCH. “It’s an exciting time to be a hardware entrepreneur because of growing interest the venture community is showing in products combined with great design. We focus on dramatically de-risking the investment for venture firms, by helping our companies manufacture the best product and get to market fast.”
Since starting in 2013 Highway1 has accepted 45 different hardware companies who have collectively raised over $45 million. Each startup gets access to the Highway1 network of mentors, classroom curriculum, and substantial lab space as well as a 10 day trip to Shenzhen, China to visit factories and learn about manufacturing.
At the end of the program the graduates will pitch their concepts and show a working prototype to investors, industry leaders, and media at the invitation-only PCH/Highway1 Demo Day.
The Highway1 Spring 2015 class includes the following (please note some companies are in stealth mode, and are not listed):
- Ayda: Ayda is creating devices that support women in their fertility journey. Ayda is developing its first device, a wearable, which enables women to effortlessly optimize their chances of conceiving.
- Apitronics: Apitronics is building Nest for agriculture, and helps farmers increase yields, save water, and become more resilient to drought and heat stress by optimizing irrigation.
- Game of Drones: Ballistic UAV, dba Game of Drones produces industry-leading ruggedized drones and parts for first-time consumers, light industry, agriculture, environmental service, wildlife preservation and first responders.
- Lully: Lully develops smart technology to improve sleep quality for all ages. The first product, the Lully Sleep Guardian, is an under-the-mattress device that prevents night terrors. Night terrors affect 1.5 Million children each year in the US and there is no existing solution.
- Sereneti: Sereneti Kitchen automates cooking in the home kitchen using a Keurig style methodology to prepare fresh meals using a robotic arm. To cook a meal, a user loads the machine with fresh ingredients, syncs their smart device, and pushes one button to enable cooking.
- Shade: Shade is an accurate wearable ultraviolet spectrometer with a powerful platform of analytics to bring precise medicine to ultraviolet sensitive patients.
- Transformair: Transformair is a technology that rapidly and safely destroys indoor air pollutants including viruses, bacteria, mold, airborne fumes and allergens.
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