December 17, 2014
On December 9 PCH and Highway 1 held their third Demo Day at an invitation-only event in San Francisco. Highway 1, a division of PCH headed by Brady Forrest, is a hardware accelerator focused on aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors with a hardware curriculum dedicated to product design, development, engineering, and go-to-market strategy.
The current batch of Highway 1 startups includes 11 different companies that have gone through a four month course designed to take them from prototype to fully manufacture-ready products. In total, Highway 1 has graduated 35 hardware companies including the current class.
“The curriculum at Highway1 helps entrepreneurs refine their prototypes into products that are well considered,” says Forrest. “We emphasize product design, product brand, and the consumer experience, as well as the nuts and bolts of how to get products made on budget and on time. These companies have worked hard to get where they are today, and are ready to take on investment.”
PCH provides all Highway1 companies with access to its significant expertise in product development and supply chain management via a 10-day immersion in Shenzhen, China where the companies learn first-hand the nuances of hardware manufacturing and global distribution. The companies also receive an initial monetary investment of $50,000 and access to a mentor network of experienced industry leaders.
“Our program reduces the risk of investment in hardware by helping startups get to market faster, and by reducing the number of unknowns for investors,” says PCH Founder and CEO Liam Casey. “Hardware is generating strong returns, and this, in turn, is fueling innovation. We are very proud of these 11 companies graduating from Highway1 today, and look forward to mentoring them as they progress in their goals.”
Here are the 11 Highway 1 graduates that presented at Demo Day:
- Cargo: Cargo is unlocking the potential of automotive data by connecting every car on the road to its cloud infrastructure, making it easy for developers to build auto-focused applications and services that make ownership easier, less expensive, safer and more fun.
- CoolChip Technologies: CoolChip Technologies is marrying modern electronics with the ability to cool them effectively, solving the computing industry’s multi-billion dollar efficiency problem and offering a significantly better consumer experience across devices.
- FishBit: FishBit is a WiFi-connected set of sensors that pairs with mobile and web applications to help saltwater aquarium owners review historical and real-time readings, receive notifications when levels suddenly change, and obtain recommendations for proactive aquarium maintenance.
- Fingertips Labs: Fingertips Labs is designing products that extend human reach to technology, with a focus on the needs of the visually impaired and physically challenged. First in the product line is HALO, the intelligent wearable that implements a completely eyes-free experience over a range of mobile applications using a multi-function rotary dial.
- Lagoon: Lagoon finally makes it easy to track home water usage. Using an innovative sensor that easily wraps around a home’s main water line, paired with Lagoon’s free companion app, Lagoon detects and measures water consumption from major point-of-source appliances. Lagoon provides near real-time views on water use, identifying behaviors and appliances that may be wasting water. Now, homeowners can take water-saving action and catch costly leaks before it’s too late. Lagoon believes everyone should be closer to their water.
- LookSee Labs: LookSee is a connected bracelet that uses on an always-on flexible display. Using the LookSee app, users can customize their look depending on situation or mood.
- Moxxly: Moxxly combines women-centered design with branding and technology to create products that are as elegant as they are functional. Moxxly’s first product is a smart, stylish, and high performing breast pump accessory system that enables today’s mobile mom to pump wherever she is, with her shirt on, while receiving real-time data about her supply.
- Switchmate: Switchmate offers the convenience of smart lighting without the drama of rewiring the home. Switchmate’s sleek, retro-fit design snaps onto existing light switches to enable remote control of home lighting, out of the box.
- Building10: Building10 is developing Peeple: the elegant, compact, and easy-to-use caller ID for the front door. Peep consists of a small camera that attaches to existing peepholes and easily connects to home Wi-Fi to identify, inform, and alert people to any outside presence. Say goodbye to the days of worrying about what time the kids got home, if the package arrived, or if the rental property is secure. Peep sees who’s there when you’re not.
- Mashgin: Mashgin is building a kiosk for cafeterias that automatically identifies multiple items within seconds. The kiosk is up to ten times faster than an average cashier, thanks to computer vision and machine learning. Mashgin is working with the world’s largest cafeteria company, Compass Group, to help cafeterias save billions on the checkout process and improve their customers’ overall experience.
- JewlieBOTS: JewlieBOTS is a customizable network of open source programmable jewelry aimed at cultivating the interest of teenage girls in engineering and coding. Using basic programming logic, you can create personal alerts and communicate with your friends using lights and slight vibrations. JewlieBOTS allows girls to customize their jewelry and its behavior to reflect unique personalities and friendships.
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