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Life is not easy for entrepreneurs. Taking the road less traveled is always a difficult experience. This is even more true for hardware startups with real physical products. You need all the help you can get to be successful.
There are countless online resources for software startups, but not as many for hardware startups. So if you want help with your hardware product, be sure to explore the 25 resources below that are especially useful for hardware startups.
1. Dragon Innovation
Once you have developed a prototype and received a few actual orders, the next step is to start setting up larger volume manufacturing. Dragon Innovation helps entrepreneurs to move their material product from prototype to complete manufacturing. Their blog is full of great articles on hardware making.
Related: The Secrets of Success That Helped “Best Practitioners” Get Started in LikendisLikeship360
2. Predictable patterns
Predictable Designs helps entrepreneurs move their physical product from concept to prototype. They provide low cost custom cost reports to help you understand all the costs necessary to market your product. They also offer development plans, circuit designs and technical advice / support plans. Their blog is full of information and advice for hardware startups and covers everything from product development to manufacturing.
Warning! Predictable Designs was founded by the author.
Bolt is a venture capital company specializing in the financing of material startups. They invest between $ 100,000 and $ 500,000 in innovative startups at the intersection of hardware and software. Startups developing hardware products with a recurring software component model are preferred. The Bolt blog offers great articles with valuable information for entrepreneurs.
Related: 3 Steps to Market Your New Electronic Product
Upverter is a web tool for the design of electronic circuits and printed circuits. Their goal is to provide an intuitive interface while providing functionality to avoid many common design errors. The Upverter blog covers everything from hardware design to pricing for a new hardware product.
5. Steve Blank
Steve Blank founded or worked in eight startups, four of which have gone public. The majority of them were hardware startups. Its website is loaded to its maximum capacity with fantastic information for those who are creating new material products.
Related: Steve Blank: “LikendisLikeship is a vocation, not a job.”
EEVBlog (Electronics Engineering Video Blog) is a very popular Australian blog and YouTube channel for electronic engineers, hobbyists, inventors, hackers and manufacturers. The content could be seen as a mixture of detailed equipment reviews, crazy antics and strong opinions.
7. Circuit Hub
Circuit Hub helps hardware startups to scale up their manufacturing from 1 to 10,000 units at the touch of a button. These volumes are generally too low for offshore manufacturing, so Circuit Hub is a good solution for manufacturing intermediate volumes. Their blog includes articles on a wide variety of topics for hardware startups.
Hackster is an online community for hardware startups and hackers. Members post all the technical details of their hardware project to help others learn and get valuable feedback from the Hackster community. Hackster also provides great blog content, including interviews with various people involved in the development of material.
9. Bald Engineer
If you are interested in learning more about electronic design, definitely check out this website. Bald Engineer is a very useful resource for those new to electronic design. Non-technical founders should work to gain some understanding of electronic design and this is a great place to start.
10. Hardware boot IO
Hardware Startup IO is a blog aggregation site specifically for hardware startups. They compile and share many impressive articles on material from a wide variety of sources.
11 Don Debelak
Don Debelak is a marketing guru who has written several books on the marketing of new physical products. Its website is an excellent resource for very practical information covering topics such as marketing, distribution channels and sales. Don has been an invaluable resource to me personally over the years.
12. Creative connectivity
Creative Connectivity is a blog that focuses on the different aspects and applications of wireless connectivity. This blog can sometimes be more technical than the resources listed above, but it does contain some really useful content for those who develop wireless hardware products.
AdaFruit is an open source hardware company that designs and manufactures various electronic products, development kits and accessories. They also provide a variety of learning resources, including written tutorials, videos for beginners, and a live online video electronics show.
Sparkfun is an open source electronics retailer that produces various development kits and electronics modules for DIY enthusiasts. They also provide design files for all of the products they manufacture.
Fictiv simplifies the process of obtaining 3D printed prototypes for all custom shaped plastic parts required for your product. Fictiv intelligently routes production to the machines available in their network of approved suppliers. The results: faster parts, fair prices and targeted innovation.
Related: Here’s What 3D Printing Can Do To Make Your Life Easier
DipTrace is a suite of electronics design programs. Not only is DipTrace powerful, but it is also affordable and incredibly intuitive to use, making it a great option for beginners and experienced engineers.
17. Sunstone Circuits
Sunstone Circuits produces the printed circuit board (PCB) required for the prototyping of any electronic product. The PCB is what holds and connects all the different electronic components. They offer high quality boards and excellent customer service.
18. Howling circuits
After producing the printed circuit board for a hardware product, the next step is to solder all of the electronic components on the board. This is the service offered by Screaming Circuits. I have worked with Sunstone Circuits and Screaming Circuits and have always received high quality cards and fantastic customer service.
Related: 5 steps to develop your technological product
Foundr is a digital magazine for startups that is specifically aimed at young entrepreneurs. It contains a wealth of information on starting and growing a new business. They do a lot of interviews with successful entrepreneurs to help you learn from their mistakes and successes.
20. Proto Labs
Proto Labs offers production services for the plastic parts of your product. Their services include both 3D printing and CNC milling for prototype level quantities. Once you are ready to go into production of thousands of units, they also offer low-cost injection molds.
The more you advance alone in the development of your product, the more you will save on engineering costs. There are now several development kits designed for use by knowledgeable people who are not necessarily engineers. The most common is Arduino which sells for as low as $ 20.
Do you have questions on how to develop, manufacture, market or sell your product? Would you like real experts to answer your questions for free? Then Quora is the resource for you. Quora is a question and answer website where you can get expert feedback in a wide variety of areas.
Crowdfunding has helped finance many material startups. While there may be more than one crowdfunding site, none can compare to Kickstarter. For example, in 2012, a start-up named Pebble Technology was able to raise $ 10.3 million for its first generation smart watch. In 2015, they raised more than $ 20 million for their second generation smartwatch.
Related: The 10 Most Funded Kickstarter Campaigns of All Time
Digi-Key is one of the largest distributors of electronic components in North America. They carry just about any imaginable electronic component. Not only are they a potential supplier for the supply of your parts, but they are an excellent resource for obtaining information on component prices.
Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company that offers a wide selection of components available from various manufacturers and suppliers. It’s a great place to find components in stock, but also to network with Asian manufacturers to produce custom parts.
So what are your favorite websites, tools and resources for hardware startups? Please share them by commenting below.