Where The Hardware Accelerators Are

Where The Wild Things Are graffiti 04

It is finally here –The Hardware Accelerators List.

I am always asked — Are Hardware Accelerators in NYC, SF, or UK? Boston? Who should I contact? What is their website? Do they allow dogs or cats? How much equity do they take? Will they want my first-born child in exchange for said equity? How much money do they give? The list goes on and on. Now you can click on their website link and find out everything you wanted to know and more.

The following is a list I compiled of all the Hardware Accelerators I know of. If you know of more please contact me so I can add them to the list.

Oh and if there are any errors let me know too.

Location Name URL
Any Springboard http://sb.co/accelerator/
Berlin Hardware.co http://hardware.co/
Boston Bolt https://bolt.io/
Denmark Danish Tech Challenge – Scion DTU http://www.sciondtu.com/network-innovation/dtc/
Estonia BuildIt http://buildit.ee/
Honolulu XLR8UH http://www.xlr8uh.com/program.html
Italy Industrio http://www.industrio.co/
Korea SparkLabs http://www.sparklabs.co.kr/kr/html/home.html
London EcoMachines Incubator http://www.ecomachinesincubator.com/
New York City JFE http://jfenetwork.com/accelerator-ny/
New York City NYCEDC Next Top Maker https://www.nexttopmakers.com/
New York City R/GA http://rgaaccelerator.com/connecteddevices/
New York City Zahn Center http://www.zahncenternyc.com/
Ohio Launch House http://www.launchhouse.com/lhx/
Pittsburg AlphaLab / AlphaLab Gear http://www.alphalabgear.org/
Rhode Island Betaspring http://betaspring.com/
San Francisco Highway1 http://highway1.io/
San Francisco Lemnos Labs http://lemnoslabs.com/
San Francisco Nike Fuel Labs http://www.nikefuellab.com/
San Francisco YC for Hardware http://blog.ycombinator.com/yc-for-hardware
San Francisco, China Haxlr8r http://www.haxlr8r.com/
Taiwan TMI http://tmi.vc/investment/hardware-acceleration-service/


Photo credit: Scott Woods-Fehr / Foter /CC BY

Saying Goodbye to MakeSimply

Robot Wave Goodbye

I am leaving MakeSimply as of the new year 2015. It was fun being the face of MakeSimply for over two years. Within that time I have done a lot for MakeSimply as one of its co-founders. Starting and bringing a new business to life is not easy and takes dedication. I love the hardware movement that has taken the startup scene by storm and so I loved creating a company that helps these hardware startups develop and manufacture their products. That love and my excitement will never end.

At the start of creating MakeSimply I knew little about manufacturing except for what my engineering degree gave me and the experience starting my hardware startup in 2009 called Social Hardware gave me. I took the lessons learned there and incorporated them into MakeSimply. I also used my years of experience as business person to help shape MakeSimply into a company with a great reputation. I got a crash course in manufacturing and loved it all the way. I used that love and passion to help MakeSimply make a good name for itself in the hardware scene in NYC.

We had a lot of accomplishments throughout the last year that I am proud of. Some of them (that I can mention) are the Cooper Hewitt Pen, Inclusion Table Tennis, Sponsor of the New York Hardware Meetup and NYCEDC Next Top Maker. There are many others that you will see come to reality this year. Stay tuned.

I will miss MakeSimply and they will miss me, but it is time to move on to new things.

I have seen the New York hardware community grow from hackerspaces/makerspaces to hardware meetups to accelerators and have watch the new hardware companies become successful. I have listened to the stories of these entrepreneurs and these stories have fuel my enthusiasm. I love these stories.

In the beginning of 2015 I will announce my new venture. Stay tuned to the next chapter in the Tech Chronicles of Alan Hyman.

Photo credit: NASARobonaut / Foter /CC BY

What Burning Man Taught Me About Manufacturing

Absolutely Fabulous Sign

Hey hey. It has been awhile since I put my thoughts to blog. The reason for the hiatus is that I have been re-entering back into society. That means I took a trip to camp in the Nevada Desert for 11 days. Yep, I went to Burning Man. This was my second time going and this time was more fun than the last. I want to go back.

Every time I have gone I feel the re-entry. I’ve heard other Burners talk about this and until I felt it for myself I did not know it was a true feeling. The feeling of missing the time you have had. Reminiscing about the things you have learned.  Missing the friends you have made. Going back to the real world where you have obligations, expectations and society’s pressures on what you should do and be.

While I was there I helped to build three art installations. My main concentration was to help with the electronics pieces on one of them. The art piece I worked on was the Toilet Bowl (See video below).

It is amazing what you can do when you have limitations imposed on you and you are a member of a great team. We were in the middle of a desert! We could not go to Home Depot if we forgot a tool or material. There is an expression, “The Playa will provide”. In this case I think the playa provided us with a great team. When I think back on the experience I am so impressed with the level of experience each member had and how we worked of each other to solve very complicated problems ad hoc. There were problems of course, it was not always roses, but we got things done and had a great time doing it.

So now about the manufacturing connection and a great team. While in the desert working on the projects I had a thought about how important a great team is. We hear all the time that VC’s invest in great teams and not necessarily the idea. And I look back in my past to see what my experiences have been while developing products and the team was the shit. Time and time again when I look back, I see the product, but I see that what failed was the wrong team. I am a strong believer that with the right team elements you can do it.

I talk with many hardware startups every week. They show me their product ideas, but what I am most curious about is their team. Why should a manufacture care about their clients team members? That is easy to say, when you are manufacturing a product for a client it is a long marriage. During that marriage there will be challenges that will need solving and if the parties can not work these things out then it will fail. Crash and burn is more like it. Is it entirely an experienced team that makes or breaks a product launch? What is experience? Age? To me it is the road that you go down not the length of the road. I have seen teenagers create a great business. I have seen people in the opposite category create a great business. Where I have seen people fail is that the members of the team were not right. The mix is wrong. I am not concerned about the number of members on the team, but does the mix of personalities work.

I am reading Walter Isaacson’s book, The Innovators. I am more than a quarter of the way done. The best part so far is the discussion about the make up of teams. The part about how Intel started and their founders is one example. The people who developed the first transistor to the people who had the vision of what a computer is to become. These breakthroughs all need successful collaborations.

Enter the right people at the right time and presto you have innovation. It shows in the product, business and in the experience.

So when you are looking to create a product look for people who fit well within what the goals are for the venture.

The Everything Factory: Let’s Open a Factory That Does It All


The decision to close a VegasTechFund company due to over-ambition is beyond ironic. As I’ve written before, Hsieh’s plans to regenerate downtown Vegas are cursed by over promising, often from Hsieh himself.

Many people have approached me over the years saying “We want to create Blah Blah that will revitalize manufacturing and provide all the resources hardware startups need”. What resources? What the what…Everything! That is impossible. Good factories specialize in various capabilities. No one does everything. We have an ecosystem of partners that provide the capabilities. Why? Because we want the right factory to help with the outcome and we alone can not do it all

via Factorli killed by VegasTechFund due to over-ambition, because irony is dead too | PandoDaily.

Will it 3D Print??


“There are barriers primarily in the usability of the entire stack, software, machines, materials,” Pickens said. “No-one has succeeded in making a 3D printer where you just ‘hit print’ and get the object you want. Various amounts of post-processing have to take place that make the experience frustrating for users. In particular the machines require tuning and babysitting to function properly and often the failure modes are due to engineering flaws that could have been solved.”

I am not holding my breath till 2016 to see if this is solved. Seems that more sensors and software are needed to track the position of the extruder and placement of materials. I hope it happens. It would be cool to have an actual replicator on hand.

via What’s holding back 3D printing from fulfilling its promise? | ZDNet.

The AI boss that deploys Hong Kong’s subway engineers – tech – 04 July 2014 – New Scientist


An algorithm schedules and manages the nightly engineering work on one of the world’s best subway systems – and does it more efficiently than any human could

Can I use this to help with the subway system in NYC? We sure need it here. I can see other applications for this. Maybe getting rid of project managers, just have the  computer do it.

via The AI boss that deploys Hong Kong’s subway engineers – tech – 04 July 2014 – New Scientist.

Kickstarter project spent $3.5M to finish a working prototype—and ended in disaster | Ars Technica


The “Designs” are complete, patents filed, component suppliers selected, the manufacturing process is defined, the CM [contract manufacturer] chosen so all we need is your support in this project as we size the first myIDkey production run and ship product in September 2013. Please make a pledge and receive your myIDkey!

So the product was ready to go directly to manufacturing…What happened? They over promised and promising more until they ran out of money. I see this happen so many times I could cry. I mean really!!!! This product was very promising. The idea solid. The problem; stop adding features and making changes. JUST STOP!!!!

Feature creep is an easy pit to fall into, but you must resist the temptation to change your product after you have made commitments. Also don’t change your product unless you really have to do so. It will cause delays. Have you ever played the board game Monopoly? Think of it this way if you change something, add something then you do not pass go, do not collect $200 and you have to start at the beginning.

Here is an example. Lets say I want to change a button. You might say well that is not a big deal…right? However after you select the first button you had to work it into your PCB design, industrial design, package design, and your manufacturing plan. When you select a new part you have to go back and work through all those plans you before did again. What happens if the button just does not fit the enclosure right, then industrial design must take place. Then what if you try to get the button in the MOQ and price you can afford, then find out it is a strange type of button that is not common in the market. In that case you will have very long lead times and may not get the part at all. You must ask yourself some business questions (not technological questions):

  1. Is this going to bring added value to the market by adding this feature?
  2. Will this increase the revenue I hope to get for my product in a substantial way to justify the effort?
  3. Will I be able to meet my deliverable commitments, for sales, marketing and volume?

If any of these are no, do not add the feature. Wait till version 2.0 to reconsider it.

via Kickstarter project spent $3.5M to finish a working prototype—and ended in disaster | Ars Technica.




ha ha. I love the Fakegrimlock blog. Thank you for the recommendation. These laws of startups are hysterical.


Why That Phone Charger Took Two Years to Arrive – NYTimes.com


Designing and fabricating a basic prototype was much harder than they had expected, and they spoke wearily of the process of obtaining permission from Apple to sell the case as a licensed accessory.

I am glad I keep reading this articles. I am reminded many times that people underestimate the manufacturing end of the product. It is great fun designing, marketing and branding, but hey you finally have to make the thing since you promised to deliver it. That is where the fun really is. At the last New York Hardware Meetup it was a abundantly clear from the panel that the manufacturing planing was a key thing that was underestimated.

Manufacturing plan is very important. The other item left out is DFM (Design For Manufacturability). People have forgotten about this too. Not forgot, but did not know they need to know that this is part of the product development and manufacturing process. The DFM process makes sure that your product is manufacturable. Without it you have no way of knowing if your product is manufacturable. It is best to keep DFM in mind when you are prototyping your product. That being said, there are many variables when it comes to DFM. In a nutshell you need to work with a person that has the skills and experience working with a factory to know what those variables are.

via Why That Phone Charger Took Two Years to Arrive – NYTimes.com.