Along with the rapid growth in hardware startups, more and more hardware accelerators are springing up throughout the world. These accelerators typically offer programs that help startups speed up the time-to-market by facilitating the design, manufacturing, and launch of their new hardware products.
This list features the most prominent hardware accelerators in the world. If you would like to add your hardware accelerator to the list, please contact us by email.
Traditional Hardware Accelerator Programs
HWTrek – Taiwan
HWTrek provides an ecosystem where hardware creators, industry experts, and smart customers come together. This accelerator helps make it easier for startups to navigate the industry certifications,troubleshoot problems, and find reliable manufacturers.
Hax – Shenzhen , China, San Francisco, Singapore
Hax, is one of the world’s top accelerators for hardware startups. It has a global network of more than 250 founders and 50 mentors. Two programs are offered: Hax Accelerator and Hax Boost. Startups work on strategy, prototyping, sourcing, and supply chain management in Shenzhen. Final products are launched on demo day in San Francisco with crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Startups receive up to $300K funding in exchange for equity – $25,000 for 6% equity or $100,000 for 9% equity; up to $200,000 in matching funds.
Boost is a 42- day selling course offered in San Francisco for 2% in equity.
Lemnos Labs – San Francisco
Lemnos Labs invests in early-stage hardware startups and provides intensive, hands-on time with the Lemnos Labs partners, mentors, and alumni of the program. Lemnos Labs has a state-of-the-art facility and a team of world-class experts. The program offers up to $250,000 in funding with a 10 % stake, admitting up to 12 startups per year, focused on aerospace, robotics, transportation, agriculture and IoT (both consumer and B2B).
AlphaLab Gear – Pittsburg
Only eight to ten startups participate in the 40-week program at any time. Companies receive $25,000 or $50,000 in exchange for 5% or 9% common stock equity. Each company receives a private office and access to collaborative working spaces and workshop space. Startups have access to a mentor team of 4-6 experts in design for manufacture, supply chain, retail and commercial distribution.
Make in LA – Los Angeles
Make in LA is the first hardware accelerator in Los Angeles, focused empowering entrepreneurs and their business by making hardware not hard. The team is partnered with NEO Tech, a contract manufacturer, and is launching its first class in the Fall of 2015. The accelerator works with 5 promising start-ups at a time and de-risks their hardware companies by focusing on the team, the technology, the market, and the manufacturing with its in-house experts as well as their global network. Perks include office space, prototype lab, production facilities, mentoring and investments up to $150,000 in the first 4 months.
HARDWARE.co is a global community and accelerator for entrepreneurs, industry professionals and makers dedicated to the creation of innovative hardware products and companies. HARDWARE.co supports early stage startups that show great potential in their idea, team, prototype or business plan. The accelerator doesn’t take equity or provide money to the teams. The accelerator program is an intensive 14-day program packed with networking, workshops and one-on-one interaction with more than 40 mentors and professionals.
EcoMachines Incubator – London
EcoMachines is a technology investment fund that aims to transform the early-stage funding model for hardware and engineering companies. EcoMachines focusses on early-stage startups, in the high-value manufacturing and advanced engineering space. The accelerator program lasts nine months and provides participating startups with £100,000 in equity funding as well as access to mentorship, industry partners and an investor network. Successful graduates of the accelerator program are eligible for follow-on funding of £500,000. The incubator is focused on companies working in energy, cleantech, transportation and industrial high-tech fields.
Buildit – Estonia
Buildit is the first accelerator in the Baltic States and Nordic countries with a focus on physical devices. Buildit runs two 3-month programs annually in Tartu, followed by a month-long “roadshow” in the US, China and the UK, to meet investors and potential partners. Startups can apply from anywhere, although there is emphasis on Eastern Europe and Russia.
Buildit invests €15,000 for 5-10% equity or €25,000 in exchange for 12% or €20,000 in return for 9%. For companies that already have funding Buildit offers participation in the program with no investment for 2% of company shares. The participating startups receive free office space at the Tartu Science Park and prototyping facilities.
Industrio – Trentino, Italy
Industrio provides seed fund, professional prototyping development resources and strong manufacturing support. Startups can get up to €25,000 cash and up to €125,000 for 10 -15% equity stake. Twice a year Industrio runs a 5-month prototype-to-product program. Startups get feedback on product concepts, prototypes and product development from more than 40 advisors. Industrio has a strong focus on “Italian style”.
Non-traditional Hardware Accelerator Programs
Highway 1 – San Francisco
In exchange for 4 – 7% equity Highway 1 offers investment in the range of $50,000 in cash. Highway 1 focuses on early stage startups giving mentoring during the early stage prototype process. Startups can join the program at any time. They work alongside engineers to finalize prototypes and design the final product for manufacturing. Startups are taken on a trip to Shenzhen to see the manufacturing hub and get a tour of the supply chain infrastructure, inventory management, and retail distribution.
Bolt – Boston
Bolt is a venture capital fund that invests up to $500,000 in early stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software. Bolt lets companies join on a rolling basis any time of the year and does not require any relocation. Bolt portfolio companies have access to world-class prototyping spaces in San Francisco and Boston. The Bolt engineering team provides integrated support across product development, quality control, strategy, business model, and financing. Bolt has a large database of contract manufacturers extensive shipping experience.
Hardware Acceleration Program – Taipei
The main idea behind this program is to help companies enter into Asian markets. Logistica Asia executes “Hardware Acceleration Program” for TMI Holding. This program incubates hardware startups by connecting them with experienced industry manufactures, helping with sourcing components from qualified vendors, project management, logistics and distribution. The program is financed by TMI with capital from Beijing, Taiwan and the US.
Flextronics Lab IX – San Francisco
Lab IX is led by a group of manufacturing, venture and product experts. Flextronics Lab IX has more than 100 design, manufacturing and services operations in more than 30 countries. Startups can draw on their extensive expertise resulting from producing thousands of products for the world’s most valuable brands with a wide range of complexity in nearly every industry. Startups have access to design experts and advanced manufacturing, prototyping and test equipment. Flextronics offers a customised investment package for hardware startups across all funding stages with most receiving between $500,000 and $1M. Year-round applications are open for both B2C and B2B products.
Dragon Innovation – Cambridge, MA
Founded by a team of seasoned hardware experts, Dragon Innovation takes the risk out of and simplifies the manufacturing consumer electronics. They provide the framework, process, tools, knowledge, and connections to go from prototype to production through certification and factory selection. Dragon Certified involves a rigorous up-front review to ensure companies are going to market with a product that can be manufactured on time and on budget. The team matches companies with a factory from their curated database of USA and Far East contract manufacturers, then provide on the ground management and support from initial ramp up through ongoing production.
Otherlab –San Francisco
Otherlab is a research and development company that incubates projects, not startups. The company has a strong track record of attracting research funding for early and risky ideas in areas such as ‘programmable matter’, robotics, solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, computational and advanced manufacturing, medical devices and more. Research is done alongside the world’s best universities, often in partnership. Otherlab works to expose early stage people as founding team members of the startups that emerge from their research.
Hardware Tribe – Vienna, Austria
Hardware Tribe is an initiative to connect hardware startups, makers, industries and all those interested in bringing ideas to market. The Hardware Tribe is about supporting startups that make physical products. Regular events are held for everyone that is working on a physical product or aims to do so. Startups and entrepreneurs can connect with like-minded people, exchange know-how and bring their hardware to the next level by getting in touch with strategic partners and suppliers.