HWTrek is a platform that aims to connect hardware creators with experts and suppliers. They are based in Taiwan, and we are very happy to have worked with them on several occasions before. Their latest project is the ongoing HWTrek Asia Tour 2015, where they have brought a handful of hardware startups, mostly from the US and Europe, to Taiwan and China to meet with local suppliers and partners. These face-to-face meetings will hopefully give the teams a better idea how to build their products on a commercial scale, and build make
To facilitate this, HWTrek organized a meetup yesterday, where 30 teams, mostly hardware startups, were pitching their projects to a large audience of local suppliers and manufacturers. There were also experts and solution providers with booths to show their offerings and talk to the teams. We were also there with a booth, and were excited to see so many great projects!
Afterwards 30 startups had a quite intense time with their 5 minutes demos on stage. Their personality really shone through.
I was really excited to see how polished all the products looked, but even more so about how much focus they have shown. Every team was very clear about the problems they are solving, and every single one of them had various forms of serious customer validation under their belts. Collectively they addressed a wide variety of issues in life, from childcare to industrial control, and urban planning to healthcare. The trends that stood out were projects with entertainment focus, and strong analytical functions to assist the primary use case.
Can’t list all teams here though there were a few that really stood out overall: LUUV making videography better, Owlet is already saving babies’ lives, the creators of WÜF the smart dog collar clearly understand human psychology just as much as canine behavior, Insulin Angel has enormous potential in the medical industry (beyond what its name implies), and a lot more…
There were also three startup accelerators presenting: Startx from Standord, Startup Bootcamp from London (and increasingly global), and Makers Bootcamp from Japan. It really shows how many people are working in this ecosystem in different ways to help hardware projects get off the ground.
My overall impression was that all the participants of the hardware ecosystem – creators, suppliers, service providers, and agents are very eager to get in touch with each other. There are still too many barriers, communication issues, and lack of opportunity for the different sectors to get to know each other. I think HWTrek is really on to something, and hope we can support them even more in the future.
In the meantime, get building the project that you were thinking about for ages, and let us know how we can help you achieve success!