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SXSW Interactive 2013

New Opportunities for Hardware Innovators

In a world where VCs often shy away from funding hardware inventions, entrepreneurs are finding new ways to ensure hardware innovation makes a comeback. Startups were afforded new flexibility in how they raise funds when the JOBS Act was signed in April. There's now greater potential to fuel entrepreneurs inventing new devices, especially when considered with the growing power to build even the most complicated prototypes in an easy, affordable way. Not only are hardware entrepreneurs leading the maker movement, but they are also getting noticed thanks to makerspaces like TechShop workshops that provide members with affordable access to prototyping tools, classes and design software like Autodesk. Those same hardware inventions built at TechShop locations are also getting off the ground with crowd funding support from sites like Kickstarter. The recently Kickstarter-funded TechShop project OpenROV received more than four times its goal in funding, showing that people crave hardware.

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  1. What is the future of hardware innovation?
  2. Will traditional VCs return their attention to hardware entrepreneurs as crowd funding gains momentum?
  3. What role does software play in keeping hardware development relevant?
  4. How are the JOBS Act and crowd funding companies like Kickstarter providing greater opportunities for hardware entrepreneurs?
  5. What skills do digital natives already possess that will help them to become great hardware makers?



Lauren Barnard, PR Assistant, TechShop

Meta Information:

  • Tags: hardware, software
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: DIY, Hacker and Maker
  • Level: Advanced
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