SXSW Interactive 2013

Crowdfunding & Hardware Prototyping Revolution

In a world where VCs typically 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 is 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 and affordable way.

Not only are hardware entrepreneurs leading the growing maker movement, but they are also getting noticed thanks to makerspaces like TechShop, a chain of workshops that provides members with affordable access to prototyping tools, classes and design software. Those same hardware inventions built at TechShop locations are also getting off the ground with outstanding funding support from crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter, showing that people crave hardware innovation to the point that they are paying for it en masse.

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  1. What is the future of hardware innovation?
  2. Will traditional VCs return their attention to hardware entrepreneurs as crowd-sourcing gains momentum?
  3. What role does software play in keeping hardware development relevant?
  4. How are the JOBS Act and crowd-sourcing 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?



connie zheng, Associate, North of Nine Communications

Meta Information:

  • Tags: entrepreneur, innovation
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Future15
  • Track: Entrepreneurialism and Business
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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