Posts Tagged "honoulu"

Startup Connector: Hardware Is Hard—Don’t Let That Deter You

April 13, 2016
3D Innovations

It’s true, hardware is hard, but the reward you get from launching a successful product makes the journey well worth it. Inventors and entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to create something different that has a real impact on society. Their brains never stop, never rest. They are always evaluating ideas and questioning ‘facts’. You can easily glance around any home or office and see the inventions that pioneers have perfected, and how these products have been integrated into our everyday lives. It is this rush and feel of accomplishment, that fuels the makers and hardware startups of the world.

StartupConnectorlogoThe path to hardware success is often bumpy, full of roadblocks and unexpected turns along the way. Founders of Startup Connector, Collin Kobayashi and Bob Nakata, know all too well the challenges facing hardware startups. “What we’ve seen is that there are a lot of products being developed, and there are different points where the companies get off track—whether it’s not having the right technical expertise, or not having the right experience, or not knowing where to go,” Kobayashi said. “The main gap that we’ve seen is that these companies can get through testing and prototyping, but really get stuck on getting their data package ready for full-scale production. One of the biggest pitfalls hardware startups run into are testing and certification requirements.”

With all of the challenges facing hardware startups, it is good to have knowledgeable and experienced professionals at your fingertips. Why not make the path to hardware startup success a little easier? This was the driving thought behind Startup Connector, a Hawaii-based manufacturing and commercialization accelerator. “Our main objective is to work with hardware development companies, to get them ready for full scale manufacturing. Getting them through the whole product development cycle, beyond prototyping to mass production.”

Advances in technology and manufacturing methods are ushering in a new wave of opportunity for hardware startups. Investors are taking notice of the hardware revolution, and helping propel the movement forward. If you have been mulling over a product idea or searching for the “right time” to focus on product development, now is your time.

Ready to partner with manufacturing and commercialization experts for your next project? Startup Connector is now accepting applications. Apply today! Getting your application in early will let us connect with you and keep you informed of the upcoming start dates.

*All quotes are from the Bytemarks Café interview conducted November 2015.

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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Business Accelerators, Incubators & Co-Working Spaces—Which is Best?

January 29, 2016
3D Innovations

Launching a startup? Scaling your current business? There are tons of resources available to entrepreneurs out there. However, finding the exact resources to fit your precise needs can be slightly more challenging. Business accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces all offer similar services with slight ‘tweaks’, the lines between them get blurry. We have defined each below to help you make an informed decision on what is best for your business.

Accelerators

StartupConnectorlogoTime is of the essence with accelerators. With experts by your side, accelerators aim to launch your startup in a matter of weeks or months, instead of years. Traditionally there is an application process that an entrepreneur is required to complete before being accepted into an accelerator program. However once you are accepted, you are thrown onto the fast track of scaling your business. The product development timeline is drastically reduced, which makes the incubation period very short and intense. Accelerators aim to turn business ideas into prototypes or products that are ready to go to market quickly—mere months. Sponsors provide initial funding and expertise to small groups that can demonstrate a great product idea. In return, the sponsors take a small equity stake in the new business, on average less then 10%.

With business accelerators the emphasis is on rapid growth and a successful product launch. At the end of the period, the entrepreneurs have the opportunity to make a pitch to venture capitalists to obtain further funding. A business accelerator is therefore more suitable for startups that want to reduce time to market, rather than grow gradually.

Incubators

Business incubators provide businesses with office space and shared facilities, such as telecommunications systems and internet connections, in a dedicated building. Entrepreneurs can access advice and guidance from professionals such as accountants, marketing consultants and business advisers who are associated with the incubation center and act as mentors. Entrepreneurs typically stay in an incubation center for three to five years, although there is no minimum or maximum period.

New businesses find that rents are lower in incubation centers—typically 25 to 50 percent less than commercial rents, depending on the region you are in. They benefit from networking opportunities, the mentoring and professional advice available and the contacts with other entrepreneurs that provide a stimulating environment for growth.

Co-Working Space

Technology advances mean that you no longer need to be tethered to a single office to get work done. Co-working spaces offer cheap office space and business facilities for entrepreneurs, but more than that, they provide the opportunity to ‘rub elbows’ with other entrepreneurs and freelancers. The networking opportunities are vast. Similar to accelerators and incubators, there is access to basic shared office facilities and mentors in various fields.  Many of the people in co-working spaces find it inspiring to work around other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Co-working spaces offer flexibility and the least amount of structure out of the three options. These spaces can accommodate a growing team and don’t require a firm lease commitment like traditional office space. Many co-working spaces are funded through memberships, however, there are a few out there that are free (i.e.Gangplank).

Please feel free to send any additional questions you may have to info@3d-innovations.com. We look forward to chatting!

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

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Startup Connector: Cohort #2 Application Available

January 27, 2016
3D Innovations

StartupConnectorlogoIf you missed the Startup Connector application for our first cohort, don’t fret! The application for our second cohort is available. We are currently in the process of evaluating applications and conducting interviews for our first group, but welcome you to apply for the second cohort that will be kicking off later this year. Getting your application in early will let us connect with you and keep you informed of the upcoming start dates.

What is Startup Connector? Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator (located in Honolulu, Hawaii) that supports hardware startups. Accelerator programs are time-specific, mentorship-driven programs designed to connect startups with critical early-stage product development resources.

What startup programs are available? The entire Startup Connector manufacturing and commercialization program focuses on providing an in-depth and highly technical 10 week program to support companies who are ready to commercialize their products. There are two 10 week tracks in which inventors and entrepreneurs can apply. Track 1 is the “Business Startup Program” and covers all of the basics (and more) in relation to launching a product. Track 2  is the “Design/Manufacturing Program” and delves into the world of product development and manufacturing. View the specifics of each track on the Startup Connector website.

Have additional questions about Startup Connector? Please email them to info@startup-connector.com

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator helping companies commercialize—turning ideas into products.

Subscribe to the 3D Innovations newsletter on our Facebook page!

Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today

The Single Most Important Piece Of Advice A Startup Needs To Hear

January 21, 2016
3D Innovations

Starting a business is hard and each business comes with its own unique set of challenges; however, there are universal pieces of advice that span industry, geography, and demographics. We recently sat down with 3D Innovations Founder, Collin Kobayashi, to discuss startups and the best piece of advice entrepreneurs need to hear. While Collin has vast experience starting and managing 3D Innovations, he has recently embarked on another venture, co-founding Startup Connector, a manufacturing accelerator here in Honolulu, Hawaii. With both companies he has had the privilege of working with visionary entrepreneurs and assisting them in the launch of their startups. Through his many meetings and time around entrepreneurs, like himself, he has found one piece of advice to be crucial for success, “Never underestimate the power of persistence”.

goalThis piece of advice reaches into every single aspect of starting a business, from market research to funding. In terms of market research, whether you are developing software or hardware, understanding the market you are creating a product for is critical. Be persistent in your research of the market and take the time to meet with various experts in the field. Validating your product is critical, and validation is best when it comes from both your target market and other technical experts. Have meetingslots of meetingswith potential mentors, experienced entrepreneurs and development experts in your industry.

Funding is another hurdle almost every startup faces, and here persistence will also serve you well. Whether it is gaining the attention of VCs or applying for funding, you need to be steadfast, determined and persistent. It might take some time to get meetings with the right people in place, but keep pushing forward until you get a response. Always remember, that if one door closes, seek to open others.

What is the single best piece of business advice you have been given?

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Startup Connector: Tickets Now Available for ‘Hackers Affinity’ Dinner

January 8, 2016
3D Innovations

EMWIn December we were thrilled to announce that Startup Connector, Hawaii’s only Hardware Manufacturing accelerator, would be hosting the East Meets West ‘Hackers Affinity’ dinner on January 14th following the first day of the conference. Today we are letting you know that tickets are now available for the dinner!

The Hackers Affinity dinner is a chance to sit down and connect with Gang Lu – #1 tech blogger in China, Paul Ford – Hacker and entrepreneur/community builder extraordinaire, and Cyril Ebersweiler – Founder of HAX, the #1 hardware accelerator in the world.

*Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. There are only 15 seats available, reserve yours today!

Collin Kobayashi, the Founder of 3D Innovations and Co-Founder of Startup Connector, will be at the East Meets West conference and would love to connect and chat about Hawaii’s new manufacturing accelerator. If you would like to schedule a time to talk with him, please send him an email, collin@startup-connector.com

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Turn Your Idea Into A Startup In 2016

January 6, 2016
3D Innovations

1lightbulbA new year, means a new beginning. January is the time to recharge, set goals and leap into the year ahead with renewed determination. If in 2015 you had a ‘light bulb’ moment for a fantastic new product, but weren’t exactly ready to tackle it, make 2016 your year for action. All great startups begin with a single idea, but it has to be put into practice.

Below are a few important steps to take as you begin your startup journey…

  1. Do your market research. Conducting thorough market research is the first step to determine if you do, in fact, really have an idea worth pursuing. First, you need to make sure that a product similar to your idea isn’t already out there. After it has been determined that your idea is still viable, your research then focuses on test groups. What need does your product fulfill? How many people have the issue you are solving? Survey these potential “customers” to gain further insight and hone in on your product idea.
  2. Secure intellectual property. This is a big step that has a tendency to be overlooked at the onset. Patents, copyrights and trademarks are all ways to secure your rights to an idea/invention.  It is vital to the success of your product and startup that you secure your IP before taking a product to market. Navigating IP on the path to commercialization can be a challenge, and we highly recommend that you consult with a licensed patent attorney to review your IP options and decide what will be the most beneficial for your specific invention.
  3. Build a functional prototype. Having a prototype lets you test the idea, work out any design challenges and research manufacturing partners. Building a prototype will help you validate your product early-on and gain credibility. Completing all of this before seeking fundingif that is your intended goalbrings a new level of credibility to you and your startup. (Not to mention, this preparation also shortens your entire product development timeline.)
  4. Write a business plan. Getting your idea down in writing helps solidify it for yourself and any potential co-founder you invite on board. A business plan will help you focus on a strategy, set clear business objectives, prioritize, track milestones, manage cash flows and secure funding. Many investors want to see a solid business plan before they consider backing a startup.
  5. Apply for an accelerator program. An accelerator program connects you with additional business resources and professional expertise. Consider applying for an accelerator program if you want to scale your startup quickly and get connected with both mentors and investors.

This list is does not cover every single aspect of turning an idea into a startup, but it will certainly get you going in the right direction. As Ron Conway, noted Startup Investor, once said, “Any time is a good time to start a company.”

Interested in an accelerator program? Our Startup Connector manufacturing and commercialization program is now accepting applications. Apply today: www.startup-connector.com

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Startup Connector: Hosting ‘East Meets West 2016’ Conference Event

December 18, 2015
3D Innovations

East Meets West 2016 is the startup event of the year in Hawaii (January 14 & 15) – bringing together investors and entrepreneurs 
from Asia, 
Hawaii and North America. EMW’16 features amazing international speakers, deep-dive learning opportunities, and ample networking in a tropical Startup Paradise.”

StartupConnectorlogoStartup Connector, Hawaii’s only Hardware Manufacturing accelerator, will be hosting the Hackers Affinity dinner on January 14th following the first day of the East Meets West conference. Get a chance to sit down and talk with Gang Lu – #1 tech blogger in China, Paul Ford – Hacker and entrepreneur / community builder extraordinaire, and Cyril Ebersweiler – Founder #1 hardware accelerator in the world. Stay tuned for more details!

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Startup Connector Application Now Available

December 11, 2015
3D Innovations

StartupConnectorlogo

Startup Connector, Hawaii’s new manufacturing business accelerator, is now accepting applications for 2016.

What is Startup Connector? Startup Connector is a Manufacturing Accelerator (located in Honolulu, Hawaii) that supports hardware startups. Accelerator programs are time-specific, mentorship-driven programs designed to connect startups with critical early-stage product development resources.

What startup programs are available? The entire Startup Connector manufacturing and commercialization program focuses on providing an in-depth and highly technical 10 week program to support companies who are ready to commercialize their products. There are two 10 week tracks in which inventors and entrepreneurs can apply. Track 1 is the “Business Startup Program” and covers all of the basics (and more) in relation to launching a product. Track 2  is the “Design/Manufacturing Program” and delves into the world of product development and manufacturing.

What exactly do the two business tracks cover?

Track 1: Business Startup Program

  • Startup Basics – Lean Startups
  • Market Assessment
  • Financing/Capital/VC models
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Startup Case Studies – Lessons Learned
  • Financial Model
  • Go to market strategies
  • IP Assistance (Patent + Licensing)
  • Certification preparation (UL, FCC, FDA, CE, etc.)

Track 2: Design/Manufacturing Program

  • Product Development
  • Engineering/Design practices
  • Design process & methodology
  • Design For Manufacturing (DFM)
  • Prototyping
  • Packaging Design/Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Introduction to manufacturers (site visit to China or U.S.)

How do I apply? The entire application process is completed on the Startup Connector website. You simply pick the track that you would like to apply for and fill out the corresponding application.

For additional information about Startup Connector, please visit the website: www.startup-connector.com. If you have questions related to the Startup Connector application process please email info@startup-connector.com

Read more about Startup Connector on our blog, “New Adventures with Startup Connector”.

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3D Innovations is a Product Development Company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

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Connect with us on TwitterFacebook & LinkedIn today