Last year we attended four major events for new companies and startups: Slush 2016 in Finland, it was the main startup event in Europe; Wolves Summit and In-Ference conferences in Poland; and the Startup of the Year 2016, a competition of new high-tech projects in Belarus. Participation in such events helps us improve our partnership with hardware startups which turn to us for technical and organizational support.
Another advantage that startup conferences offer is an opportunity to follow technology trends for partnering with well-established product companies that seek to create new popular devices. According to our observations, the most important trends of the year 2016 are the Internet of Things (IoT) and medical gadgets (medtech).
Once again, we would like to stress that there are still a lot fewer hardware startups than software startups because hardware development requires more experience and investment, but carries more risks. This was brought up by John Biggs, editor of TechCrunch, in his speech: he spoke in front of the audience at the In-Ference meetup in Wroclaw where out of 20 projects represented only one was a hardware startup.
We agree with the statements of experts who observe that investment in hardware startups is growing but fewer and fewer investors are ready to support teams without a good prototype, clear vision of their product or business model. Our experience tells us that hardware startups need technical support at the production stage in order to prepare correct documentation for launching a pilot batch.
In 2016, Promwad experts acted as mentors for three hardware startups: R-NOX (ZIVE dosimeter), Pleasier (keyboard touchpad) and Moolar (SLA-3D office printer). In 2017, we will extend this list through partnership with venture funds and accelerators which use our experience in electronics development and production to support technology startups.