Introducing: Hardware Scaleup

There’s a new program here at NextCorps! We are thrilled to announce that we’re the upstate home of Hardware Scaleup.

What is Hardware Scaleup?

Hardware Scaleup is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to accelerate sustainable energy development. The program accelerates clean energy technologies to market by providing entrepreneurs with a rigorous process and the necessary support to quickly and cost-effectively move their hardware from prototype to mass production.

Oftentimes, manufacturing can be the most misunderstood step in launching a new hardware product. Unfortunately, it’s also the most complex, time-consuming, and costly phase in commercializing new tech.

Like building a prototype, establishing manufacturing processes and starting production requires many cycles of iteration and development. This is one area in which entrepreneurs may lack knowledge, experience, and resources. Similarly, manufacturers may also need to develop new in-house capabilities to support production and compliance requirements of emerging technologies. Hardware Scaleup reduces manufacturing risks and challenges through an 18-month comprehensive program that provides three essential services:

  • Insight for Proper Planning – The program begins with an overview of the manufacturing process and the stages that lead to manufacturing maturity. From there, participants will develop a roadmap for creating manufacturing capabilities for their cleantech hardware.
  • Oversight for Ongoing Progress – Participants will receive hands-on support, including weekly meetings with a mentor, regular instructional sessions to help strengthen all aspects of the business, and monthly meetings with the Accountability Board to review progress.
  • Line of Sight for Optimal Resources – Hardware Scaleup will give participants visibility and access to a network of committed partners that can help manufacture and finance the mass production of cleantech hardware.

Who is Hardware Scaleup for?

Hardware Scaleup is designed for entrepreneurs that have a hardware prototype for a clean energy technology and are looking to introduce and ramp up their product availability. If you’re working on hardware solutions for sustainable energy sources, like renewable, solar, geothermal and biomass energy; battery fuel cells; or wind and hydropower, this could be perfect for you.

The program is a competitive, cohort-based program that requires an 18-month commitment. To qualify, you must be a clean energy hardware entrepreneur residing in New York State or be willing to move here, and have a prototype product that is based on customer discovery that “works-like/looks-like” the envisioned product. The technology prototype should be at Technology Readiness Level 3 or above. You must also have financial resources sufficient to sustain your startup and begin the process for manufacturing readiness.  For many, this may be $100,000 or more in accessible funds.

While the program is geared toward clean energy, the curriculum that will be provided will be useful to any startup looking to produce hardware. If you’re interested in attending some of the classes, please let us know.

Key Dates

The application period is open now until Oct. 11 (11:59 PM EDT). Applicants will be selected and notified by Nov. 7. The program will formally kick off on Nov. 13.

How do I apply?

Interested in learning more about Hardware Scaleup? Visit the Hardware Scaleup website for details.

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