The Hardware Startups Ecosystem in San Francisco

SF Hardware Startups: the Birth of an Ecosystem

Posted By on Nov 10, 2011 |

An ecosystem of hardware startups is emerging in the Bay Area. We are glad to meet entrepreneurs, investors and mentors sharing their enthusiasm and projects with us. The digital fabrication movement – 3D printing is one of the key tools of it – is at its beginning. It means a lot for an online 3D printing platform like Sculpteo… and for you, as an entrepreneur, designer, engineer!

We recently met Jeremy Conrad, a former MIT student and NASA spacesuit engineer. Since May, he is also the co-founder of Lemnos Labs, a new investment fund and incubator interested in early-stage hardware startups. By this winter, 4 or 5 startups should receive funding (up to $50K) and mentorship from experts in the field.

It’s no surprise that investors and entrepreneurs have begun to realize the exceptional advantages of digital fabrication: lower fabrication costs (thanks to online fabrication services and maker spaces), faster prototyping, highly custom products, social sharing features (3D design sharing platform like Sculpteo, Endlessforms, Thingiverse,…). More and more early-stage startups are developing hardware products and in a wide range of application areas.

In the Dogpatch area on the Bay side of San Francisco, old factories have been transformed into huge warehouse workspaces and offices. Lots of hardware startups have moved there, thanks to the low space rents and, most of all, the highly creative ecosystem.

A few days ago, we met two of these hardware startups using the digital fabrication tools to create amazing products. Jellyfish Art specializes in pet jellyfishes (yes!) and customized aquariums. They make aquariums that let the light create amazing jellyfish shapes.

DODOcase is one of these hardware startups success stories. Their handmade iPad cases inspired by traditional bookbinding technique are designed and made locally. Every month, they sell thousands of these customised cases.

Hardware Startups now have their meetup in the Bay Area. If you haven’t registered yet, come tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 10th, for the second SF Hardware Startup Meetup. Sculpteo will be there to present its platform and 3D printing services for entrepreneurs! We look forward to meeting you!

Do you know hardware startups using 3D printing? Do you think the digital fabrication enables a new entrepreneur scene to emerge?

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