WE RUN PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND ARE CURRENTLY REVIEWING APPLICATIONS.
Applications are Due April 30
WE TAKE AN EXTREMELY PRAGMATIC APPROACH SO THAT YOU GET YOUR PRODUCT TO MARKET FAST
QUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS
Who is behind that madness?
Blame Cyril Ebersweiler and Sean O’Sullivan for this.
How does the HAX program work?
The HAX program takes teams with hardware prototypes and turns them into functional, sustainable companies. We recruit 15 teams of 2-5 entrepreneurs who have a concept or an early prototype for a high-growth startup.
The teams go through a competitive application process and agree to locate themselves in Shenzhen for the duration of the program. Over fifteen weeks, they will build and refine their prototype product, launch to an initial group of customers (generally via crowdfunding), and test their delivery and/or business models. During the last two weeks, each startup creates a polished company pitch and demo to present to press, investors and potential partners at HAX Demo Day in the Bay Area.
Where is the office??
We are located in the heart of worldwide electronics and manufacturing: Hua Qiang Bei.
What can the HAX program offer me?
We’ll help you launch your company and increase its chances of success. Specifically:
- Providing initial funding for you to develop your business plan and build enough of a demo, prototype or beta product, in order to launch your product on a crowdfunding campaign or generate revenue. That’s up to $100,000 per company.
- Providing in-house manufacturing and engineering expertise to assist you on the hardware side of your project.
- Helping you create your company, its business model, positioning, branding and product design all the way through launch and manufacturing.
- Connecting you with potential investors and strategic partners, as well as advisors and press.
- Introducing you to world-class mentors and alumni who have expertise in starting companies, developing innovative consumer products, and creatively marketing those products to millions of conumers. These will be some of the most valuable connections you’ll make as an entrepreneur.
We expect some (well, most) HAX companies to get to revenue at the close of the initial program. We’ll organize that process and guide you through it. Some companies may seek substantial funding while others may require a smaller amount to be successful. We like the self-funding route. We’ll help you identify your problems, understand your options, and think through any difficult decisions you may face.
What does the team look like?
The team is composed of 12 full time experts: Cyril Ebersweiler is a venture partner with SOS and Managing Director of HAX, Duncan Turner will be your day-to-day ass kicker, and Ben Joffe will challenge your positioning. You’ll interact with Qiyu (office manager), Sally (sourcing), Rong (design), Atommann (engineer in residence), Peter (Chief Manufacturing) and Steve (marketing) as needed. Our advisors will be available any time when it comes to tech (Zach Smith, Bunnie Huang) or business (Stephen Forte, Shawn Broderick).
How much equity does HAX take?
Teams that accept an invitation to participate in HAX Accelerator give up 6% (if you pick $25k) to 9% (if you pick $100k) of common stock in exchange for participating.
How do I apply for the HAX program?
The application for the HAX program is available here.
When is the application deadline?
We are currently selecting the Winter 2016 batch and the deadline to apply is November 11th! It is advantageous to apply early in order to provide the HAX Accelerator team sufficient time to review your application. However, early applications do not receive higher priority or guarantee acceptance.
I already have funding, can I still apply?
Absolutely, it’s not at all uncommon. In your application, please specify the nature of your previous funding.
How do you choose which companies are accepted into the HAX program?
We will choose great founders who are working on ideas that solve real problems or create a meaningful change to our current technological state. It’s all about the team and the market opportunity.
The best ways to strengthen your application are: round out your team with business, technical, and other necessary skills, make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application, and show us that you are passionate and that you’ve really thought about your business. Getting into the HAX program is hard. We will only accept the best startups.
What kind of teams are you looking for?
Mainly teams that have a working prototype in the consumer hardware space, but also B2B or robotics. Things we like in no particular order:
- Consumer devices in all fields (health, fitness, travel…)
- Gadgets / Toys of a disruptive nature
- Consumer electronics with a software ecosystem
- B2B devices
- Media and Entertainment
- Robotics, Bionics
- Environmental impact
- Crazy stuff
Do I need to have prior start-up experience?
No experience required. We just ask that you’re passionate about your idea and willing to work hard at making it a reality.
Do I need to be in the Shenzhen and then the Valley during the program?
Yes. Your team needs to be based in those cities throughout the duration of the program. It’s the best way for us to help you during this critical period of growth!
Does the HAX program provide housing?
No. However, we will be able to offer advice on finding living arrangements and put you in touch with the other teams so that you might make arrangements together. Where you live is up to you. China is fun.
How can we deal with visas?
While you will have to apply personally to get the requested temporary visas (eventually both US and China), we will provide invitation letters where necessary in order to make the process less painful.
I have been running my company for a year, can I still apply?
Yes. It’s very likely that you will already have an early prototype of your product ready to demonstrate, and many applicants have already launched early versions of their products.
What happens at the end of the HAX program, am I on my own?
No. The HAX experience doesn’t stop at the end of the initial program. We will continue to help as you move forward with your startup. There’s a lot that has to come together to turn a great idea into a great company — resources, talent, marketing, sales, partnerships, etc. We’ll be there to help as you take those important next steps. Remember, we succeed only if you succeed.
How much access will we get to the mentors?
Different mentors will be coming in and out of the HAX space at different times. Some won’t be physically present but will be available via email, phone, video chat, and forums. Some will interact once in a while, some every day. We’ll be working on setting up office hours so everyone can get some one-on-one time, and we hope to have workshops with mentors as they are available.
What’s in your workshop?
- Laser Cutter
- SMT Oven
- CNC Machine
- Pick and Place Machine
- 3D printer
- Basic Machine Toolbench
- Spectrum Analyser
- AC Power
Am I expected to keep my company in Shenzhen after the program ends?
No. However, you will have a strong operation basis for your business to scale, and lifetime relationships in that part of the world. You should be near your customers, ideally. But alums are always around and we have extra desks for you to use during your subsequent stays in China.
What’s expected of me during the HAX program?
We can’t tell you what to do. This is your company, after all. The only obligation is to be physically present and participate in all the sessions offered by the program.
You’re expected to work hard, and come out on the other side with something better than what you started with.
What does this mean? At the end of the program, you’ll present your ideas to investors, partners and possibly prospective customers. You should have a compelling product and presentation to deliver in hopes of acquiring additional funding.