As Rev: Ithaca Startup Work’s Hardware Accelerator continues, teams are starting to apply the skills and tools they learned during Skills Camp. The second week of the program is the kickoff for Sprint 1: “Feasibility.” During this sprint, teams will focus on determining if their product or service is economically feasible. The teams will seek out members of their target market and conduct customer interviews. They will take what they learn and make adjustments to their prototypes and business plans.
During the Hardware Accelerator, teams have exclusive access to Rev: Ithaca Startup Work’s state of the art hardware shop complete with cutting-edge tools and resources to build and improve their prototypes.
Early in the week, Ken Rother, director and program lead of the Hardware Accelerator, kick-started the customer discovery process by working with teams to create their business model canvases. Business model canvases are an invaluable, visual tool for startups to test out different business models without wasting capital or overcomplicating their approach. After mapping out initial business models, the teams started to narrow down their target markets and reach out to individuals in those markets to schedule interviews and learn more about their challenges.
To help get everyone’s creative juices flowing, Xanthe Matychak, Assistant Director of the Hardware Accelerator, facilitated a storyboarding exercise. She showed teams various ways to draw and sketch out prototype plans, focusing on design aesthetics.
Teams also got to participate in one of the most formative aspects of the Hardware Accelerator – cohort presentations. Several times during the Accelerator, teams have the opportunity to present to mentors and peers about their prototypes and business plans. The honest and direct feedback from the presentations forces teams to see other perspectives, identify weaknesses, and generate many new ideas.
Keep up with the latest Hardware Accelerator happenings on our blog and save the date for the big Hardware Demo Day at Rev on Thursday, August 9, 2018. RSVP to save your spot.