Teams are nearing the end of Sprint 3: “Prototype & Pitch,” the final sprint of Rev’s Hardware Accelerator. During Weeks 8 & 9, teams focused on fine-tuning their prototype and practiced their final pitch for Hardware Demo Dayon Thursday, August 9, 2018.
On Monday, teams spoke with Clayton Poppe, founder of RIINDand MIT alumni ‘09, who gave teams advice on how to improve a tool people use every day and successfully market their products. RIIND developed a unique pen with an ink-tip extension and retraction mechanism. The unique mechanism is more intuitive and writes smoother than the average pen to improve writing ease and penmanship.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Xanthe Matychak, assistant director of the Hardware Accelerator, hosted a workshop on pitching and exhibiting. From there, teams created their first pitch decks and sketched out plans for their demo day exhibits.
On Thursday, teams spoke with Dirk Swart, founder of Wicked Device LLC and creator of the Air Quality Egg. The Air Quality Egg is a grapefruit-sized device that measures the quality of the air in a room and allows users to compare their data with other users. Currently, Swart’s company is using its recent NSF grantto build out an educational curriculum for students to use the Egg to learn how to interpret data. Swart spoke to teams about his experience creating a LLC and how to market different products under one company name.
During Week 9, teams spoke with Julie Baker, VP and co-founder of URSA Space Systems. URSA Space Systems is a global geospatial intelligence network with headquarters in Ithaca, NY that has recently grown from 25 to 50 employees. Baker talked about strategies for building and maintaining a culture of trust at a growing startup.
On Tuesday, teams learned about different business models from Ken Rother, director of Rev’s Hardware Accelerator, and how to achieve funding for their startups after Rev’s Hardware Accelerator.