The twenty projects that won this year’s Hackaday Prize bootstrap competition have just been certified. The purpose of this is to help great examples of early entries offset the cost that goes into prototyping as they work on their projects throughout the summer.
We know this has had a big impact on entries in the past. When working on hard projects it’s easy to doubt yourself, but you can usually get over that with just a bit of outside validation. Alex Williams encountered this when he first entered his Open Source Under Water Glider into the 2017 Hackaday Prize. He wanted to show off his work but didn’t think there’d be much interest and wasn’t sure if he’d continue development. He was shocked by the number of people who were excited about it, continued working feverishly on it, and went on to win the grand prize.
You’ll find all 20 bootstrap winners listed below, but we wanted to feature a couple of examples to show the kind of work that is happening during the Hackady Prize. The results of the bootstrap competition have no bearing on the top prizes: they are all still up for grabs, so enter your project today!
Continue reading “Meet The Bootstrap Winners Of The 2019 Hackaday Prize”
The Hackaday Prize invites everyone to focus on specific challenges with encouragement of prize money and motivation of deadlines. But what happens after the award ceremony? While some creators are happy just to share their ideas, many projects need to get into the real world to make their full impact. Several past prize winners have used their award as seed money to start production and go into business. Recognizing this as something worth supporting, a new addition this year is Tindie’s Project to Product program.
Tindie is a marketplace for makers to sell to other makers, hence a natural place for Hackaday.io projects to find an audience. (And many have found success doing so.) For Project to Product, two Hackaday Prize semifinalists will receive support from mentors to transition their hand crafted project into something that can be produced in quantity. In addition to engineering support, there’s also funding (above and beyond their prize winnings) towards their first production run. In exchange, Tindie asks for the first production run to be sold exclusively on Tindie marketplace.
Of course, some entries are ahead of the curve and already available on Tindie, like Reflowduino and Hexabitz. We know there are more creators with ambition to do the same, putting in effort cleaning up their design and sorting out their BOM (Bill of Materials) towards production. They’ve done a lot of work, and we hope Tindie can give them that final push. They see their invention become reality, Tindie gets cool new exclusive products for the marketplace, and the rest of us can buy some to play with. Everyone wins.
If this sounds like something you want to join in as a creator, there’s still time. The final Musical Instrument Challenge is accepting entries for one more week. Better hurry!
(Disclaimeroo: Supplyframe, which owns Hackaday and is a sponsor of the Prize, also owns Tindie.)
Root Ventures just announced it has raised a second fund and is in search of startups to invest the $76,726,900 they now have burning a hole on their balance sheet. Their first fund of $31,415,926.53 went to some very cool hardware companies like Shaper, Particle, Plethora, and Prynt. For those keeping score, the first fund is Pi and the second is the speed of sound — it’s a geeky engineer thing.
This is a seed fund, and founding partner Avidan Ross described their role in your company as being the world’s “greatest sherpa to take you on a really tumultuous path”. That path is one of building a product around which a great company can arise. Repeatedly during the conference call with Hackaday, Avidan stressed that what makes Root Ventures stand out is that the partners in the firm are themselves engineers and have hardware backgrounds. For instance, Avidan spoke at the 2016 Hackaday Superconference about his 45-second pizza oven and other food/automation hacks. Partner Chrissy Meyer was an engineering manager at Apple and led hardware programs at Square, before founding a vehicle technology startup. Their point is that if you’re going to entrust part of your company to someone, it’s nice if they have the background to understand it.
Whether or not you have a startup in the works, it’s interesting to know what the keepers of the cash are looking for. Avidan described this as a engineering-heavy seed fund, but stopped short of calling it a hardware seed fund, using the more coy term “hard-tech fund” although more than half of the portfolio companies already on board are building new, original hardware. It’s impossible to nail down exactly what the fund is seeking — they’ll know it when they see it — but we had a nice conversation of some of the future trends he has in mind.
While economies of scale in the smartphone industry delivered low cost sensors such as accelerometers, GPS, and cameras, along with connectivity, the next wave may be from the self-driving industry. Avidan foresees rising availability of ASICs, specialized GPUs, and the sensing hardware currently under heavy R&D in the automotive industry. His take is that not only will this be a hardware boon for startups, but the machine learning aspects of it will produce both talent and opportunity for new companies.
Pull together those proofs of concept and get your presentation decks ready. That $76 million is just waiting for a great idea to come along. If you make it big, Hackaday still wants an early look at your awesome new hardware!
Getting a project off the ground often means an up-front investment in parts. Hackaday is upping our efforts to smooth out that obstacle for those who want to Build Something That Matters. Seed funding for the 2018 Hackaday Prize is simple, enter your Open Hardware design, share it far and wide so that a lot of people will show their admiration with a ‘like’ on the project page. If you’re in the Prize competition, you get a dollar for each like to help jump-start the build phase. If you haven’t entered, you get to encourage and reward the projects that inspire you most.
This year has started off like a rocket. We’ve already passed the $4,000 seed funding limit and you still have until a week from Monday to take part in this seed funding. With so much excitement around this first challenge, Supplyframe, Hackaday’s parent company, is raising the pot to a total of $6,000. That means there’s more up for grabs. Enter your project now. If you’ve already done that, polish up your presentation and show it around to your friends and on social media. Entries with the most likes will get a dollar for every like up to $200 max, or until we undoubtedly reach the new limit once again. Don’t delay, it’s time to Build Something that Matters!
Seed funding is a big deal as we found out with Alex Williams, the 2018 Grand Prize Winner. He mentioned that the money really helped him with early build costs, and the interest from the community inspired him to keep up development throughout the contest. Help us give away this extra funding and inspire the next generation of finalists by commenting on and upvoting great entries!
Getting a project off the ground often means an up-front investment in parts. Hackaday is upping our efforts to smooth out that obstacle for those who want to Build Something That Matters. Seed funding for the 2017 Hackaday Prize is simple, enter your design plans, share it far and wide so that a lot of people will show their admiration with a ‘like’ on the project page. You get a dollar for each like to help jump-start the build phase.
This year has started off like a rocket. Last week we passed the $4000 seed funding limit even though there’s still two weeks left in the Design Your Concept round. We’re raising the pot to a total of $6000. That means there’s more up for grabs. Enter your project now. If you’ve already done that, polish up your presentation and show it around to your friends and on social media. You’ll get a dollar for every like up to $200 max, or until we undoubtedly reach the new limit once again. Don’t delay, it’s time to Build Something that Matters!