Synapse partnered with Seattle hardware startup cofounder Marc Barros, and hosted the Seattle Hardware Workshop for the third year in a row. This year Hardware Workshop is being held in 4 cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. Started five years ago as a way to give back to the startup community, Hardware Workshop has helped hundreds of hardware companies develop real products.
Started five years ago as a way to give back to the startup community, Hardware Workshop has helped hundreds of hardware companies develop real products.
2017 was the first year where Seattle’s Hardware Workshop had more female presenters than male presenters! Synapse was proud to contribute to those diversity numbers: Martine Stillman (Mechanical Engineering Program Lead) and Kathy Fedirchuk (Product Quality Engineer) presented on Prototyping: How to do it (and how to do better). Synapse Account Directors led interested attendees on tours of the office, sharing products that we’ve worked on and providing a glimpse into the Synapse office culture.
Day 2 was a bit more relaxed, but the hardware entrepreneurs were ready to learn! Eric Klein (Lemnos Labs) kicked things off with a discussion on the importance of sales and hiring the right sales people. Bolt, a venture capital firm designed for hardware, sent two speakers from Boston, Chris Quintero and Ben Einstein. Chris dove into funding a hardware startup, while Ben kept it lighter, discussing the importance of a great team and the dos and don’ts of building your A-Team. Marc finished off the day chatting with the Hardware Workshop audience about their products and lessons that they’ve learned along the way. The day ended with (some more Pico Brew) a founder panel, where Kyle Hart (Rhino Camera Gear), Michele Mehl (Excy), and Brian Pape (Miir) discussed their founder woes and some of their favorite startup moments.
Synapse has a long history of assisting startups to achieve their goals, often augmenting their hard science with our product development expertise.
Hardware is hard. Synapse has a long history of assisting startups to achieve their goals, often augmenting their hard science with our product development expertise. Hardware Workshop is a great way for our engineers to connect with these startups all at once and hopefully share some tools so they can develop great products down the road! This workshop was also an important reminder that so many different things go into making a successful business: everything from customer support, to patent, to a business plan can make or break your business. Hearing from such a variety of speakers was an amazing opportunity for attendees to leave with a well-rounded view of hardware startups!
We believe that connecting products to the Internet and otherwise adding digital “smarts” to them can enable powerful new functionality and make products much more useful to their users. That being said, we care deeply about the user experience of physical products. We feel strongly that the industrial design and user experience of a product should be constricted as little as possible by the addition of digital technology. That’s why we started exploring the concept of reactive physical control interfaces (RPCIs)—physical controls that self-actuate in response to secondary digital control.
Utilities like electricity are crucial during emergencies, but they can also be the cause. So what can we do to prevent potential catastrophes and be prepared when they do happen? With wildfires ravaging our local cities, we decided to take a look at what technologies like edge AI, inductive energy harvesting, and secure long-range wireless mesh networks could do to help paint a more detailed picture for utilities of the current status of their electrical infrastructure.
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Synapse is a product development firm. We work with the best companies in the world to drive innovation and introduce cutting-edge devices that positively impact our lives. Fueled by a desire to solve complex engineering challenges, we develop products that transform brands and accelerate advances in technology.