Turning a product idea into a real, finished piece of hardware takes a great deal of hard work -- just ask the folks behind the Zano mini-drone. A few years ago, an independent study even found that nine percent of crowdfunding projects never even deliver. Now, Kickstarter is finally doing something about the problem with a new program called Hardware Studio that aims to coach new inventors and would-be entrepreneurs through the ins and outs of building a working product they can bring to market.
The Hardware Studio is a partnership between project management consultants Dragon Innovation (which helped shepherd projects like Pebble and MakerBot) and supply chain company Avnet. Together the three companies will lend their expertise on crowdfunding, prototyping, scaling, manufacturing and more. There are parts to the Hardware Studio: The first is a free toolkit with webinars, tools, tutorials and community resources that anyone can access. The second is a more hands-on, application-based Hardware Studio Connection that gives creators direct access to the experts at Dragon and Avnet, as well as discounted pricing and additional support.
Kickstarter is actually has a little bit of catching up to do in this area. Last year, competing crowdfunding site Indiegogo cut a deal with Arrow Electronics to give creators preferred pricing as well as design, manufacturing and supply chain consulting. Earlier this year, Indiegogo and IBM also announced creators on its platform could make use of Watson's IoT platform.
The Kickstarter Hardware Studio official launches in September, but eager creators can sign up to be notified once its live.