Scott Miller believes that we are at the start of a hardware revolution.
And he should know. Miller has over fifteen years experience in the space and was responsible for developing and delivering the next generation of home robotics for iRobot – the company that brought us Roomba. To help make this happen, he and his co-founder Herman Pang have launched a new crowdfunding platform today aimed at making sure that hardware entrepreneurs succeed.
The crowdfunding platform, Dragon Innovation, is a natural extension for the Boston-based manufacturing services firm which has been providing support for Makers since 2009. Dragon Innovation has helped over 100 hardware companies bring their products to life including MakerBot, Orbotix, Romotive and Pebble.
Miller and his team are bringing this experience to the table as a value-add to hardware projects which use their crowdfunding platform. Dragon innovation provides entrepreneurs with tools for planning, funding, making and selling hardware projects. The team will be working closely with those that use their platform to ensure that projects are not only funded but more importantly able to deliver products to the market in a timely manner.
“Hardware entrepreneurs run the risk of running out of money, even with a perceived successful crowdfunding campaign if they haven’t properly calculated the costs behind delivering their project. We can help entrepreneurs avoid these pitfalls because of our deep experience in building hardware,” said Scott N. Miller, founder and CEO, of Dragon Innovation.
Dragon Innovation has also partnered with General Electric’s Idea Works Team, Qualcomm, Arrow Electronics and Freescale to act as a bridge to connect entrepreneurs using their platform with the right individuals on these teams to make their product a reality.
It was the support that Dragon Innovation could provide which attracted Dash Robotics to select this crowdfunding platform over others they were in talks with, Dash Robotics COO and University of Toronto alumni Andrew Gillies told BetaKit. Dash Robotics is one of the first projects to use Dragon Innovation at launch. The company is looking to raise $64,000 to bring their foldable, programmable 6-legged origami robot to the market in 2014.
Gillies explained that they selected Dragon Innovation because of their expertise in sourcing and manufacturing which the team at Dash Robotics were in need of. They found that where other crowdfunding sites provided support mainly to help making sure that the campaign funding page was formatted properly; the Dragon Team really went under the hood and unveiled issues and costs which they weren’t able to find on their own. This helped them better structure their campaign goals to be sure that they were considering all the costs involved to make sure they could deliver.
These services do come at a price. Dragon Innovation charges applicants a one-time cost of $5,000 to undergo a robust planning phase for the project. In addition, the crowdfunding site collects 5% of the project’s funding total as a fee, which is similar to others in the space.
Applications for Dragon Innovation campaigns are currently only being accepted from the USA at this time but Dragon Innovation confirmed that they do have plans to open the platform up North of the border and other areas in the World in the upcoming months. Canadians and residents around the World can participate in funding projects on Dragon Innovation as backers.
Some of the first projects to use Dragon Innovation include:
- Dash Robotics – Dash, an educational robot for the budding engineer, hobbyist, or child looking to explore programmable robots
- Hammerhead – Hammerhead Navigation, the first social navigation tool for bikes
- Infinite Corridor Technology – A flexible, twistable, bendable circuit board, LIMBERboard is an Atmel based, microcontroller board embracing open source design for wearable technology
- Onehundred – Ollie, a perfectly flat, metal multi-purpose tool for quick fixes and projects
- Playtabase – A wearable technology bracelet that allows users to control home electronics using camera-free gesture recognition
- Rest Devices – Mimo, a wearable sensor for infants to help parents monitor a baby’s health and activity
- Weartrons – The Run-n-Read enables reading with ease while on a treadmill, or riding in a moving vehicle
You can check out all of these projects and others looking to raise funds on this new crowdfunding platform by heading on over to Dragon Innovation.