We were excited to meet the wonderful hardware company participants—from startups and established small and medium-sized businesses (SMB)—that joined us on Asia Innovation Tour 2016 in Shenzhen and Beijing this past April, our third tour, and to learn more about the cool smart, connected devices that they are creating. During the tour we visited factories, including tier-one manufacturers, leading eCommerce and IT brands, incubators, and investors. The tour began with a welcome dinner in Shenzhen to get everyone acquainted.
The selected participants came to us from more than twenty cities (Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Chatsworth, Cologne, Gurgaon, Liège, London, Nairobi, Perm, Pretoria, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sunnyvale, Tartu, and Toronto) and more than a dozen countries (Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Germany, India, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States).
The participants were alumni or are currently taking part in a variety of leading incubators or accelerators including BuildIt, Enchant, HARDWARE.co, Highway1, Make in LA, MIT Media Lab, N15, Orange Fab, Wearable World Labs, and Y Combinator. They are award-winning: Best of CES (Health & Fitness and Biggest Trends), BetaPitch Global, IBM SmartCamp, Oxford Entrepreneurs Tata Ideal Idol, Prototron Fund, The Queen’s Award for International Trade, African Entrepreneurship Award, Shark Tank, and many others. They’ve run very successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Applications for HWTrek Asia Innovation Tour 2017 are open! Learn more and apply here.
Understanding the manufacturing process from industry experts to scale innovation
The HWTrek platform enables digital communication and collaboration between supply chain vendors and the demand side of hardware developers and innovators. The goal is to bridge the gap between the speed of the evolution of Industry 4.0 and the requirements of rapid innovation realization. Supply Chain Service 4.0 connects the dots virtually between hardware developers and the supply chain for the entire lifecycle of a product from ideation to manufacturing, and retail to delighted customers. Beyond the digital, at HWTrek we believe it is also important to make real life connections and Asia Innovation Tour is a significant part of this effort.
“I’ve launched multiple consumer electronics products in the market and I know how incredibly difficult it is to find the right manufacturers and suppliers here that are high quality and that meet the reliability standards,” stated Arun Buduri, Founder and Chief Product Officer of WatchRx. “I’ve been working with HWTrek for six months now—a fantastic experience so far to get connected to the right suppliers through the platform. This trip specifically has been very fruitful in terms of what I am looking for and the kind of strategic partners I need in manufacturing.”
The first leg of Asia Innovation Tour began in Shenzhen where the participants had a chance to view assembly lines and gain firsthand insight into the hardware manufacturing process from leaders in the industry. The tour of manufacturers kicked off at Defond’s facility at in Shenzhen. Defond offers design, co-development, and contract manufacturing services of electro-mechanical modules with a focus on IoT products. Contact Defond directly here.
“We found the Asia Innovation Tour from HWTrek to be a very important platform, linking us to quality startups with solid ideas, designs and projects,” expressed Arthur Chung, Assistant Director – Business Development at Defond Group Ltd. “We were extremely elated to be a part of this well-organized event and look forward to participating again! Congratulations HWTrek on this tour and future tours to come!”
After a tour of Defond’s manufacturing facility, the Asia Innovation Tour bus made its way to T&F Manufacturing, which engages in high-end product manufacturing focusing on smart wearables. Their factory provides automated assembly, mold making, injection molding, leather manufacturing, and SMT as well as OEM/ODM services. Connect with T&F directly here.
“HWTrek helped us to have face-to-face opportunities with overseas creators,” said Susan Wu, Marketing Manager at T&F Manufacturing Co., Ltd. It’s a great support for Chinese manufacturers to show our capabilities to the world. It’s been our honor to participate in Asia Innovation Tour and Meetup Shenzhen to have a chance to communicate with all of you.”
We ended the day with a visit to EMTEK, a third party laboratory providing various qualification testing services, including safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and chemical and physical testing, and other certification services for a wide range of products. Contact EMTEK directly here.
“The HWTrek hardware development ecosystem platform has helped EMTek transition from the traditional testing industry into the online supplier,” explained Christy Pan, Sales Manager at EMTEK. “Now we have more and more opportunities coming from all over the world.”
The second day of the tour began with a meeting at Huaqiang PCB, a top prototype and small quantity PCB manufacturer in China, concentrating on high quality and fast development. Contact Huaqiang directly here.
“It was very valuable to go in person and see, on site, these various manufacturing companies, to go to the sites of these PCB manufacturers and the box designers to see how it works and get some more depth and color-in some of the more abstract things I’d learned about these processes to see it in action,” stated Brad Knox, CEO and Founder of Emoters.
“HWTrek enables manufacturers like us to build close connections with hardware creators,” stated Kwok Tsun, Technical Sales at Huaqiang PCB, “and together we are able to accelerate productization of innovative projects. Through the bridge of the HWTrek platform, we have connected with many creators and learned about their project requirements. HWTrek brought us good market opportunities and introduced us to the latest global product trends. HWTrek provides a new way to connect China’s domestic manufacturers with overseas creators and together we aim to provide more quality services to creators.”
Next up, the tour participants visited Kingbrother Technology. Kingbrother specializes in providing high-end prototyping, quick-turnaround, and small volume PCB manufacturing, as well as CAD design, PCB assembly, testing, IIDM and IEMS services. They had a chance to individually introduce their projects and also be introduced to the capabilities and services offered by Kingbrother from leaders in various business units. Connect with Kingbrother here.
Kiryl Chykeyuk, CEO of Kino-mo: “An amazing experience. The experience so far has been just fantastic, everybody’s enjoyed it. Everybody learned a lot in visits to so many factories, found out so many things that are just impossible to find out in Europe. We developed tech that allows projecting 3D images and video in mid-air. We’re here in China together with HWTrek to find an ODM and here with hopefully to cooperate in the near future with Kingbrother.”
“HWTrek precisely matches the requirements of hardware innovators and professional supply chain industry experts in a new way of helping ideas to succeed to become real,” said Sammi Wu, Vice President at Kingbrother. “Via the good experience on the HWTrek platform, Kingbrother is continually improving its services for innovators.”
“I’m really enjoying this trip with HWTrek. It’s been a blast,” said Zoran Grabovac, CEO of PetBot. “What I really like about this trip with HWTrek is [that] we’ve seen a ton of factories, suppliers, and people that can help us bring this to reality and get into people’s homes and get them connecting with their best friends.” “I am here to source suppliers for manufacturing, more specifically for plastic tooling and trying to bring our product to reality from the prototype stage. We’ve been graciously accepted by HWTrek to join Asia Innovation Tour and it’s been a fantastic show so far. And Kingbrother is really a part of that. It seems they really support startups, especially startups like us who have relatively small volume. We really just want to prove our product, get it into people’s hands, get them using it. And it seems to be a fantastic place to do so.”
Following Kingbrother, the participants visited BYD, which is a Shenzhen based manufacturing company with expertise in rechargeable batteries, handset and computer components, automotive industry, including traditional fuel-powered vehicles and new energy vehicles, solar energy, and more. They provide component sourcing, EMS, and ODM services. Contact BYD directly here.
“We are here looking for manufacturing partners because we just got funded on Kickstarter,” said Ksenia Vinogradova, CEO of FlipFlic. “So now our main purpose is to find a fulfillment partner; I am so glad that we found HWTrek and have seen all the companies here in Shenzhen, China.”
Green Packaging Asia
The intrepid tour participants visited Green Packaging Asia next. GPA provides turn-key packaging solutions for companies around the world. They can handle the concept design. engineering, sampling, testing, brand consistency, logistics, distribution, and all other hurdles that come with the process. Contact GPA directly here.
Adam Melton, CEO at Green Packaging Asia Co., Ltd., had this to say, “My first experience with the HWTrek team and the hardware company founders visiting our operation was great: so full of energy, with detailed questions and excitement to find the right partners for their supply chain. I am sure that this time together will bear much fruit.”
The last company visit of the day brought the participants to Honpe Prototyping, which provides professional prototype manufacturing and product development services for digital communications and medical devices, household appliances, automotive parts, structural parts, plastic and metal components, and assemblies. Connect with Honpe directly here.
“The Asia Innovation Tour and Meetup Shenzhen helped us to promote our prototyping services,” stated Shelly Lai, Sales Manager at Honpe Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. “Thus regardless if they do business with us or not, everybody now understands that we are a prototype manufacturer. All of these companies are either startup companies or established companies with early stage projects, so many will need prototyping service for their new projects. This can bring new business leads.”
Jeff Katz, VP of Engineering Kiwi.Ki: “I have a lot of experience in America and Europe with manufacturing and I have never been to China. The factory tours were absolutely invaluable to anyone who wants to be making things, you need to come to Shenzhen. The best way to do it is with HWTrek.”
HWTrek Meetup Shenzhen
The meetup was attended by a standing room only crowd of 1,000 from the Shenzhen electronics manufacturing and supply chain ecosystem. The event featured presentations by Lucas Wang (CEO, HWTrek) and Jonathan Zhang (Manufacturing Industry Strategy Manager, Autodesk China), and an exclusive augmented reality demo from Asia Innovation Tour alum Raymond Lo (CTO and Co-founder, META Company), and demo pitches from the companies on the tour. Demo Alley allowed the Meetup attendees to connect directly with the tour participants. In addition, a further 2,500 experts from the manufacturing supply chain joined a live WeChat group session to follow along with the Meetup proceedings. The event ended with the opportunity to network with the more than 1,000 manufacturing and supply chain industry experts that attended.
Autodesk Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD/CAM tool for collaborative product development. Fusion 360 combines very fast and easy organic modeling with precise solid modeling, allowing you to make your designs manufacturable.
Keep an eye out for the second part of this post where we will introduce the Beijing leg of HWTrek Asia Innovation Tour Spring 2016.