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BUS 42 — Hardware Startups

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Date(s): Apr 4—May 9
Duration: 5 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 17
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $305
Format: On-campus course
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on April 25
Formation and funding of hardware companies have accelerated dramatically over the last few years. You could be the founder of the next Pebble or Tile. This course will give you the tools and knowledge that are unique to hardware. The approach will be interactive with extensive question-and-answer and discussion. We will start by showing how to cost-effectively protect your idea for a product by writing your own provisional patent. We will then dive deeply into how to create a financial model for your hardware venture, emphasizing the impact of inventory and sales model on income and cash flow. We will discuss how to decide whether and when to raise money through crowdfunding (for example, Kickstarter and Indiegogo), and when to use traditional fundraising sources like venture capital. An entire class session will be dedicated to contract manufacturing and logistics. We will also discuss warranty, customer support, and field service.

The course will be helpful if your company will sell to consumers (B2C) or to other companies (B2B), but the emphasis will be on building consumer-facing products. This course is suitable for those who have previously started software or service companies, and for those new to entrepreneurship.

Joe Augenbraun, Entrepreneur

Joe Augenbraun founded several hardware-focused technology companies, including Neato Robotics. He has brought multiple mass-market consumer hardware products from concept and design to manufacturing and distribution. He holds more than twenty-five US patents. He received an MS in management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks