Hardware Trends in 2018: A VC Perspective

Hardware Trends in 2018: A VC Perspective

See what five experts in their fields have to say regarding upcoming hardware trends for this year and beyond.

Top Takeaways

1. How do you sell to baby boomers?

What's the bottom line? That's the core thing that they (baby boomer business buyers, not consumers) care about, not speed. Secondly, there has to be an easy way for them to adopt a pilot. Don't tell them in your pitch that they need to roll the thing out in their factories tomorrow. Have someone on your team who is a credible baby boomer. It's hard for a young person to come in front of a baby boomer and tell them they've been running their business wrong for years. But all in all, more legacy companies are interested in startups and young entrepreneurs, and want to learn about the startup ecosystem. 

2. The 1-2-3 Rule

Whenever you're pitching or speaking to a crowd, use the 1-2-3 rule. It all comes down to three things (whatever you're talking about), you say, and then rattle off your three things. Those are the three things that people will remember most when they think back on your conversation. 

3. Technology as a Service

As technology becomes more acceptable as a service, those service-technologies that thrive will do two things. They will be both cost-effective and they will improve the life of a human. What is the reward that your product or service will bring to the end user? What is going to make them want to keep paying to receive that service over and over again? 

4. Know Your Investor

Think of your relationship with your investor as a marriage. You would never marry someone you know nothing about. Do your due diligence and investigate your investor thoroughly, and vet them, so that you can profit from a long and fruitful relationship with that organization or person. However, also keep in mind that one size does not fit all, so one type of investor for one startup, might not be the right type of investor for you. 

5. Showing Product/Service Value

As you prove your value to a potential investor, there are many creative and cost-effective ways you can do so. However, the bottom line is, you're going to have to find someone who is willing to help pay for the cost of proving your value further (through testing, prototypes and etc.), someone who believes in the development and evolution of your hardware. As you think of creative ways to prove your product value, also take into consideration the lifecycle of your hardware service, and how it changes over time.

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About The Speakers

Alastair Trueger

Alastair Trueger

Investor & Founder at Creative Ventures

Alastair Trueger is a entrepreneur and investor who's come to San Francisco via the UK, India and the Philippines. He is fascinated by the promise of technology and how it interacts with emerging markets here in the US and abroad. Recently, He and his partners founded Creative Ventures, a macro focused venture firm investing in industry, agriculture and health. He is also a relatively recent MBA where he was president of the Entrepreneur's Association. Before, He built a startup in the luxury space, did venture capital for a family office in the UK, operations in the Philippines, and built the digital brand for a seventeen billion dollar firm in India. He also consult for family offices in Asia, the US, and the UK.

Ashish Aggarwal

Ashish Aggarwal

Principal at Grishin Robotics

Ashish invests in early-stage companies in Robotics, Connected Devices, AI/ML, and Frontier Technologies across the complete stack at Grishin Robotics. Before that, Ashish led strategic corporate acquisitions, investments, and divestitures for Opera Software where he oversaw transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Ashish also worked in marketing analytics for consumer and enterprise products at Dell in Austin Texas. At Yahoo! Ashish built large-scale enterprise infrastructure for advertising products. He led service-engineering teams to design dev-ops systems and architected complex advertising systems. He has also worked as an investor for OCA Ventures, a venture capital fund based in Chicago Illinois. Ashish is a Special Advisor for Mind The Bridge Foundation, a non-profit that runs programs to support all actors in entrepreneurial ecosystems. He led the selection of growth stage companies as part of Startup Europe Partnership, an integrated pan-European platform to help the best startups emerge from these local ecosystems and scale-up. Ashish actively mentors entrepreneurs from various accelerator programs across the world. Ashish has lived and worked in the US, China, UK, and India, and has conducted business globally. He started two companies for the Indian market, one in e-commerce and the other in social live TV space.

Mary Vincent

Mary Vincent

Health Tech Founder & EIR SK Telecom

Over 13 years leading Technology Product and System Development across multiple industries spanning software to hardware working in diverse environments where I have been successful in both enterprise and startups. Advises global technology, lifescience and investment companies i.e. SK Telecom.

Ren Du

Managing Director at Heuristic Capital

Ren Du is the Managing Director at Heuristic Capital, a hardware focused early stage VC fund. As a physician turned investor, Ren invests in disruptive technologies to solve long lasting pain points in traditional industries and assists companies cross the hurdles of prototyping, financing, manufacturing, and business building. Ren holds M.D. degree from Sichuan University and M.P.H degree from Yale University.

David Mitroff

David Mitroff

Business Consultant & Marketing Expert at Piedmont Avenue Consulting

Business Consultant, Marketing Expert and Professional Speaker who helps clients create brand awareness, generate leads and strengthen customer loyalty. Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc. (www.PiedmontAve.com) is a San Francisco Bay Area business process consulting firm specializing in leveraging new technology for business development and marketing. We integrate Google, Salesforce, Constant Contact, Yelp, Facebook, and other new technology solutions with businesses to improve productivity, monitor performance, and expand marketplace presence. Our clients include restaurants, hotels, law firms, financial services firms, high-growth start-up companies, real estate agencies, individual entrepreneurs, retail stores and other diverse organizations. Dr. Mitroff works with his consulting clients along with delivering keynote talks and workshops all over the world.

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