PCH’s Highway1 to accelerate 12 hardware start-ups with up to $100k each

6 May 2016

If you are a compelling hardware start-up and you want to attract up to $100,000 in investment, Liam Casey's Highway1 accelerator wants you

PCH’s San Francisco accelerator Highway1 has issued a call for between eight and 12 promising hardware start-ups to vie for its autumn 2016 programme. Highway1 invests $50,000-$100,000 in each start-up in exchange for equity.

Cork-headquartered PCH was founded by Liam Casey in 1996 and the company is the go-to hardware partner of choice for some of the world’s biggest technology brands.

PCH International has revenues of more than $1bn a year and masterminds the design, manufacture and distribution of hardware, from the initial online order to the delivery at the customer’s door, anywhere in the world. The company employs 2,800 people worldwide, including 80 people in Cork.

‘Highway1 is becoming known as the most rigorous hardware programme in the world, and we are very proud of our graduates’

Highway1 is an intense, four-month immersion programme designed to accelerate hardware start-ups.

Passion to succeed

Located in Highway1’s 10,000sq ft facility in San Francisco, the programme includes full-time engineering support; 24/7 access to on-site prototyping labs; access to a network of industrial designers and other key mentors; a trip to Shenzhen, China, to learn about supply chain and manufacturing, and marketing, retail and funding support.

Previous Irish Highway1 graduates include Drop – the iPad-connected kitchen scale that is currently available in the Apple Store – and Ayda, a wearable fertility tracker.

“At Highway1, we look for the best entrepreneurs who have the passion and talent to succeed, and we get them to the next level, giving them the tools needed to appeal to investors, and grow their companies,” explained Highway1 VP Brady Forrest.

“Highway1 is becoming known as the most rigorous hardware programme in the world, and we are very proud of our graduates.”

The deadline to apply for the autumn 2016 programme is 23 May.

Interested start-ups can join Brady Forrest for a live chat on Google Hangouts on Thursday (12 May) at 5pm UTC (6pm IST).

San Francisco bridge image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years