Hardware Cup

Innovation Works’ AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup and IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization advancing technology for humanity, have teamed up to create an evening for entrepreneurs, technical professionals, the startup community, and corporates to explore how diversity and inclusion are key to entrepreneurial success, and to celebrate hardware startup companies from around the world. The program is part of the IEEE Entrepreneurship IEEE N3XT® event series and the final event of the 2018 AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup.

Keynotes will feature Dr. Judith Williams, former head of Global Diversity at Dropbox and founder of Magic Deer Consulting as well as Kelly Hoey, serial entrepreneur, author of Build Your Dream Network; and 1 of Forbes 5’ Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship. The talks will focus on culture, diversity, and inclusion in the scaling startup environment.

The keynotes will be followed by a fireside chat where the issues raised by Dr. Williams and Ms. Hoey will be discussed in depth by both speakers and audience as well as a panel including Dillan DiGiovanni, integrative health coach, speaker, and writer; and Alicia Varughese, Investment Associate with Life Sciences Greenhouse in Pittsburgh.

This will be followed by the International Finals of the AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup. Now in its fourth year, the Cup highlights promising physical product companies around the nation and globe. The Cup capitalizes on the growth of the hardware sector, and is set in Pittsburgh, the epicenter of hardware and robotics. Six companies will each give a four-minute pitch and have a four-minute Q&A with a panel of seasoned investor-judges, and one team will go home with a $50,000 investment from Startbot.

Listen to a TechVibe Radio podcast with the Hardware Cup.

The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Ace Hotel in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. While tickets are free, registration is required.

US regional finalists include: ● Velocity Robotics (Pittsburgh): Connected power tools for contractors to improve worksite productivity in construction ● Sleepbox (Boston): tech-driven hospitality experience with modular, stand-alone hotel rooms ● Lilu (New York City): automated pumping bra, that mimics breast massage and compression techniques to increase output ● Somatic Labs (Phoenix): haptic tech that enables any wearable device to deliver detailed sensations that move across a user’s skin to convey directions, commands, and alerts ● Leo Aerospace (LA): dedicated launch for microsatellites to space from a high-altitude balloon ● Neopenda (Chicago): wireless vital signs monitor for newborns in overcrowded, understaffed health facilities in emerging markets

International finalists include: ● Hachitama (Japan): IoT litter box for cats to identify early symptoms of kidney failure ● Lumir (South Korea): efficient LED lamp powered by affordable cooking oil for brighter light and lower cost ● EZMEMS (Israel): disposable polymer-based MEMS sensors for medical environments ● Plus SmartShopping and Challenergy as runners up from Japan

“We are thrilled to highlight these impressive early-stage startups from around the globe and connect them to a massive network of investor, entrepreneurs, and corporate partners,” explains Afshan Khan, Executive in Residence at Innovation Works and Manufacturing Program Manager at AlphaLab Gear. “Our commitment to inclusive and diverse ideas, products, and teams has never been stronger, and teaming up with IEEE Entrepreneurship to hold an event that focuses on these ideals as been a fantastic experience.”

“IEEE Entrepreneurship launched the IEEE N3XT® event series with a focus on the spirit of frontier tech engineering-driven entrepreneurship. Event the name ‘next,’ includes the ‘3’ to represent our three event pillars of ideas, innovation, and inspiration.” explained Allan Tear, 2017 Chair of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee, “Collaborating with a future-focused engineering competition event such as the Hardware Cup that aligns with the IEEE N3XT® mission has been a great opportunity for both organizations to expand our reach.”

The IEEE N3XT® Frontier Tech Keynotes & AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup are sponsored by Bosch, Startbot VC, Dassault Systèmes’ SOLIDWORKS brand, Philips, Mercer Insurance, and Fox Rothschild LLP.