Traditional accelerators primary focus has been to align software companies, particularly mobile and social apps, to the Silicon Valley growth model. That model requires companies to attract vast sums of capital at a very early stage in order to accelerate subscriber growth and consolidate network effects. Thus accelerators function as pitch factories. This model has been immensely successful.
However, it makes little sense for science-oriented companies, particularly life science companies, since network effects are far less relevant and growth cannot be sought until the product is ready. Instead, we propose a startup smelter – a business focused on extracting from high grade ore –great founders and products – the pure metal of highly successful companies.
Science-oriented startups need more support than the 3-4 month, pitch deck focused programs of typical accelerators. Instead, HardTech Labs is a startup smelter – an intensive process extracting successful companies (valuable metal) from our extensive pipeline (high quality ore). Rather than using heat and chemicals, we refine companies to their base element via intensive personal involvement over a year-long program.
Our smelter forges commercially viable companies – bringing teams together from around the world into a collaborative co-working space with integrated hardware prototyping and biotech wet labs. Partners and advisors act as the reductant in perfecting companies’ entrepreneurial and corporate development. Intensive peer mentoring and collaboration lead to additional breakthroughs. – ensuring idea cross-pollination. We have built trust with founders over years of startup mentoring and advisory.
We select clusters of companies working on similar problems, concentrating our mentoring effort. Our extensive connections to universities, research institutions, accelerators and incubators in Europe, Latin America China and Southeast Asia provide rich ore for selection. Our team has long-term personal connections to companies, institutions, investors and individuals facilitating recruitment of top tier founders and companies and the management of startup investment. Our location in San Diego is an epicenter for life science startups and research.
We fund data collection, aggregation and analysis companies in health and agriculture: