Monozukuri Bootcamp #2 is Accepting Applications from Hardware Startups

Monozukuri Bootcamp — where hardware startups polish design for manufacturing with manufacturing experts in Japan — is back! The Cohort #2 will take place from mid July for six weeks with cash investment ($100K — $500K range). Application in on a rolling basis, so if you’re a hardware startup, apply now!

Since our first Monozukuri Bootcamp program last summer, FabFoundry has extended the partnership with Makers Boot Camp (MBC), a Kyoto-based hardware accelerator backed by 100+ local factories, to deliver more flexible ways to help hardware startups succeed.

We look for hardware startups seeking for shorter time-to-market and higher-quality design for manufacturing. Many startups go to China to lower the cost for manufacturing. But many fail to hire experienced manufacturing experts to manage complex supply-chains and end up seeing significant delay or failure in production.

We believe that engineering managers of the manufacturing ecosystem in Japan are a perfect choice, as manufacturers in Japan have outsourced their production in Asia for a few decades — there are a great number of people who know how to control quality, manage cost and assure delivery.

Opposite to general perception, such talented people in Japan is 50% less expensive than manufacturing experts in the US — believe or not, their salary level is under $50K for experienced engineering managers in Japan.

Flexible Participating Options

We believe connecting hardware startups in the US to manufacturing experts in Japan is one of the best ways to get them succeed. But we learned from our first Monozukuri Bootcamp — going to Japan for several weeks is not always a feasible option for startups.

So we prepare some programs for those who we decide to invest in — either joining the Monozukuri Bootcamp program or collaborating with our Japanese experts remotely from our partner sites (at this point, we partner with NYDesigns, a hardware incubator in New York, but more will come).

When we deal with hardware startups, we first examine if these companies fit our investment policy — eagerness for prototyping and/or production through our manufacturing ecosystem in Japan. Invested companies are offered experts to proceed with their manufacturing journey — working remotely with experts or going to Japan for several weeks to get closer to the entire ecosystem there, which means to participate into the Monozukuri Bootcamp program.

To make these options work, our investment for bootcamp participants is in either convertible note or SAFE, ranging from roughly $100K to $1M.

Extended Partnership Improves the Program

To deliver these flexible options to the market, MBC and FabFoundry collaborate together to bring you some news.

First of all, MBC launched a micro VC fund of two billion Yen that supports hardware prototyping and early stage investment in March 2017 and appoints FabFoundry to manage the fund in North America (their announcement).

Second, the two companies agree that the Monozukuri Bootcamp is co-hosted twice a year, each of which has six-week hardware accelerating program in Japan followed by a demo day in Japan and another in New York City (we recently had a demo day in NYC).

We want to unlock the isolation of manufacturing ecosystem in Japan and get it integrated with the hardware ecosystem in the US.

If you’re a hardware startup interested to talk on our support in manufacturing and/or investment, please apply or sign up for our eNewsletter here.