What is the fastest way to get a working prototype developed and funded at an early stage?

The full product design development will require: • Mechanical design, • Electronics design, • Firmware, • Software, and • Support all the way through to production. And we are exploring if Crowed-funding or VC would work for this early stage of development.


It really depends on what you're building here. If you can do any part of your product manually, I would suggest doing that in the first version.

The absolute fastest way is to hire a contractor to get it done, but that can be expensive. If your first prototype can't be built with a prototyping tool (even a Keynote presentation) and it's too expensive or difficult to build on your own, you have to convince other people that you are solving an important problem, that your solution solves that problem, and that you have the right team to do it. VCs in a seed round will care more about the team than the idea, but crowdfunders will care about both. And obviously getting designers or developers to join your team for equity will require convincing them of all 3.

Happy to give more specific advice based on your app thrugh a Clarity call!

Answered 9 years ago

I have been helping a company that has gone though this process. When I first met them they took their savings and did a 3D printing of their prototype. They took a Raspberry Pi, met a couple of Electronic Engineers & Designers that could "mentor" them on the parts they didn't know.They wrote the software and did all the assemble themselves. After more than a year and a hundred units (sold manually), now we are ready to go into production. They raised money instead of crowdfunding but because it is a B2B business. If you are doing something for consumers, I would recommend doing kickstarter or indiegogo. Either way, you should be moving forward with your own money, and hustling to obtain the knowledge you don't have. The most important part of this process is the learning not the fundraising.

Answered 9 years ago

I've had experience in the full product development cycle with several companies of varying sizes. In order to get early funding, you need to prove that the concept works, with some information about what it will look like. A working prototype is different than an aesthetic model, and will require more capabilities from your prototype supplier. There are companies out there that specialize on the "one off" type of solution. I would actually look at a 3D model for aesthetic purposes and then go with a very stripped down working prototype to save money and time. Let me know if you would like to discuss further.

Answered 9 years ago

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