With almost $270,000 in funding from the Federal Government’s Incubator Support program, Brisbane is next week set to open a dedicated hub for hardware-focused startups, Arc.
Developed by Vektor Innovation, the space will provide residents access to prototyping and manufacturing equipment and access to industry mentors, with the aim of helping startups develop, manufacture, and commercialise their products.
Victor Vicario, CEO of Vektor Innovation, said the development of the hub came as he saw hardware startups flailing due to lack of support and resources.
“Startups are having a difficult time accessing much-needed advanced prototyping and manufacturing technologies, as well as general guidance and assistance on how to best adopt such resources,” he said.
“Arc provides a much-needed solution, enabling entrepreneurs efficient and affordable access to industry-leading prototyping equipment, including electronics labs, 3D printers, laser cutters and molding machines, plus hands-on training and unrivalled industry mentorship at a fraction of the current market costs.”
Arc has created a variety of membership options to suit startups at different stages of their journey, from a ‘regular hardware membership’ for those in the early stages of product development, priced at $500 a month for three members or $100 for a day pass, through to an ‘advanced hardware membership’ for members getting ready to manufacture their product, priced at $1,000 a month for three members or $200 for a day pass.
As part of its Incubator Support funding, Arc must also develop and run a number of programs; as such, in the pipeline are a hackathon, bootcamp, and pre-accelerator.
Though much of the local startup ecosystem is focused on software, a growing number of programs and resources are launching to support hardware and manufacturing companies.
Joining Arc in receiving funding through the Incubator Support program are the likes of Petri BioIncubate, which works to help biotechnology startups to launch in international markets; Innovyz, which will put its funding towards running a program focused on advanced materials; and Fledge, co-located with CSIRO and the National Measurement Institute to support the design, development, and commercialisation of medical devices.
The New Ventures Institute at Flinders University also received funding to develop a program to help startups focused on advanced manufacturing expand internationally.
Image: Victor Vicario.