The following post was authored by Franz Struwig, CEO/iKubu, a Dragon Innovation Customer.
Taking a hardware product to market is a daunting task. As an innovator you want to keep things lean for as long as possible, but all that changes when you get to manufacturing.
Manufacturing hardware products at scale is expensive, and the complexities involved are often underestimated. This is why so many hardware projects on crowd funding platforms never deliver. As they say: "There be dragons!"
When we decided to take Backtracker, to market, we knew that we needed a partner that fully understands the challenges involved in manufacturing. We wanted to go the crowd funding route, and realized that we lacked the credibility required to convince the market that we can deliver.
Luckily we found a perfect match in Dragon Innovation! Dragon Innovation is based in Boston, and was founded by Scott N. Miller. This is a guy who's been developing robots all of his life, with experience on products like iRobot, Roomba, Pebble and Makerbot.
Dragon Innovation started by doing a very thorough due diligence on our designs and manufacturing plan. This process gave us a lot of confidence that we were on the right track, and that our timelines were reasonable. They also provide assistance for China manufacturing, so we knew that we had an awesome team on hand if we needed to scale our operations in the east.
The "Dragon Certified" mark also gave us a lot of credibility in the market. Since we are based in South Africa we had no network in the US. To remedy this I visited the US during our crowd funding campaign, and was able to grow our network substantially with the help of Scott and the Dragon Innovation team. They hold a lot of sway in the Boston / NY area, so it's really a case of credibility by association.
In January 2015 we achieved success when Garmin acquired our business. Reflecting on our journey, I can honestly say that we wouldn't have achieved this milestone without the assistance of Dragon Innovation. They gave us the confidence and credibility required to punch above our weight and launch a hardware product on the world stage.
Thank you Dragon Innovation!
Getting ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign or planning to raise a round? Get in touch with us to find out how Dragon Certified can lay the foundation for long term success.