Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things
June 23–25, 2015 • San Francisco, CA

The facts about my hardware startup failure

Eduardo Torrealba (torrealba.io)
2:05pm–2:45pm Thursday, 06/25/2015
Location: Cowell Theater (Herbst Pavilion)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge



It has never been easier to start a hardware company – but that doesn’t mean your hardware startup is going to be successful. In this firsthand account, Eduardo Torrealba will talk in-depth about some of the challenges that his company faced before it went under.

If you are considering starting a hardware company you should know what to expect from investors, customers, manufacturing partners, and co-founders. The hardware startup movement is growing rapidly, but so far very few companies have come forward with the details surrounding their failures. How can future entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes if those failures aren’t frankly discussed?

Listeners can expect to hear an honest, and sometimes unflattering, discussion of how Oso Technologies succeeded and failed in a number of areas. Facts and figures will be revealed in more detail than a typical startup post-mortem, in the hope that others can learn from past mistakes. The presentation will conclude with a few pointers on how to avoid some of the pitfalls that Oso Technologies encountered during its brief existence.

Learn hard facts about:

  • How much time and money goes into a hardware prototype
  • Manufacturing and tooling costs
  • Early stage hardware burn rate
  • What it costs to build a successful crowdfunding campaign
  • Finding venture capital as a hardware company
  • The challenges of international customers
  • What it takes to pivot your hardware business model
Photo of Eduardo Torrealba

Eduardo Torrealba


Eduardo Torrealba was the co-founder and CEO of Oso Technologies. During graduate school he worked with four friends to develop a soil-moisture monitoring platform called PlantLink. PlantLink monitored the moisture needs of plants using interconnected sensor systems and mobile devices. Eduardo received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Baylor University and his M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.