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Schedule: Companies sessions

What’s different about building a company with products that integrate hardware, software, and data? Plenty, as both nimble startups and established power players are discovering. The Companies track will explore what’s working: from getting funding to design and marketing to moving from an early adopter market into the mainstream—and how to build a culture of continuous innovation to sustain and grow your business.

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Location: Festival Pavilion
Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures)
Branding a world-class hardware company is dramatically different than for software, Web, or mobile companies. Branding begins with storytelling, and crafting compelling stories for hardware requires a fresh perspective. Read more.
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Location: Festival Pavilion
Alex Hawkinson (SmartThings)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
Alex Hawkinson, CEO and co-founder of SmartThings, will discuss key advancements that will take the “Internet of Things” beyond early adopters and into mainstream homes. He’ll discuss this from a hardware and software perspective, providing insight to the inevitable challenges ahead. The presentation will also include a demo of the SmartThings product to highlight the everyday user’s experience. Read more.
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Location: Festival Pavilion
Boris Wertz (Version One Ventures), Zak Homuth (Upverter), Kate Drane (Indiegogo), Julia Grace (Slack), Emile Petrone (Tindie)
Hardware is hot, but moving from idea to product is a lot of hard work. Featuring Upverter, Indiegogo, Tindie, and VC Boris Wertz, the panel will address the lifecycle and platforms that hardware companies need to scale: from design, through fundraising, sales, manufacturing, and delivery. Read more.
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Location: Festival Pavilion
Ben Einstein (Bolt)
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 3 ratings)
Building a minimum viable product for a software product is easy. But what about hardware? When there are prototypes to be assembled and parts to be manufactured, building a good MVP is not so straightforward. Learn a few tips about building MVPs better and faster to improve your product. Read more.
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Location: Festival Pavilion
Amanda Peyton (Etsy), Kuan Luo (Grand St.)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Friends, co-workers and crowdfunding backers are certainly your supporters, but not your True Fans. The True Fans (credit to a Kevin Kelly blog post for the term) are the people who will evangelize your product to strangers, and superusers who you may or may not know. This talk is about designing your product for this group. If you want to start a movement, it begins with 1000 true fans. Read more.
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Location: Festival Pavilion
Daniel Koffler (Rio Tinto Alcan)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)
Closing the data-loop; how Rio Tinto is managing the convergence of software, data and industrial physical assets. Read more.
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Location: Fire House
Zachary Pousman (THINK Interactive), Michelle Berryman (Think, Inc.)
This talk will present a design framework for thinking about cadences and examples to show how they apply to the Internet of Things. This talk is aimed at product owners and designers, and you’ll leave with deep understanding of where and how cadences matter, how to model cadences, and what design (and evaluation) steps to take to deliver compelling IoT applications... Read more.
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Location: Fire House
Reject the traditional pillars of manufacturing, and leverage 3D printing to reduce costs, minimize touch points, and accelerate go to market speed. Read more.
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Location: Fire House
Mark Palatucci (Anki Inc.), Christina Bonnington (WIRED)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
Since its inception, our interface with video games has been trapped behind a screen. In 2013, Anki completely upended that model with a mix of real-world gameplay, along with A.I. and robotics; but the debut of Anki Drive showed the world what’s possible when you take technology out of the labs and into consumer products - a fusion of the virtual and real worlds. Read more.
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Location: Fire House
Cameron Robertson (Lockitron)
Entrepreneur Magazine recently profiled the 100 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in the last year. Two of the top five hardware campaigns launched on a self-hosted platform. In this session, learn how companies like Lockitron, Tile, Soylent, Thalmic, and Coin were able to take advantage of self-hosting to raise millions in pre-orders and why others are turning to solutions like these. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Gordon Hui (Smart Design), Murphy Freelen (Smart Design), Robert Curtis, Ben Rottler (Independant)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
In the Age of Connected Devices, established incumbents face unrelenting competition from well-resourced Fortune 500 companies and nimble VC-backed startups. How do market leaders repeatedly innovate, create game-changing products, and avoid disruption? This panel brings together senior innovators from leading technology firms to discuss “next practices" for creating sustained success over time. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Scott Miller (Dragon Innovation, Inc.)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
The hardware revolution has begun – new factors such as cheaper components and 3D printing along with crowd funding are encouraging the democratization of innovation. Yet, too many entrepreneurs in the past year have been unable to deliver to the backers. We will walk through the steps entrepreneurs should take to prepare for a successful crowd funding campaign of their prototype. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Anna Shaw (Smart Design)
Women have been silently dominating the purchase and adoption of technology for 150 years. But myths persist that women lag in their use. That’s because women’s needs take a distinctly different slant than their male counterparts. Understanding those needs and designing for them can activate this often-invisible market and make your hardware/software product a resounding success for all. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Aren Kaser (Igor Institute), Sean Murphy (Smart Design)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
What is integrated product development and what makes successful devices dependent on a well implemented PD process? Explore the intersection of hardware and software, creating a company that sells hardware, and delivering a highly receptive experience. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Katherine Hague (ShopLocket)
Hundreds of hardware startups are crowdfunding their products every month either through platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo or through custom integrations on their own site. The trend towards selling an idea before it actually exists is what is now known as Pre-Commerce. This talk will cover the risks and rewards of pre-commerce along with overall trends emerging in the category. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Eduardo Torrealba (torrealba.io)
Software as a service has long been established as a viable business model across numerous industries. By offering landscaping businesses hardware based solutions to their common problems Oso Technologies has created a hardware as a service business model. This session will highlight the ways that hardware companies can introduce reoccurring revenue streams into their business models. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
John Dimatos (Kickstarter), Aurora Thornhill (Kickstarter), Danielle Applestone (Other Machine Co.), Al Linke (Open Gadgets LLC), Adam Rodnitzky (Occipital Inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)
With more than 1,000 technology projects funded, Kickstarter has become a hub of creativity for technologists & product designers from around the world. This session focuses on how the product development changes when creators embrace transparency, collaborative funding & community involvement, enabling people to become engaged throughout the creative process rather than consumers or spectators. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Jeffrey Schox (Schox Patent Group)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Why do startups file patents? Hint: it is not to "protect your competitive advantage." Learn about how to craft a patent strategy that's right for your startup. Read more.
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Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Peter Bihr (The Waving Cat)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)
The German industrial landscape has remained competitive and export-oriented despite operating in a high-cost environment. Yet, it seems Germany has not fully embraced the potential inherent in this new hardware industry. By bringing IoT entrepreneurs and Mittelstand companies together, we explored how both sides can work better together - and will share the insights in an informal conversation. Read more.