Startup Accelerator Spotlight: HAX


Hax is the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator helping businesses go from prototype to market.


Managing Director, Duncan Turner

Name of Accelerator: HAX

Location: Shenzhen, China


Managing Director: Duncan Turner

This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

We invest in hardware startups (consumer, health, enterprise and industry) and help them go from prototype to market.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

Startups get $100k in cash and 111 days of hands-on support in Shenzhen.

Our assets are:

  • HAXContent
    We built a bespoke curriculum for hardware startups and improve it with one out of every 10 programs we run. We now have 30 full-time staff members to support 15 startups per program.
  • China
    The Shenzhen supply chain is unique in the world in terms of speed and breadth.
  • Community
    With 200 investments, we have over 600 hardware founders in our network. There are generally 20-30 alumni in our office at any time, with fresh answers to any questions.
  • Curation
    We pick the top 5% of candidates, which means that every startup is surrounded by other great people.
  • Connections
    To suppliers, retailers, investors, media etc. – worldwide.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

The time constraint. We support them for 111 days, and there is a lot of work to do.

What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

We select meaningful products, and founders are highly motivated. It’s a demanding crowd but what’s not to love?

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Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

It depends how you measure success.

  • Our most mature startup is Makeblock, which makes robotic kits for education. They just raised $30M at a $200M valuation.
  • On the consumer side, we had 11 startups raise over $1M on Kickstarter. It’s about 10% of the world’s tech hits. You can check our list of projects here.
  • Now, some really interesting projects are also in robotics and health tech. Simbe Robotics, for instance, automates inventory in supermarkets with advanced computer vision.

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

I think that results, focus and location matter most.

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What else would you like to share?

HAXStartups should keep in mind that what matters is not raising funding or having a fancy brand, but how much progress they made on their product and business. Being a viable company starts with shipping a product, but doesn’t end there. It’s a long journey full of dangers, and it’s easier when surrounded by people who can help solve real problems.

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Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be highlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them in the comments below!

Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.