Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Starting a Robotics Company? Sell a Service, Not a Robot by Tekla S. Perry

ElcoHow. - This is one of the robotic technology information in this time with the article titled Starting a Robotics Company? Sell a Service, Not a Robot that written by Tekla S. Perry and published in Spectrum IEEE.

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If you want to start a robot company, plan to kick off by selling a service performed by robots, not the robots themselves.

That was the message of robot startup founders and investors speaking at HAX demo day this week. HAX is a five-year-old hardware accelerator based in Shenzhen, China, and San Francisco.

“I’m a big fan of going out and doing a service with a robot, competing with other businesses that provide that service, rather than trying to sell a $100,000 robot,” said Nathan Harding, co-founder of Ekso Bionics and now co-founder and CEO of Wink Robotics, a still-mostly-stealthy company intending to bring robotics technology into the beauty salon industry.

“So,” Harding continued, “if you design a bricklaying robot, go out and bid on projects that involve laying bricks…. Run like hell to be the best bricklaying company in the world, then eventually traditional companies will want to buy your robot or your company.”

Duncan Turner, managing director of HAX Seed, an investment fund, agreed. “Forget about fantastical robotic technologies,” he said. Show what business is there, then talk about the robots afterwards.

“We tell startups, don’t ever think that the hardware is going to make you money,” Turner said. “Think about the service.”

“The priority right now is to deliver a service,” said Travis Deyle, co-founder of security robot company Cobalt Robotics. “Too many people for too long have focused on building sexy robots.”

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