10 Startup Hardware Incubator Programs

on June 16 | by

Even though we’re a software company, we’ve very much got our eyes on the hardware movement. As startup incubators and accelerators have flourished over the last several years, we’re starting to notice an uptick in programs focused specifically on hardware.

Are you a budding hardware engineer or startup team?

Below is a list of hardware-focused startup programs. If you have any additions to the list, please let us know in the comments below!


factorli hardware accelerator

Visit website: factorli.com

“Where humans and robots build beautiful, thought-provoking things.”

Las-Vegas based Factorli recently announced a Series A round of $10 million from Zappos founder (and budding Las Vegas tycoon) Tony Hsieh. Their goal? To become the go-to place for U.S. hardware startups by helping them prototype and turn product ideas into a manufacturing reality. This’ll be a great initiative to watch.

Flextronics: Lab IX

lab ix startup hardware acclerator

Visit website: labix.io

San Jose-based Flextronics works with Apple (and many others) on smartphones and other hardware devices. They recently opened up Lab IX, where they’re awarding $500,000 to each company accepted into their program.

Lab IX, based in Milpitas, focuses on companies who are less than three years old and have less than $5 million in funding. Their motto? To help startups “quickly bring disruptive hardware technologies to market.”

PCH International: Highway 1

highway 1 hardware incubator

Visit website: highway1.io

Highway 1 is a hardware incubator and accelerator run by Brady Forrest, underwritten by electronics company PCH International. Each cohort of companies who make it through the application process are put into a four month program. Among other benefits, they receive seed funding of $50,000, office and machine shop space in San Francisco, and education in manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, business management, finance, strategy and Chinese infrastructure.


haxlr8r hardware incubator program

Visit website: haxlr8r.com

Based out of both San Francisco and Shenzhen, HAXLR8R selects startups to work with twice a year. The program first started in 2012 and is widely recognized as the start of the new hardware revolution – since its inception, HAXLR8R has graduated over 40 companies with a combined revenues and investments in the tens of millions of dollars.


bolt boston hardware accelerator

Visit website: bolt.io

Based in Boston, Bolt is a seed-stage fund that not only invest capital in hardware startups, but also staff, equipment and expertise. Bolt doesn’t consider itself an accelerator – they operate as more of an extremely active seed investor. They commit at least 6 months to a company and often end up working with companies for longer.

Bolt positions itself as a resource for later-stage startups looking to ship a product within 6-12 months.

Lemnos Labs

lemnos labs hardware incubator

Visit website: lemnoslabs.com

Based in San Francisco, Lemnos Labs provides early-stage startups with up to $250,000 (at a typical equity rate of $100,000 for 10%), offering intensive and hands-on time with partners, expert mentors and program alumni.

Lemnos Labs only invests in 8-12 companies per year. Each company is put through a rigorous 6-15 month program that focuses on engineering, logistics, marketing and go-to-market strategies. Participants get space in the Lemnos Labs facility and 24/7 access to partners to help accelerate product development. They focus  on aerospace, robotics, transportation, agriculture and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Berlin Hardware Accelerator

berlin hardware startup accelerator

Visit website: hardware.co

Are you a hardware startup in Europe? Applicants awarded entry into the Berlin Hardware Accelerator get to work at Europe’s biggest (and best) co-working space, Betahaus.

AlphaLab Gear

alphalab gear pittsburgh hardware accelerator

Visit website: alphalabgear.org

Based in Pittsburgh, AlphaLab Gear offers companies $25,000 or $50,000 in exchange for 5% or 9% common stock equity. Each company gains access to a 10,000 square foot facility, located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial community.

Participants also receive a membership to TechShop Pittsburgh, and companies with a focus in robotics receive additional support from Startbot, an investment firm specializing in early-stage robotics companies.


betaspring hardware incubator

Visit website: betaspring.com

Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Betaspring is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator for technology and design entrepreneurs. Twice per year, they run a 13-week program, providing up to $20,000 in seed capital in exchange for up to 6% in common stock equity. To date, Betaspring has helped launch more than 90 companies.

Betaspring offers a specific Physical Technology track, perfect for the aspiring hardware startup.


springboard hardware incubator

Visit website: springboard.com

Springboard offers a 13-week mentor-lead program at the Google campus in London and at ideaSpace at the University of Cambridge. Each year, Springboard invests in over 30 companies for between 3-6% common stock equity.

Historically, more than 50% of Springboard companies raise additional investment funding.

5 Responses

  1. […] a role in Rubin’s new venture, but either way we trust that we’ll have to update our list of the top hardware incubators soon […]

  2. The R/GA Accelerator is one of the top programs in the hardware space. It’s designed for startups developing connected hardware products and software services with the goal of helping them to build businesses and brands that can scale.

    • We have developed a working prototype of a device that is powered by rechargeable batteries and a computer chip. There is a Power Point presentation and a video that describes its operation without disclosing the inner mechanisms. May we receive a reply in order to proceed further? Thank you.

  3. […] you are, it’s how good you want to be” and “So mad, but so cool!” Emielab is itself one of numerous incubators across the city, attracting makers from China and abroad seeking entree to the region’s […]

  4. […] you are, it’s how good you want to be” and “So mad, but so cool!” Emielab is itself one of numerous incubators across the city, attracting makers from China and abroad seeking entree to the region’s […]

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