Early-stage startups in the hardware technology space can receive valuable feedback on their businesses by applying to the National Hardware Cup, hosted by Alphalab, this year. This competition allows entrepreneurs to pitch their physical products for a chance to win several prizes, including a $50,000 grand prize. Contestants can participate in seven regional competitions: Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Austin. Winners in each regional competition can receive $3,000 cash, a one year license to Solidworks, and other prizes. Six teams in each city will be selected to give four-minute pitches, showing off their products to judging teams made up of local venture capitalists and hardware CEOs.
Applications in most regions are still rolling. You can find out which competitions are still accepting contestants on the Hardware Cup website. Attendance is free for spectators, with refreshments provided.
Young tech companies that produce a physical product in any stage of development can apply to experience the benefits of publicity, networking, and advice from knowledgeable businesspeople, investors who are familiar with the hardware space, and successful members of the hardware industry.