Design for Manufacturing (DFM), also known as ‘the valley of failure’ is a key milestone for hardware startups. It is an integrated process for designing a product in order to optimize manufacturing functions and assure the best cost, high quality, reliable standards, regulatory compliance and safety. DFM saves time and money for your next steps, so we work with our experts to guide promising startups to cross this so-called ‘valley of failure’.
There is no restriction for our manufacturer’s scope, as long as you agree with amount of work involved to develop your concept.
If you want to do prototyping in a cheap, fast and simple way, we recommend you using DYI tools, like 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC tools. For those who are based in Japan, Kyoto Makers Garage (free for students) is a good option. Once you complete a working prototype with a proof-of-concept, we can work on a customized master plan based on your goals.
Not at all. We do recommend at least one team member to visit us for the project kick-off or/and physical tests. For the rest of the time, we can work with International Teams via conference calls or remote meetings. For teams looking for hands-on support, local advice, and using our local resources – Kyoto Makers Garage & KSN manufacturing facilities, we highly recommend visiting Kyoto for a few days during your project.
We provide a tailored-made support: customized Prototyping Consulting Service/Prototype Support for small batch productions, any time of the year, in order to fit each startup needs. Once you send us details about your project, we can discuss it individually and work on a schedule optimization to match your availability and unique goals.
We provide a consultancy for startups already having a working prototype (for example, Arduino/Raspberry Pi version) and aiming for an industrial prototype, a few steps before mass production (Design for Manufacturing.)
If your startup is eligible for investment, we can assist not only with financial support but also help guiding your business development to build a more appealing business plan, search for future investors, partners and customers.
Defining the BOM is a key part of the work startups should do in order to guarantee the product will fit into specific requests and also save time and hours (= money) for manufacturer’s team. Making your own BOM should also help you to realize if your product is feasible or not, helping you to get a more accurate quote.
It depends on the details of your project: stage, complexity, time frame, materials, risks, etc. In addition to the project management monthly fee, you will have to cover the industrial fees for prototyping, and it may vary according to your needs. We estimate a range between USD $30-50K for the first small lot.
Industrial fees tend to cover the amount of resources used (both professional and machines), meaning the longer your project has to be developed with our team, the more expensive it tends to be.
From the kick-off until manufacturing prototyping phase, we guarantee at least one weekly meeting or status conference call, depending on the phase and projects needs. But please note that as any consultancy, our team members are not allocated to your project full-time.
We must check all details about your project. All criteria must be validated according to different standards required for each product and market/country (ex. Electrical Appliances and Material Safety, etc).
We prefer to invest in early stage hardware startups willing to be supported by Makers Boot Camp and working in IoT, Robotics, Healthcare, Medical Devices, Nursing Care, Lifestyle, Environment, Energy, etc.
To get funded, you must be a corporate entity with a high chance of exit (stock sale). There is no particular restriction such as the location or the establishment time. The fund aims to reduce the risks of a hardware startup manufacturing, and is mainly targeting startups willing to commit to MBC Prototyping Consulting service.
As MBC Shisaku Fund focuses on early stage startups, we assume from 10 million yen (around USD 90k) to 30 million yen (around USD 270k) for the initial investment. As for additional investments, up to 50 million yen is also possible (around USD 455k). There is also a possibility of investing in a few middle to later stage startup to join our portfolio.
We regularly organize Meetups with investors in Kyoto mainly. Also, we can help startups to set up a meeting with investors if a prototype is finished up to a certain level and there is a clear proof-of-concept. If you’d like to share your project details or inquiry about meeting investors, contact us now.
We host regular meetups in Kyoto and Tokyo. Bring a functioning prototype and our experts can advise you. We also recommend you to get in touch with our community for useful users’ insights. Send us a message if you want to pitch at one of our events!