Japan is known for its high quality hardware industry, among many worldwide famous creative brands like Panasonic, Nintendo and Sony. All Japanese brands have their own supplier’s network, always looking for the best quality in terms of prototyping and Design for Manufacturing. Now startups can work with high precision partners with guaranteed Japanese quality for an affordable cost, with a partnership with local companies through our specialized support.
We can support new business projects for individuals and any kind of company, as long as we can meet minimum requirements, as having access to initial funds required for prototyping and being able to follow up hardware decisions (it helps if you have some STEM background, worked as an engineer, or built electronics for fun). Compared to software, hardware requires a diverse set of skills and backgrounds, so we recommend building a team before working on a professional prototype.
There is no restriction for our manufacturer’s scope, as long as you can afford the extra hours of work involved on your concept. If you want to start prototyping cheap, fast and simple, do it by yourself. Once you reach a working prototype with a proof-of-concept, we can work on a customized masterplan based on your project goals.
Our main expertise is Design for Manufacturing” (DFM), also known as “the valley of failure”, a key point for hardware startups: an optimized method from fabrication, to assembly and tests, in order to assure the best cost, respecting high quality and reliable standards, as well 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 gap.
Not at all. We do recommend at least one team member to visit us for the project kick-off or/and tests. For the rest of the time, International teams can be touch based via conference calls or remote meetings. For teams looking for hands-on support, local advice, and to take advantage of our makerspace Kyoto Makers Garage & KSN manufacturing facilities, we highly recommend visiting Kyoto for a few days during your project.
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.
MBC Prototyping Consulting focus on the stage from a working prototype (like an Arduino/Raspberry Pi version) towards an industrial prototype, a few steps before mass production (Design for Manufacturing.) On the investment side, we will assist not only with financial support but also help guiding startups business development in order to build a more appealing business plan, considering future investors, partners and customers.
Defining the BOM is a key part of the work startups should do, in a way to guarantee the product will fit into specific requests and also save time and hours (= money) from 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.
Our technical members can support startups after checking the status of a current prototype. Some of the ways we help: * Validate the entire project to match you with the most recommended manufacturing options * Alignment of essential technical requirements, including time management & specs definitions. * Introduction of business partners and selection of suitable SMEs to meet your requirements in terms of quality, price, desired materials, deadlines, etc. * Advice and support for project decisions * Master Plan creation with Manufacturers * Project progress management & reports by remote tools (weekly calls and status documents)
Regarding MBC prototyping consulting, although it fluctuates depending on necessary time and risk etc., it is based on a fee of about 360,000 yen per month (excluding tax) for an average of 3-4 months for a new prototype.
It all depends on the details of your project: stage, complexity, timeframe, 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 a ready for manufacturing prototyping phase, there will be 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 only not full-time allocated to your startup project.
We must check all details about your project. All criteria must be validated according to different standards required for each product and market/country to be launched (ex. Electrical Appliances and Material Safety, etc).
Investment targets are early stage hardware startups in IoT related areas, willing to be supported by Makers Boot Camp Robotics, Healthcare, Medical Devices, Nursing Care, Lifestyle, Environment, Energy, etc.
The investment target must be a corporate entity and it is necessary to assume an exit (stock sale). There is no particular restriction such as the location or the establishment period. The fund aims to reduce the risks of hardware manufacturing startup manufacturing, and is mainly targeting startups willing to commit to MBC Prototyping Consulting .
As MBC Shisaku Fund focus 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 be part of our portfolio.
There is no particular restriction on when you do fundraising. We regularly hold Meetup with investors mainly in Kyoto. Next time, I will guide you to Meetup with investors, please inquire. Makers Boot Camp could help startups to set up a meeting with investors if a prototype is finished up to certain level and there is a clear proof-of-concept. If you’d like to share your project details, Contact us now. Can you introduce venture capital and angel investors?
We host regular meet ups. Bring a functioning prototype and our experts can advise you. We also recommend you to interact with our community to get useful user’s insights. Write us if you’d like to pitch at one of our events.