For our 10th Meetup, we offer a case study, documenting the increasingly well-worn development path – being taken by local Maker startups – between Philadelphia and Shenzen, China.
Presenting for VUE Smart Glasses will be Tiantian Zhang. Coming off a recent Kickstarter raise of more than $2.2 million, her team of UPenn graduates is now in residence at HAX, the world’s largest hardware accelerator, located in Shenzen. VUE is the third Maker Meetup company to make this journey, joining Wazer Waterjet (which is already there) and the team of Wearlilu (who will be embarking shortly after graduating from Dreamit Ventures).
To put this into ‘global’ perspective will be Sean O’Sullivan, Founder and Managing Partner of SOSV: The Accelerator VC. SOSV is the force behind HAX and other leading incubators around the world. With a portfolio of more than 500 companies and over $300 million in assets, Crunchbase just ranked SOSV the “#1 most active early stage investor”.
Sean will also be speaking to the topic “Innovation at Scale”.
The program begins at 5:00 with a one and a half hour, table-top Showcase.
Presentations will start PROMPTLY at 6:30 followed by a panel discussion.
We will also be awarding door prizes, including a $200 Canary All-In-One Home Security System. The prize winners will be selected at random from among the list of those who RSVP for this Meetup. Of course, you must be present to actually win, though there is no charge to attend.
During the evening, attendees will be given the opportunity to ‘shout-out’ their networking interests and to opine on how to make Philadelphia a better place for Makers to prosper.
Our major sponsor is Arrow Electronics – underwriting the space and the food. Other regular sponsors include NextFab, Canary and Duane Morris, while the non-profit Merchants Fund is generously donating its services to administer our finances. Backe Digital Marketing is providing marketing and social media support for our events.
VUE Smart Glasses are the world’s first pair of advanced eyewear that are stylish and discreet. Embedded technology allows you to make handsfree calls, listen to music, and track your daily activity. Vue comes in two styles, Classic and Trendy, and can be fitted with custom prescription lenses. The company closed a $2.2M Kickstarter in December 2016 and raised over $370k in pre-orders in the first two months of 2017.
Tiantian Zhang is the cofounder of Vue. She graduated with an MA in Integrated Product design from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Vue she founded a Bluetooth headset company Vigo as well as an internet video company, Three Fellows, which documented the experience of Chinese students living abroad in America.
Need to manufacture thousands of some new consumer electronics device? Yes, we will help you optimize your product/market fit, your messaging, and your presentation. But with HAX, SOSV has engineering talent that can guide your design through all the steps to mass manufacturing and beyond. The team will help you to prototype quickly using the local ecosystem as well as point out flaws like battery charging circuits that could have cost a million dollars, and a year of recalls, if it’d gotten into production. And yes, we have on-staff industrial designers, mechanical engineers, mechatronics engineers, electrical engineers and design for manufacturing and assembly engineers as well as supply chain experts, etc. But it doesn’t stop there. Going to market faster means a shortcut to retail, and HAX has built a powerful bridge with the best and brightest. All this in addition to hundreds of mentors. No other accelerator comes close.
Sean O’Sullivan is founder and Managing Director of SOSV. Sean got his entrepreneurial start as a founder of MapInfo, bringing street mapping technology to personal computers. MapInfo went on to become a $200 million public company with over 1,000 employees. In another startup, he and George Favaloro from Compaq invented the term “cloud computing.” Sean has continued as a visionary entrepreneur and investor, creating and supporting a range of businesses, humanitarian and educational endeavors, including JumpStart International, CoderDojo, Mathletes and Khan Academy.Sean graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985 with a degree in electrical engineering.
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