Teams completed the first sprint of Rev: Ithaca Startup Work’s Hardware Accelerator during week four of the 11-week summer program. During Sprint 1: “Feasibility,” teams focused on identifying their target markets, understanding the challenges that members of their market faced, and how their companies might best offer a solution. This information is carried over into Sprint 2: “Proof of Concept” where teams try to gain a deeper understanding of this target market and create new adjustments to their product to better suit consumers.
On Monday, teams spoke with Kristen McLellan, hardware entrepreneur, Cornell alumna ’12 and CEO of SnappyScreen. McLellan advised teams on how to create partnerships and shared how she was able to partner with major hospitality chains like Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Hyatt. She also spoke about her experience balancing a rigorous school schedule while managing her startup.
Xanthe Matychak, Assistant Director of the Hardware Accelerator, led a workshop focused on prototype design. She prepared teams for giving and receiving reviews of their designs and shared best practices for iterating designs based on feedback.
Teams also spoke with Jake Reisch, CEO of Eversound, an alumnus of Rev’s Hardware Accelerator and Cornell University ’15. Reisch discussed the importance of understanding customers and the benefits to shifting your product ideas during ones startup journey. Reisch shared that Eversound significantly shifted its target market from millennials to senior citizens after they realized their technology could be used to improve the hearing and quality of life for individuals living in senior communities.
On Friday, teams had their first design review and met with Michele van de Walle, industrial outreach director from the Cornell Center for Materials Research. Van de Walle examined the teams’ prototypes and provided constructive feedback on their designs.