HAX is the world’s first and most prolific accelerator program for hardware, robotics, and connected devices.
The Seed Program combines a $250,000 USD investment, 180 days of collaboration and a global founder community for early-stage founders building hard tech startups. Founders join us across our locations in San Francisco, Shenzhen and Tokyo to collaborate with our in-house team of engineers, designers and entrepreneurs. Startups get access to the unparalleled experts, investors, manufacturers and supply chains to thrive as an early-stage hard tech startup.
– $250k FIRST INVESTMENT
– 180 days CO-DEVELOPMENT
– 35+ STARTUPS / YEAR
Built for hard tech startups
Building a hard tech startup is hard. We know. We’ve done it. It requires complex combinations of electronics, mechanisms, materials, manufacturing and supply chains (all while writing the software that connects it all together). It’s not your standard startup playbook and it requires founders that are ready to get their hands dirty and go far beyond what can be accomplished alone at your computer.
This is why we engage beyond capital investment. We know with the right combination of experience, tools, partners and community into early-stage hard tech teams, they can move at unbelievable speed and global scale. With over 200 HAX startups completing the program since 2012, we have continuously evolved our approach, infrastructure and team to help startups go faster and further.
Startups apply with initial prototypes, customer understanding and an aspirational vision. All HAX teams spend 180 days with us at our locations in Shenzhen, San Francisco and Tokyo, where they collaborate with our in-house team of engineers, designers and entrepreneurs. We also give them access to the unparalleled local experts, investors, manufacturers and supply chains needed to thrive.
As startups reach critical milestones, HAX supports fundraising strategy, investor introductions and continued investment into follow-on rounds from Pre-Seed to Pre-IPO. We are actively investing over $25 million USD per year into our global portfolio as part of global venture capital firm, SOSV.
The most valuable part of the program (that is often understated) is engagement with a globally diverse community of HAX founders. Many have been successful, many have learned hard lessons, and everyone is excited to help one another succeed. The community has grown to include a curated group of mentors, experts and partners, giving early stage startups the global reach and resources of far larger organizations.
“Working with the HAX team was the turning point in our business and technology to scale.”
How the program works
We break the 180 days into 3 phases that help us get to know startups and rapidly scale our engagement. This starts with a deep dive, and quickly ramps to hands-on engagement at our offices in San Francisco, Shenzhen and Tokyo.
- PHASE 1 (0-60 DAYS): rapid product development
- PHASE 2 (60-180 DAYS): sales & expansion
- PHASE 3 (180+ DAYS): additional funding & support
There are several ways startups can enter the HAX program. Most come through direct applications on our website, but some come through referrals and pre-programs that we run in cities like Xi’an and Tokyo.
After we take a look at an application, we often ask teams to clean up their cap tables, make more progress on their prototypes, or find an additional founding team member before we will agree to invest. The best way for you to receive feedback is through an application, so please submit one before reaching out to ask us to look at a deck or any additional documents.
A majority of teams that are accepted into the HAX program have applied more than once, so please don’t feel discouraged if we decided not to invest at first sight!
HAX teams kick off with an initial capital investment, introduction the community and deep dive into the business. Over 2-4 weeks, we dig into the depths of your technology and business and lay out initial collaboration across our global locations. A key part of this is beginning to do low-fidelity prototypes and testing to better understand customers, markets and technology roadmaps. These iterative prototypes will continue throughout the program to help make decisions and move at maximum speed.
- community onboarding
- business strategy & planning
- customer discovery
- low fidelity prototyping
- mentor and advisor matching
Apply today, start tomorrow
We accept and evaluate applications on a rolling basis with startups beginning the program every month. Our team will review an application within 2 weeks of submission and reach out to the teams invited to interview. Due to the large amount of applications, we cannot give feedback to startups that do not make it past the initial evaluation.
What do I need to apply?
We work with a wide range of founders and technologies at all stages of development but there are a few critical items we look for in every application:
- actively building prototypes (not just sketches or ideas)
- committed founding team (emphasis on team and not sole founders)
- deep customer understanding (more than just market reports)
Submit via application portal
Startups apply via the central SOSV portal here. You are able to start and save an application at any time and return to it later to submit when you are ready.
We ask for an initial amount of information for us to best understand your team, technology and market. The assets that we value most:
- pitch and video of your team walking us through your business (5 minutes max)
- video of your prototypes and what you’d like to do next with them (5 minutes max)
- information about your founding team
We review every application within 2 weeks of submission. Unfortunately, we can’t give feedback on every submission due to the high number of applications.
Interviews and diligence
After our initial review, we will email a select amount of startups to begin interviewing with the HAX team remotely. This will included deep dive interviews from various members of the HAX investment and engineering team into the details of a startup’s business model, market and technology. We will also work with our network of experts across technology fields and industries to best understand startups.
This process can vary from several days to multiple weeks depending on the amount of diligence our team needs to go through to best understand a startup.
Our team works hard to maintain transparency and clarity throughout the interview and diligence process. If a startup begins interviews and diligence, but we don’t choose to go forward, we will give clear feedback on why we didn’t see the fit for HAX at that time.
Investment and kickoff
At the end of the interview and diligence process, we will send an offer and investment terms sheet to those accepted into the program. HAX invests in around 35 new startups every year with an average of 3-4 every month.
Upon signature of investment paperwork, we get teams started in onboarding into the program and planning 180 days of collaboration with our team around the world. Dig into the program details further here.
Check out the FAQ for more information on applications and investments.