Born to scale: Turning product idea into successful hardware business

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Date and Time



Machines Room

45 Vyner Street


E2 9DQ

United Kingdom

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Event description


Central Research Laboratory (CRL), London’s new hardware accelerator for startups that design and make physical products, launching the programme in mid September.
Click here if you want to learn more about our programme.


Unlike any other software companies, hardware startups face many challenges from how to turn a product hobby into a scalable business, finding necessary suppliers, raise money for their invention, set up mass production and deliver the product to consumers on time. With this event we will try to answer the common question - how to turn your product idea into successful hardware business.

Very hands-on product focused!

We will have a fireside chat with Alex Peet - CRL new Workshop Manager, former Dyson lead design engineer, and Matt Webb, cofounder of Berg, one of the most innovative companies in product invention, and creator of the award-winning IoT gadget - Little Printer. The discussion will be led by Mat Hunter, Strategy Director at CRL, previously IDEO and Design Council.

Starting a hardware business & Dragons' Den TV Show

Ashley Sayed - CRL Operations Director, will talk about the steps to starting a hardware business. And Ashley is the guy to know how. He has spent close to 20 years in product design and manufacturing. His experience spreads from working with big corporates such as TomTom, Philips and Motorolla, to running his own product consultancy in Singapore and pitching a product to Dragons, getting investment from Peter Jones and ultimately selling his business.

'Those' from THE VERY FIRST startup cohort at CRL Hardware Accelerator

CRL Hardware Accelerator first cohort is coming to an end soon, and we invited one of our startups - Those - to share their journey with you! Don't miss your chance to ask them qeustions about how they started, why chose to go on accelerator and their future plans.

Free drinks & pizza ;)

We are excited to welcome hardware enthusiasts for a night full of free pizza and drinks! Great thank you to Machines Room for hosting us.


Below are just the few questions we will try to address on the day and we will welcome more questions from the audience:

From prototype to business

  • Steps to starting a hardware startup

  • Product-Market fit: who wants your product and why?

  • Design for manufacture: what to remember when designing a product for scalability?

Introduction to CRL Hardware Accelerator

  • Programme details

  • Application process

  • Q&A with CRL startups from the first cohort


6:30 Networking, free pizza & drinks

7:00 Welcome from CRL

7:10 Guide to starting a hardware startup

7:20 Fireside chat with Alex Peet, CRL Workshop Manager, and Matt Webb, Co-founder of product invention agency and award-winning IoT gadget - Little Printer, about designing a scalable product that customers want

7:40 Introduction to CRL Hardware Accelerator

7:50 Q&A with CRL startups

8:00 Drinks and more networking


Matt Webb, @genmon

Currently independent consultant and working on new ventures. Ex UK government. Ex Techstars. Ex Berg (co-founder) which has had an awesome history and built things they never thought possible (including the design, build, manufacture and support of one of the world's first consumer Internet of Things devices - Little Printer, from hardware to cloud and everything else). Fast Company placed Berg as one of the world's 50 most innovative companies. His company's work is in the permanent collection of the New York MoMA.

Co-author of Mind Hacks way back in 2004. Named by Wired as one of the UK's top 100 digital power-brokers.

Alex Peet, @AlexPeetUK

Recently joined CRL as a Workshop Manager, helping startups produce high quality prototypes and accelerate the rapid iteration of their products. As a former Design Engineer at Dyson, Alex was responsible for taking proof of concept prototypes through to a manufacturable standard. As the product assembly lead, he focussed on robust design and thorough mechanical testing. Along with the varied prototyping and testing techniques learnt at Dyson, he’s experienced in programming multi-axis laser cutters and laser welders.

Along with his engineering expertise, he has a keen interest in startup methodology and lean business practices, this led to Alex starting Lark Street Food, a small business based in Bristol.

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Machines Room

45 Vyner Street


E2 9DQ

United Kingdom

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