Kickstarter has joined with Avnet and Dragon Innovation to support hardware creators on its crowdfunding platform.

Under the initiative, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Kickstarter will help prepare creators for manufacturing before they launch crowdfunding campaigns.

Together, the companies are introducing Hardware Studio, an initiative that will offer resources and support for hardware creators as they design their products and develop manufacturing plans.

Representatives from all three companies will talk about the initiative on Saturday May 20 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific on the Make: Live stage at the Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, Calif. (Maker Faire is the big event for hardware hobbyists.)

Above: Kickstarter goes hardware.

Image Credit: Kickstarter

Creators will benefit from the expertise of Dragon Innovation, a hardware manufacturer, and Avnet, a global tech distributor.

“At Kickstarter, our mission is to help bring creative projects to life,” said Yancey Strickler, the company’s cofounder and chief executive, in a statement. “We’ve found that for hardware creators, lots of planning before a Kickstarter launch can make a big difference when it’s time for manufacturing. Through this collaboration with Avnet and Dragon, many more independent creators will be able to get some help as they work to make their ideas real.”

Hardware Studio Toolkit will be a new community site where anyone with an idea for a hardware project can learn from Dragon and Avnet engineers, Kickstarter staff, experienced creators, and industry experts. The site will host a series of tutorials and live webinars and will offer powerful tools to help creators get ready for production.

And Hardware Studio Connection will connect creators of more advanced projects with Avnet and Dragon, which can provide design, prototyping, and manufacturing services.

Creators will receive strategic advice and feedback from Dragon and Avnet engineers, discounts on components and services, and access to Dragon’s Product Planner tool, which helps hardware builders select parts and develop cost estimates. Creators can apply for this program through a simple application, and participating projects may be highlighted on Kickstarter.

Technology and design projects have raised more than $1 billion on Kickstarter to date, and Dragon and Avnet have guided dozens of Kickstarter creators through the manufacturing process.

“The democratization of design is driving increasingly more technology-based creativity and solutions, from personal needs and industrial applications to significant societal issues,” said Avnet CEO William Amelio, in a statement. “However, bringing those innovations to market is not a simple task. Together with Kickstarter and Dragon Innovation, this initiative will provide creators with the tools, expertise, advice, and resources required to make their inventions a reality. This collaboration is uniquely structured to guide today’s ideas into tomorrow’s technology.”

“We’ve been working with Kickstarter creators for years, and have seen the positive impact a clear understanding of manufacturing costs and schedules can have on a campaign,” said Dragon CEO and cofounder Scott N. Miller, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with Kickstarter and Avnet to use our combined horsepower to provide unmatched tools and expertise that help creators see around corners and move forward with confidence.”

Hardware Studio is scheduled to launch in September.

Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, 12.8 million people have pledged over $3 billion on its platform, funding more than 124,000 creative projects. Kickstarter has 130 employees.


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