Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Boston's Bolt launches hardware companies

With more than a million dollars in prototyping equipment and a wide range of expertise, Bolt helps launch hardware startups

Article comments

Watch the first episode in our new series Breakout Startups here.

Tucked away in downtown Boston, Ben Einstein looks for the next multimillion-dollar idea. As the co-founder of Bolt, Einstein -- who wouldn't confirm or deny his relationship to Albert -- is in charge of choosing hardware startups and launching them to success.

Bolt includes office space and a complete machine shop with more than a million dollars of prototyping equipment that the startups can use. Bolt invests in about one company each month and has a portfolio of about a dozen.

"Most of our companies are actually software companies," Einstein said. "They just happen to sell a piece of hardware."

Bolt's machine shop in the basement of the facility includes many of the tools that Einstein used in previous roles as a product designer at various companies. The shop includes a vacuum former, lathe, nearly antique Bridgeport CNC mill, laser cutter, various 3D printers and other tools that would cost too much for a single startup to amass.

While Bolt's machine shop is useful to rapidly prototype hardware, it's not meant to manufacture anything in large quantities. Einstein said that Bolt helps extensively with manufacturing which includes "going to China, thinking through the supply chain aspects and cost."

To help with business plans and product designs, Bolt employs a full-time staff of engineers and designers who have shipped millions of units of product. It also has a community of investors to provide funding for the startups.

Bolt is selective about the companies that it brings on because Bolt itself is backed by investors.

"It's all about finding companies that we believe can be big. So we're taking small ownership in these companies just like any [venture capital] firm and we hope some of those companies will return a significant portion of that capital and then some."

Bolt doesn't work like a formal accelerator with a program and a timeline, he said. "We don't operate like that," Einstein said. The focus is on creating good product designs because "it's much more difficult to distribute atoms than bits."

In our second installment of Breakout Startups we'll take a look at one of the companies that Bolt funds -- a weather startup that is working on a next-generation forecasting tool.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *