107: Using Hardware Incubators for Product Startups | MAKO Design + Invent

107: Using Hardware Incubators for Product Startups

December 23, 2021

With Alex Dantas, CEO of CircuitLaunch

Alex Dantas is CEO of CircuitLaunch, one of California’s top hardware accelerator facilities. CircuitLaunch is an almost 40,000 square foot hardware innovation space and makerspace for inventors, hardware startups, and hardware companies. Mako Design is also a long-standing partner in the space. Today Alex is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can utilize facilities like Circuitlaunch to develop their invention product ideas, then scale them to the big leagues. He is also going to give his advice on what really works to ensure startup success given the hundreds of startups he has watched come through their doors.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Alex’s background of persistence in the USA
  • The power of hardware incubation facilities for hardware startups
  • Makerspaces are evolving into co-facturing
  • The value of hardware labs for product startups
  • The value of education around hardware communities
  • Short-run manufacturing for North American hardware startups

Product Startup
107: Using Hardware Incubators for Product Startups
With Alex Dantas, CEO of CircuitLaunch

00:00 | Kevin Mako (KM): Hello product innovators. Today, we learn from the founder of San Francisco’s top hardware incubator how invention startups can succeed by leveraging product design communities and spaces.

00:12 | Voice-over: You’re listening to the Product Startup podcast. The show that helps bring your product idea to life, by chatting with successful inventors, product developers, manufacturers, and hardware industry professionals. Our goal here is to get to the bottom of what makes a product successful, from initial idea to getting your product on store shelves. We’re taking you step by step to build a functional product and scale your product business. Hosted by Kevin Mako, one of North America’s leading experts on hardware development for small product businesses. Now, on to the show.

00:48 | KM: Welcome back everyone. Today, I’m very excited to introduce Alex Dantas to the show. Alex is the CEO of Circuit Launch, one of California’s top hardware accelerator facilities.

00:57 | KM: Circuit Launch is an almost 40,000 square foot hardware innovation space and makerspace for inventors, hardware startups, and hardware companies. Mako Design is also a long-standing partner in the space.

01:06 | KM: Today, Alex is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can utilize facilities like Circuit Launch to develop their invention product ideas, then scale them to the big leagues.

01:15 | KM: He is also going to give us some advice on what really works to ensure startup success, given the hundreds of startups he has watched come through their doors. Now, on to the episode. Hey Alex, welcome to the show.

01:25 | Alex Dantas (AD): Thank you for having me.

01:26 | KM: I’m looking forward to talking to you today about hardware, makerspaces, incubators, accelerators, all of that, especially from you, who is the founder and CEO of Circuit Launch.

01:37 | KM: We’re very happy to have you on the show because of course you and I have been working together for years now. And Macko Design is very happy to be the design firm of record inside the Circuit Launch facility, which is an incredible facility. You’ve done an amazing job of building something spectacular for the Bay Area in California.

01:52 | KM: But before we get into the tips and tricks for startups and how they can maximize the value of the education and the communities, and everything else that goes around a place like Circuit Launch, kick it off with how you got here to this big facility from where you started because you’ve got an incredible backstory,

02:08 | AD: Well Kevin, that’s quite a complicated story there but I will try to do the rundown for you. I’m Brazilian, I was born in Brazil. I went through mechatronic engineering in high school. Then I went to law school, dropped out of law school to do classical ballet. So I moved to the United States to do classical ballet.

02:26 | AD: I moved here in the early two thousands. Then, eventually, I grew out of it. For me, classical ballet was never about becoming a professional, I was a very shy person. For me, it was to become the best version of me that I could be.

02:38 | AD: So I never became good at it, but I became a thousand times better than I ever thought I could be. And for me the personal development was amazing. I was in New York for a little while, then I moved to the valley to start a company.

02:48 | AD: Because I heard that here is where the money tree is, you find the money tree, and then you pick up the $100 bills. Then I started a company. I was way ahead of the time at the time, we could not raise money. Then I became homeless. I was homeless for a couple of months, living in my car in San Francisco.

03:04 | KM: Wow.

03:06 | AD: Then, from living in my car, this was 2007, 2008 I started flipping homes in San Francisco. So I bought an $800,000 house without having the money to make the first payment, the first mortgage while living in my car.

03:19 | AD: The way how I made that happen was I bought the house in the mission in San Francisco and I was able to flip one of the units, it was a loop block, within 30 days. So I had $0, living in my car, to $30,000 in about 30 days. I sold on Craigslist one side of the house for some money on the internet.

03:36 | AD: That was amazing. Actually, I know the person to this day; we became good partners and good friends. I ended up joining the US Army as a watercraft engineer. After that time, after 2009 happened I could not get a 100% to finance the house anymore because my business of my model just worked on that model.

03:50 | AD: Then I joined the US Army as a watercraft engineer, traveled the world with the given support to the Navy SEALs and different locations. Then when I got out of the Army, I started a company that didn’t work out. Then started another company that didn’t work out. I started another company that didn’t work out.

04:03 | AD: Then my fourth company gave me enough money to not have to work for a year. Then I started another company, a secured app. Actually, I got about 3½  million people to download. After that, I started selling luxury cars to Brazil and China.

04:18 | AD: And I sold about $10 million worth of cars using only one email address, never had a website, never met one of the clients, and I think I only saw a couple of the cars…

04:26 | KM: Wow!

04:27 | AD: …that I ever sold. And, while all that was happening, I rented this office space and I met the owner of that building. And he was telling me that he has this empty building in Oakland, in California, and it has been empty for about 10 years. And he wanted to do something.

04:42 | AD: You saw me doing stuff with the software side and some other experience that I had. He was like, well, I want to do something with you. I was like, well, I started as a mechatronic engineer. Being a mechatronic engineer is all I wanted to be in my teams because it was my dream to become one.

04:56 | AD: But it’s very hard for you to actually do any hardware product because different from software, where you can start at a Starbucks with your computer, hardware, as a lot of companies will tell you is that it is a business from day one. From day one, you have to start thinking about I think I need office space.

05:15 | AD: I’m going to need this equipment. I’m going to have to hire one person. And you have to think much bigger from when you start. Then we’re like, what if we can bring the hardware community together? And that’s how I started Circuit Launch. We took this 30,000 square feet space that was empty.

05:30 | AD: Then we raised some money from the building owner and remodeled the entire thing ourselves. So we put every single carpet piece that you see on the floor here ourselves. A lot of the furniture, initially, we did ourselves. And we opened up. And slowly we broke it out.

05:48 | AD: We built an electronic lab, a woodshop, and certain areas for common areas for people to not have to buy equipment like lasers, 3D printers, and all that. 

05:56 | AD: And then little by little one company came. Then another company came. Then we filled out the space and we built more offices. And then we filled those offices too. We built a little bit more, and then we filled those offices. And then fast-forward, today’s Circuit Launch has 56 companies in this space.

06:10 | AD: We have a churn rate of about 3%, which is much lower than any co-working space that you hear about it. Companies here raised about $35 million within the last 12 months.

06:19 | AD: And we grew even in independent, very hard to find places that have all the equipment and everything that you need to build a hardware company. And I hope that was not too long of a background.

06:31 | KM: Well, and not only is Circuit Launch one of the premier hardware incubation or co-working facility in California, but you’re getting calls all the time from people wanting to spread the model to other places.

06:43 | KM: You’ve got major companies in there too; the Kickstarter, Google Ventures, etc. are all in the space, right? And a number of others too.

06:49 | AD: Yeah. Not Google Ventures. We have a lot of Google Ventures’ companies here. We have a lot of funded companies here that came out of Google. Similarly, I have a lot of companies here that came out of Stanford.

06:58 | KM: Wow.

06:59 | AD: And some of the MITs, Carnegie Mellon, a company that kind of started on those and flipped where they can end up creating their own wings, and they had to leave, and they came here. It has been an incredible ecosystem.

07:11 | AD: And I am blessed to feel like every day I get to speak to people who know the subject 100 times more than I will ever know. And it just feels like a lesson to me every single day when I walk around and talk to people.

07:23 | KM: Well, it’s been great. I appreciate working with your clients there, as well as having our little home within the facilities too.

07:29 | AD: Right.

07:29 | KM: And one of the big things that I think is so valuable, and of course, together we’re going to do a lot of is the education and programming events.

07:35 | AD: Right.

07:35 | KM: So let’s start there. Like first and foremost, you mentioned the words hardware community.

07:40 | AD: Right.

07:40 | KM: This isn’t just a co-working space that has a great tool shop and all the toys and bells and whistles to build and prototype and play around with hardware inventions and gadgets.

07:50 | AD: Right.

07:51 | KM: But it’s really creating a community and an ecosystem around that.

07:54 | AD: Right.

07:54 | KM: And that is what is so valuable to hardware startups. Can you speak a bit more about that? And how that has created a lot of value for the folks who have come through your facilities, either as a tenant or as a general community member?

08:07 | AD: The number one thing, that goal, our number one mission when we started was just to bring the community together. We didn’t have a business model. We had no idea how we were going to make this work. It was just let’s bring our people together, that was kind of the goal.

08:19 | AD: Because when I moved here I felt that it was hard for me just to meet the hardware folks. I think we are more enclosed than the software people are because there are a lot more tools for software out there. It was. It’s getting much better now to get together with the hardware community.

08:35 | AD: So the idea was that. So, again, how do we do that? It’s like, well, there’s offering everything that makes life easier for them. Let’s make everything. In the beginning, we gave a lot of free space, we talked to everyone, we followed them closely, we helped them out when they couldn’t pay the rent.

08:53 | AD: We did everything that they could not possibly find in someplace else, which at the end of the day is what a community means is finding a common group of people who have a common problem in trying to solve that one problem for that common group, and that’s kind of how you be a community.

09:14 | AD: Also being blessed that early on, we had Dan O’ Mara, who is one of my partners, and he helped build the community booster boards. So Dan was very familiar. Also, Dan was part of the TechShop, which is another company that used to exist in the Bay Area but doesn’t anymore.

09:32 | AD: And Dan had a lot of experience to tell me you know what we shouldn’t do this, we shouldn’t do that. That’s where we’re going to do this. That’s how we’re going to do this. And it helped out a lot. And it started with that one person though.

09:42 | AD: And so I think every time people sometimes think about community, they think about a stadium full of people, right? It starts with that one person.

09:50 | AD: It’s one person and then another person, it’s very linear mathematics, and at some point, it becomes exponential. But for a while it’s just 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, until you bring all of this together.

10:05 | KM: That’s amazing. And it worked outright; you’re at full capacity now? 

10:09 | AD: Right. Yeah. A 100% occupied, for a while.

10:11 | KM: Yeah. That’s an amazing story. Well, in terms of the value to startups as an emerging startup or a scaling startup, why should they think about being a part of a community like this? What value is there to them in joining this as opposed to building the thing out of their garage?

10:31 | AD: Mostly because building a product yourself sucks. It’s a very lonely process. It’s lonely for the entrepreneurs, it’s lonely everywhere, but specifically for the hardware because you need all this stuff that you kind of don’t have.

10:48 | AD: And it’s hard for you to bring all the expertise in one person. You need to be where all the people who can help you are. And building a hardware product takes a little longer than building a software product. It requires way more skills than you have on the software side.

11:05 | AD: Because we have industry design and you have people that have interesting materials depending on what kind of stuff you are working on. And you have to have some people who understand a little bit of business so that you don’t build something that nobody actually wants to buy.

11:16 | AD: You also have to get people to understand how to actually make a product. That’s where I think Mako Design is amazing at doing this. It’s amazing to me how you focus on this one niche just working with startups, almost nobody wants to work with them.

11:31 | AD: Because it’s like they’re hard to work with and then Mako is perfect as it is in a way that it will take that person who is struggling in their garage, working alone, who will come to a community like ours and then you can actually get them to build a product, actually build a product.

11:47 | AD: And here’s the tip for a lot of entrepreneurs out there who are working out of your home or trying to figure out what you want to do. Building your product is the most important thing so that you can get value for your hardware startup. Let me rephrase that.

12:04 | AD: Deploying or making your product and actually getting to a place where you can show it to other people that you have a product is the most important thing that you need to do right now. Anything else that does not accomplish that goal as fast as you can is completely irrelevant at this stage.

12:22 | AD: Software people, they figured it out that they can just go with an idea to most investors and tell them this is how I’m going to do it. And they will understand it because they’ve been around that process. So they’ll say, oh yeah, I can see you doing that, and if you have the skills. Hardware investors believe it when they see it.

12:42 | KM: And feel it.

12:43 | AD: They need to see the…

12:43 | KM: In their hands, right?

12:44 | AD: Right. They need to see it. They need to feel it. So wherever you are, if you have a community close to your home and close you where you are please join the community, it will make your process much faster.

12:56 | AD: Don’t try to do hardware alone. It takes longer, it’s frustrating and there are a lot of options for you to do this with a community.

13:05 | KM: Yeah. And it’s amazing because there’s so much happening in every major city that’s helping evolve the support network in the communities around hardware specifically. And Circuit Launch is a great example of that. Obviously, San Francisco is known for its software, but hardware is a big component of it.

13:23 | KM: And there has been a ton of billion dollar hardware companies that have come out of San Francisco in the Bay Area. 

13:28 | AD: Right.

13:29 | KM: So what better support network than to have a physical space where you can bring all these different partners and players together, but as well as having a lot of other people that are going through a similar journey.

13:38 | AD: Right.

13:38 | KM: And this is something that’s so amazing about Circuit Launch. And you’ve seen this Alex. You’ve watched dozens of hardware startups come up through your programs.

13:46 | AD: Right.

13:47 | KM: And you’re seeing what kind of works and what doesn’t work. And that knowledge can be shared so quickly amongst the new and emerging upcoming startups that are coming through both on the initial ideation phase, but also as they’re scaling.

13:59 | KM: Those are two different things. Firstly, you have to build it, and then you’re going to raise a bunch of money. Or you’re going to start pre-selling or whatever it is to get some money in the door. Then you have to scale it up. How do you go from selling 100 units to 500, to 5,000 to 50,000, and so on?

14:12 | AD: Right.

14:13 | KM: Right. And that’s kind of the evolution of a hardware product. But all of that can really be helped and supported by your local incubation hub community, etc., right?

14:23 | AD: Right. Absolutely.

14:24 | KM: Right. No matter what stage of the plan you’re at, which brings me to another topic Alex that I’d like to talk with you about because you’re seeing it happen right in front of your face. And it’s this concept of local short-run manufacturing to get a product off the ground and test marketed.

14:40 | KM: What are your thoughts on that? Where do you see that going? And where does a place like Circuit Launch help fill the void there?

14:46 | AD: Right. So after seeing a few 100 companies come out of here and then go through the same process, I’ve found a common thread that happens I would say 80% of the time.

14:54 | AD: For those lucky ones that manage to raise a little bit of money, the first thing they do is they’ll think now they’ll take that money, they can hire the best people they can possibly find. And they spend a lot of time trying to find those people or trying to find contractors who will fill the void with one aspect or another here.

15:15 | AD: Then they spend 75% of their money trying to do that process. Almost 100% of the time it does not work. So when they get to the end of that period, like when they have about 200% leftover in the bank, and they realize, oh, I made all these mistakes.

15:31 | AD: Because you know as an entrepreneur you’re going to make all the mistakes, and for hardware, they’re expensive mistakes. Because you don’t have a lot of money, and it takes more money for you to build a product than for you to build software. Then you spend the money. 

15:42 | AD: And then now we have this little B and realize, oh my God, now I have to do the product myself. And you scramble, and you get trained, you do everything you can to build a product yourself. But most of the time at that point it’s too late. So that process has to be inverted.

16:00 | AD: Entrepreneurs should be able to build the product from the beginning. It should be again like I said before; the first thing you should be worrying about is just to get something out, rough evidence. And you should try to do that yourself. There is probably an argument on the side of this that they probably shouldn’t.

16:19 | AD: I thought that one, you could start as soon as you can launch as well, that they shouldn’t do it. They should actually go to China, or they should go to someplace else. And then because they achieve you can then do all of this. I thought that one, you could start as soon as you can launch as well. What I’ve learned is that is a very bad idea.

16:33 | AD: And trust me on this, which is that if you are a hardware entrepreneur right now, please try to develop the product on your own. Find people who will develop that product for you, who you know for sure that you can get something out that’s complete.

16:49 | AD: And those skills are very hard for you to find when you’re just starting out and you have very little money. Because you are going to make a lot of mistakes going through the process. The need that I see right now in the hardware product, it’s actually not on a factory side. There are factories everywhere.

17:07 | AD: There are factories when you get to high scale, you get thousands of pieces. That problem is solved. When you get to thousands of pieces, when you have a demand for that many there are tons of factories anywhere in the world, even in the United States, that will help you, will give you credit to build your product.

17:23 | AD: They will be all over you to actually build the thing for you. The problem is when you have to build those few hundred or the first thousand pieces. And the model that I see evolving right now is that we need a type of place that is not a factory but is also not for prototyping or just making a space only.

17:42 | AD: It is this thing in between that we call co-factory. A co-factory is a place right where you’re able to build your first few units that you have enough expertise in that place. They’ll help you build from idea to a production of about a few hundred units.

17:57 | AD: And that is the model that I think the United States, North America actually needs the most. It is focused on those first few hundred pieces that do not require all the million dollar equipment for you to do it. Now, at the of the day, when you build your prototype, you’re doing pretty much five things.

18:12 | AD: You’re cutting, you’re adding, you’re shaping and you’re gluing together. It’s those five things that you’re working to do. And you have a facility that’ll help you and train you to do those five things.

18:22 | AD: And they’ll get you to those few hundred pieces for the first 10. Once you’re done with that, your job becomes so much easier because you understand your product, you have something you can show investors, and now investors would be more willing to take a higher risk on you because you got the product out.

18:38 | AD: So a co-factory is where I think where this place should go. Like that’s all this facility should become.

18:43 | AD: That’s very powerful stuff. I’ve talked about it a few times on the show before on the emergence of what we call, short-run manufacturing. Manufacturing even as low as 10 units, maybe 50, 100, 200 units. You’re not going to make money on this cash flow-wise when you sell these products, but it doesn’t matter.

19:02 | KM: Because you’ve now exponentially increased the equity and intellectual property value of your product. You’ve now proven, even if it’s only 50 units, that somebody out there was willing to whip out their credit card.

19:13 | KM: Or even if you gave them away one way or another, they wrote a raving review about your product, either internally or even better publicly on the internet. They’ve said, I’ve tried the first edition of this, maybe you call it the pre-release edition or whatever you want to call it.

19:26 | KM: Short-run produced units really working in people’s hands, gives them the ability to say that they love the product you are now in production. Yes. 

19:36 | KM: It’s only a small amount of units, but the bigger corporate players, somebody who’s either going to invest in you, acquire you, or partner with you, all they care about is that you have some users in some market that thinks it’s an amazing product. Because, of course, they’re the ones who know how to scale it exponentially from there.

19:51 | KM: So you don’t need to convince them that there’s a much bigger market out there, that’s their job. They’re in that industry. Especially if they’re a distributor, wholesaler, retailer, you name it, they know product sales. What they don’t know is your product because it’s unique, it’s new.

20:05 | KM: And you’ve got two things that you’re focusing on there. One, as you said, Alex, it is the technical side. And I absolutely love how you said, essentially, your model is built first. 

20:13 | KM: Especially if you get to that point where you do raise a bit of money, a seed round, if it’s anywhere from 50K to a million dollars if you’ve raised that round and you’re spending most of it on let’s call it business development services, that’s not a good place for a hardware company to start.

20:29 | KM: All of that funding, and obviously I’m going to be biased as I run a design firm, but the reality is, and you’ve seen it now with hundreds of startups that have come through, if you focus on building a great product first, the business will follow.

20:39 | AD: Right.

20:39 | KM: Guy Kawasaki says the exact same thing. In fact, he goes one step further. This was well before the short-run manufacturing era. But he said, if you build a great prototype, you will never need to do a PowerPoint, a spreadsheet, a presentation ever again.

20:55 | KM: You will bring that product and sit it in front of people and say, this is my product, and here is how it works. That is really a big core in the early stages of a product business. And then, of course, that model inverts over time. As you scale and as you grow, more money will then flip over to the business development sales…

21:11 | AD: Sure.

21:12 | KM: …marketing, etc. Less will go into the R&D, but always still some to continue to improve. That model will shift but so many startups look at it backward because they’re learning from the classical textbook language of big corporate product firms.

21:27 | KM: Big corporate product development always basically looked at it on an upside-down triangle. Millions of dollars are spent on marketing and case studies and user studies and all that, eventually funneling down at the end of the day. Hopefully, there are some products that get made.

21:41 | AD: Right.

21:41 | KM: Well, as a startup, you need to invert that the other way around. You need to flip that triangle and get your product built, get to market, then start building the business from there.

21:50 | AD: Right. One thing why we got really excited when I met you and I brought you back to the team and I was like, look, if we can partner with this company, this is the company that we need to partner with.

22:02 | AD: Because one philosophy that we took from the beginning of building Circuit Launch, again focusing on communities that we did not take equity into the companies.

22:12 | AD: We are not here to tell you, oh, we don’t accept exclusive deals with any other companies to use this software or just use this one material here, all of that. Because it’s not our place to tell the companies what they should be doing, they are going to be telling us what they need.

22:31 | AD: And then we are here to serve them. And by messing up the equity and all that, we thought that will paint the commune aspect of it. And then when we met you and we were hearing about how focused you are just in that one niche. Just a side comment here because it is important for people to know.

22:51 | AD: There are a lot of pitchers that will tell you that they want to work with you with startups. And a lot of them are well-intended. But the point is that they don’t know how.

23:02 | AD: And they think that they will work with a few startups and maybe half of them will become a big-run product that they would end up making money off it, but that’s not how it happens. Most startups will have a hard time, but those few that actually make it will make a gigantic profit.

23:22 | AD: But it’s hard for you to find those fields as a factor because your interests are not aligned. And then the way how they’re going to build their products are different as well because are already thinking like how do I build this for scale and you don’t need that at that point. Not at that point. You just need a product out.

23:36 | AD: So when I found Mako Design I was like, this is the company that we need to partner with because they are focused only on the people who know the factors are not going to help. And he’s been doing this for 20 years. So that process took a little while for you and me to get in bed together.

23:55 | KM: Well, I appreciate it Alex. And yeah, it’s been great. And the reality is there are not a lot of places out there. And whether it is Circuit Launch or Mako Design, or other players that you’ve brought into the fold to help the early-stage companies.

24:06 | KM: But you and I believe heavily that it’s the small businesses, especially in the hardware space, that are leading most of the innovation. Especially these days, big companies are simply…

24:14 | AD: No doubt.

24:15 | KM: …spending less money on their own internal R&D and simply they’re allocating more money to acquire those small startups, either acquire or partner with or license or fund those small startups that can fit into their ecosystem.

24:27 | AD: I’ll also argue…

24:27 | KM: So they’re leading the world to develop the products, right?

24:29 | AD: Right. I also say that companies, hybrid companies are getting smaller. Because with automation it is each time making it easier for you to make your own product. So focus on that segment of the market where everything starts.

24:43 | AD: I think it is the most important capital location that someone has to make is in those beginning stages. Because when you overcome those hurdles and then there’s like all this market for you, all these things just open up for you.

24:56 | KM: Alex, I appreciate all that. And it’s really good insight. And I appreciate your inside tips on hardware startups, how it actually works. And you know what you’ve seen in terms of watching hundreds of startups come through your program, let alone all the others that you’ve dealt with in the past.

25:08 | KM: If people want to learn more about Circuit Launch what’s the website to go to and where can they learn more?

25:14 | KM: And talk a bit about, you’re starting to run a bunch of events again as well now that, hopefully, covid’s slowing down and you’re getting back into those big multi-hundred, I heard you had 1200 people out there for the most recent event at Circuit Launch.

25:26 | AD: Right 1,200 people. That was amazing for the robot block party. So we’re doing the robot block party every six months. We do it together with Silicon Valley Robotics, which is a non-profit organization that helps a lot of the hardware community. And Andra Keay is the one who put this event together; we did it in collaboration here.

25:45 | AD: Who also does a lot of the DIY Robocars autonomous cars race. If you want to know about us just go to circuitlaunch.com.

25:51 | AD: And we will also be launching an education program soon. The idea is that all displays are evolving to become the kind of school that we would like to go to. And we believe that eventually, places like Circuit Launch can become a very good alternative for four, five universities on the mechatronic side.

26:11 | AD: Because right now, universities have the most monopoly on lab space for education. Because companies don’t have time to train because they spend a lot of money and they want to produce. And the universities, the ones that can afford a nice lab only can have x amount of students at the same time.

26:32 | AD: And it has a rotation, every four years they have to kick them out. And where do they go? Hopefully, Circle Launch can be a home for them, just like we’re building this whole thing that comes together from the beginning, from the education to getting them to build their product and hopefully help them to start their own company.

26:51 | KM: Amazing Alex, great stuff. And as always, I’ll put all the links in the show notes below. So anybody can just click through.

26:57 | KM: Alex thanks again for all your tips, words of wisdom, and for explaining what’s going on at Circuit Launch. We will be talking to you soon. Appreciate it.

27:03 | AD: Thank you Kevin. I’m looking forward to 2022.

27:05 | KM: Take care.

27:05 | AD: You too. Bye

27:06 | Voice-over: Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Product Startup podcast. The show that teaches you what it really takes to bring your product to market and turn it into a big success. This podcast series is brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, the original and leading firm in North America to provide global caliber end-to-end physical consumer product development to startups, inventors, and small product business clients. If you’re looking for product development help on your invention, head over to makodesign.com. That’s M-A-K-O design.com, for a free consultation from one of MAKO Design’s, four design studios from coast to coast. Thanks for listening and see you next time.

EPISODE LINKS

Alex Dantas / CircuitLaunch Links:

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Mako Design Links:

Kevin Mako Links:

Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!