Frequently Asked Questions
Only hardware startups can be part of the program?
No. Software Startups are also welcome! We have several benefits and expertise for software, but we also have for hardware, something that until now no accelerator in Brazil had.
What is the Hards Factory? Do I need to attend this step of the process?
Yes, everyone needs to participate. Hards Factory is our equity-free pre-acceleration program and is part of our selection process for investment and acceleration. In this step we work intensively with startups to understand, iterate and perform the first steps of acceleration. It is a moment to understand how this partnership will be in the long term. The Factory lasts 1 month and a half to two months, and the startup can work in our collaborative space. The acceleration team will analyze the need for each startup to participate in full-time or not, but of course we would preferably like you 100% of the time in our home so that we can give all the necessary support.
At the end of this stage, possibly not everyone will receive investment and will continue in the program.
How is the selection process for HARDS Acceleration Program?
We can’t invest in everyone, and we have to select the best that we can help. Our selection process is divided into a few steps. It was adapted from the Darwin Startups model, as it is a very well developed process that has been validated in more than #7 batches, with very few write-offs in the startup portfolio. We start from the on-line application, than we through an interview, HARDS Day, Hards Factory and finally the investment proposal for acceleration. See more details here.
How much is the capital invested?
Our investment is up to R$300K in exchange for 5%-10%-20 equity, depending on the stage of each startup. In addition to the capital, we have several benefits that add up to R$500K. We have also specialists in fund-raising to analyze the possibilities of fund-raising via innovation grants and tax incentive programs
What are the operating segments of the selected startups?
We initially defined some segments due to our analysis of opportunities that came through the Darwin Startups selection process and also for understanding that many Startups in these markets were without an expert program to accelerate them. However we know that many good opportunities can be from other markets, so we are not fully fixed in the segments already disclosed, and can open opportunities for startups that work in other markets.
Do I need to change the company to SC or can I just participate in a face-to date?
The step of pre-acceleration and acceleration happens in person at our headquarters in Florianópolis, due to all the benefits we have available (circuit board factory in our basement, laboratory of embedded systems on the upper floor, team of P & D Engineers in the next room, location of our mentors and advisors, among others).
If we identify that it would be an advantage to bring the company (CNPJ) to Florianópolis, due to tax benefits, promotion notices etc., then we suggest to bring.
For the in-person steps, we recommend that company representatives, especially the founders, participate in person.
5, 10 or 20, how much participation will the HARDS have?
Depends on the startup stage. When we talk about hardware often startups have a greater challenge in advancing compared to software startups. So let’s review the startups and check which stage fits and how the investment will be.
You are a hardware accelerator, if my startup is software, can I participate?
Yes! We have many benefits for hardware that until then no accelerant in Brazil had and we also have many benefits and experience in the software area, after all the HARDS emerged from the Darwin Startups.
What is the maturity level of the startup to participate in HARDS?
The ideal level for acceleration is when you already have an MVP running and have the first customers, so we can help you find the distribution channels and where to allocate resources to scale.
But also, we have a pre-acceleration program, the HARDS Factory, which helps to evolve very fast startups at the earliest stages. In this way we can select hardware startups with bench prototype up to software startups that can assist in channel validation and market connection.