Since its inception in March of 2005, Y Combinator has helped guide and launch dozens of successful startups through their innovative support platform consisting of seed money, advice and resources. The company, which is based out of Mountain View, California, is able to supply their financial and industry connection resources in exchange for an average of 6-7% of a young company’s equity. To date, this has proven to be a successful partnership for both startups as well as Y Combinator – who have over 500 companies in their portfolio with at least 37 of those having a valuation of over $40 million.

Among other companies that spawned out of Y Combinator’s “Boot Camp”-like approach for getting a startup off the ground include many notable names such as Reddit, AirBnB, Disqus, Dropbox, Stripe and Scribd.

Yesterday, Y Combinator president Sam Altman stated in a blog post that although Y Combinator has been focusing heavily on software and web applications over the years, the company has been slowly increasing the amount of hardware companies and now they’re ready to launch a bevy of new resources and partnerships to help hardware startups get off the ground that much more efficiently.

“Our hope is that [this] will make the YC experience much more valuable for hardware startups.”


Among the added resources include a partnership with Bolt, a Boston-based hardware startup company whose mission statement and business structure isn’t too different from Y Combinator’s. As a part of the partnership, Bolt’s San Francisco-based partners and engineering staff will advise Y Combinator hardware companies on product development and manufacturing. The hardware startups will also be able to work with Bolt’s staff at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop to further develop their hardware concepts.


Additionally, Y Combinator has worked out a number of deals with hardware development and prototyping service providers to offer steep discounts for hardware startups including 3D printing, rapid injection molding, PCB fabrication, metalworking, design expertise, RF and carrier testing, early access to dev kits, product photography and international scaling.

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Although Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop will likely be the go-to for most development work, Y Combinator is also opening up their own smaller prototyping facility closer to their Mountain View office that will focus on “quick PCB rework as needed, or make a 3D print anytime during the week,” according to Altman.

Further, Y Combinator is in the stages of preparing a “How to Start a Hardware Startup” guide and will be posting some Requests for Startups in the very near future:

“We’ll be posting some new hardware RFSs as well–we’re happy to see all sorts of hardware companies, but we especially like the ones that are fundamentally new ideas that Kickstarter might not support (and we don’t shy away from expensive hardware–we’ve funded companies building things like nuclear reactors and rockets, which will require hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to succeed).”


Stay informed over at Y Combinator.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.