Week 8: Manufacturing

Manufacturing must be considered early in the startup process. Products that cannot be cost-effectively manufactured, delivered or supported are destined to fail. This week’s curriculum covers:

  • Manufacturing fundamentals and challenges
  • The importance of and resources for prototyping
  • Deciding whether and how to manufacture or outsource
  • Where and how manufacturing impacts your business model canvas

A group activity is also planned for the live session. Teams will take part (and compete) in a live manufacturing simulation to see which teams can best balance work flow, resources and profit.

This weeks also introduces your one-page executive summary deliverable. This fact sheet will accompany your pitch deck to provide a brief, high-level business overview that is easy to read and scannable. Your executive summary is part of the final due-diligence packet to be turned in at final evaluations.

Back to Full 2018 Accelerator Schedule

Week 8 Requirements


  • Before You Manufacture…Build a Prototype
  • Where to Manufacture: In-house, Outsource, or In-between? 
  • Manufacturing and the Business Model Canvas
  • Hardware Startup Basics: From a Working Prototype to Your First Batch: This is an outside video from Dragon Innovation (makers of Roomba). It’s oriented toward electro-mechanical products but most of the content applies to just about any product. The video includes discussion of issues we’re covering from the perspective of an experienced entrepreneur.
    • Deciding between Chinese vs. Domestic production  | from start to minute 9:00
    • How to select a contract manufacturer  | from minute 9:01 to 16:46
    • Cost  | from minute 16:47 to 28:10
    • Schedule  | from minute 18:11 to 29:51
    • Quality |  from minute 32:33 – 33:57

Live Panel Session: Completed

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Additional Tools & Resources

Homework & Deliverables

  • Continue conducting your customer discovery interviews (at least three per week).
  • Prep for the manufacturing simulation: Review this sheet and decide on your team’s role assignments (who will be responsible for which role within the simulation from your simulation team).
  • Deliverable: Update your business model canvas as you learn from the customer discovery interviews.
  • Deliverable: Begin developing your one-page executive summary/fact sheet with your latest materials. Use this sample as a potential template.

Mentor Activities & Assistance

  • Review your customer discovery interview progress with your mentors.
  • Review this week’s deliverables with your mentors.