Episode Details – How to partner with startups to fuel your innovation with Haven Allen
Launching software products to market is very hard. But adding a hardware component makes it 10 times harder. Not only do you have the typical product and market challenges of software, but you also have the complexity of building a physical product, which can take a long time; it’s capital intensive, it might require specialized equipment, and it requires access to a supply-chain network you might not be a part of.
This is why I’m so excited to be joined by my guest today, Haven Allen! Haven is the CEO of mHUB; a startup accelerator focusing on hardware and software products — or, as Haven calls them — hard-tech.
In our conversation, we discuss the complexities of bringing hard-tech products to market, the role that accelerators like mHUB play in this space, and how large companies should partner with startups to create win-win relationships. Additionally, we also discuss the impact of COVID-19 in accelerating the innovation cycle of many industries, including Healthcare, Energy, and Manufacturing.
Whether you work at a hard-tech startup or at an enterprise that interacts with hard-tech startups, this is a fantastic episode that no Product Leader should miss!
About Haven Allen
Haven Allen, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of mHUB, is an entrepreneur and technology strategist who most recently concentrated on growing the manufacturing industry and strengthening its community throughout Chicagoland.
As an economic development strategist at World Business Chicago, he directed the Advisory Council for Chicagoland Manufacturing through which he established and led the implementation of an economic development agenda to support growth and job creation in the manufacturing sector. During his graduate education, Haven served as a Mayoral Fellow at the City of Chicago. As a fellow, he provided research and analysis on policy initiatives dealing with infrastructure, electricity markets, and municipal marketing.
Topics we discuss in this episode
- About Haven Allen’s background in tech
- About mHUB and Allen’s role as a CEO
- What “hard-tech” is
- Hard-tech startup best practices
- How mHUB leadership developed and shaped a robust venture capital ecosystem
- Haven’s insights on solving substantial problems in the advanced manufacturing space
- The holistic approach that Haven takes as CEO of mHUB
- How COVID-19 is impacting startups in the hard-tech industry
- mHUB’s business model and how it has enabled the different stages of the lifecycle to get to pilot and beyond
- mHUB’s roadmap and how they’re working toward creating more opportunities and jobs
- Other industries with the potential to leverage hard-tech
- What helps founders and startups with their positioning early on with innovations that they could bring to market
- Whether there has been more of a willingness from industries and companies to take a chance on hard-tech and “unproven technologies.”
- Why you need access to capital to scale up and accelerate your business
- How being an accelerator helps with the in-between challenges of doing small testing runs of hardware
- How the Chicago ecosystem has been an amazing asset for mHUB
- What a healthy, fruitful relationship looks like between a startup and a large corporation
- Haven’s tips and advice for founders and Product Leaders
Product Leadership tips of the week
- Know the problem and know the market you’re trying to attack.
- Create products that are going to live on for more than five to 10 years. This will require you to invest in technology at the bleeding edge, but this will give your product more longevity and future potential. Create feedback loops, find ways to accelerate your path to market, and leverage existing technologies.
- You also have to take your product to market; you can’t engineer something forever!
To learn more about Haven Allen
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