Australian-first hardware startup space opens in Fortitude Valley

26 February 2018

Brisbane’s startup ecosystem has broadened with the launch of Australia’s first hardware incubator in Fortitude Valley.

The new Brisbane startup space, Arc Hardware Incubator, offers a dedicated area with access to equipment required for prototyping ground-breaking products.

The space is the first of its kind in Australia, with the entrepreneur at its helm, Victor Vicario, promising efficient and affordable access to equipment for resource-intensive startups.

For Brisbane entrepreneurs, the space is a game changer. Arc addresses a current issue being faced by product innovators, who often experience early difficulties due to the costs involved for machinery and equipment.

Mr Vicario said: “Unlike software startups, which can do their product development from a laptop, hardware startups don’t have the luxury of a single piece of equipment that allows them to develop their prototype.”

Arc offers a solution by providing members with flexible access to a range of cutting-edge advanced prototyping and manufacturing equipment.

Resources include computer labs with pre-installed industrial design software, 3D printers including carbon fibre 3D printing, laser cutters, CNC machines and soldering stations as well as assembly and testing facilities.

Arc also has a “media lab”, where members can access audio and video equipment to produce content for use in marketing, crowdfunding campaigns or investment pitches.

While the space only officially launched in February, it is already home to some outstanding talent.

One Arc tenant is developing a wearable device that draws on data collection, sensor technology and an alert system to address the safety risk of mine truck drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.

Another tenant has developed a handheld device that uses sensors to empower people with vision impairments to navigate three-dimensional objects in the real world.

A third is working on a manufacturing machine, with a view to enabling small businesses to compete in the advanced manufacturing space.

To cater for hardware startups at different stages of their journey, from pre-revenue ventures still finalising their core talent through to more established companies, Arc operates a subscription-based model, with access to prototyping and manufacturing technologies from as little as $25 per day.

For more information on Arc Hardware Incubator, visit http://arc.space/incubator/

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