Hard truth about Hardware Startups.
Some of you know me well and we've interacted in the past.
For those who are seeing me for the first time, I run an early stage startup company called We-Convert, an IoT startup trying to innovate across the Waste Management space and now failing.
On the other side, Neeraj Joshi and I met during the super early days of PushStart back in 2017 when I was asked to share my startup information in the community, collectively as an Idea, my inspiration and to the extent i recall, this is how PushStart actually started!
People signing up and new ideas being shared weekly.
(Correct me if I'm mistaken)
What is this about?
This is about THAT area of the ecosystem where no one speaks or share insights about, the brutal Hardware spectrum.
I built this startup with a clean motivation of bringing a change to the society and create an impact at larger scales, 4 years ago and here i stand today, with a startup that's struggling hard to save the boat.
As a starter, we are building a Smart Trash bin unit for businesses and Cities that does trash auto sort and perform necessary data analytics around trash management space, eventually optimizing the end trash disposal and accounts for economical benefits.
Think of this as a connected, smart TrashBin that reads your trash and takes care of the rest.
Here comes the story
We-Convert was on the verge to loose its runway 8 months back and completely blacked out during the start of the year 2020.
We knocked the doors of several funds (Accelerators, Micro VCs and others) yet all they came back was a NO NO.
Hardly 2 out of every 10 Institutes decides to risk themselves into startups building HW element.
We worked hard, day and night to build the product and perform needed iterations, did initial pilots, failed, stood up again and practically explored everything to scale this up and at this point, i feel completely helpless and directionless.
- Fake it till you make it concept didn't really worked out well for our case.
- Product development and R&D ate up almost all our cash reserves.
- I practically visited every accelerator program across the globe that keeps a certain interest in tech IoT but failed.
We were doing pretty well until 2019 (Landed a spot at Alchemist SF too!), however the demand and operations always outnumbered the cash reserves we had.
(Our engagements with our current investors restricts them to reinvest in any form of instrument)
We did mistakes like every startup does.
We learnt from them, stood back everytime we fell, but this time i'm finding it different, hard and practically running out of options.
I haven't made an official quit yet (I don't want to either!)
Pandemic has made it even more disastrous for us.
We can't think of any practical pivot.
Team's loosing motivation with every email that pops up and has a NO in it.
Debt's piling up.
Product development has been put to a halt since there's no cash in the bank to fuel the developments.
Not sure if i should call this a failed attempt?
I'm inviting all constructive ideas, suggestions and recommendations or anything in general that may help us save the boat from sinking.