Technology, like the imagination, is limitless: if you can dream it, then “it” can eventually become a reality. However, many startups quickly realize more is required when producing and launching new and innovative products. Now, what can be done in order to make the dream a concrete reality? Thalmic Labs, part of the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program, shows us how it’s possible with the right attitude, great software, and lots of hard work.
How it all started
Matthew Bailey, Stephen Lake, and Aaron Grant, fellow classmates and graduates of the University of Waterloo in Canada, had an idea and created their hardware startup with the sole purpose of creating technology that enables people to interact with computers through their own gestures.
“We sat back and thought about how humans typically interact with things. It’s always through your hands: you always want to touch things, feel things, and control things with your hands and fingers,” explains Matt. “We were trying to figure out how we could interact with a wearable computing system with our hands and fingers and not use video-based, gesture recognition that could watch your body and monitor your hand movements.”
After launching in 2012, Thalmic went through a rough patch trying to get incubators and investors intrigued enough to support this new take on wearable technology. Pitch competitions originally proved difficult but finally became essential in Thalmic Labs getting the funding it needed, and SOLIDWORKS tools were crucial in quickly creating the necessary prototypes to impress investors. More than six months later, Thalmic raised over $14.5 million USD in Series A financing.
Since 2013, Thalmic has been working towards releasing a consumer version of the Myo armband, and this goal was reached in early 2015. For Thalmic, having a software capable of handling iterative design cycles is a necessity, and Chris Goodine, Developer Evangelist at Thalmic, notes that, “Thalmic moves really quickly and we need to maintain that with a software design platform that’s quick to pick up, especially for our co-op students. SOLIDWORKS fits the bill.”
When asked about what kind of advice he would give to other hardware startup entrepreneurs, co-founder Matt states: “No matter how bleak the future looks, that can turn around quickly with some hard work. Never count yourself out in terms of turning a meeting around, making it go well, and making your company, your product, or the people participating look good. There’s always a way to come out of a meeting with a positive outcome if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort to make that happen.”
Could you invent the next great product?
Could SOLIDWORKS be the key to taking your next great product idea to reality? Read more about how Thalmic used SOLIDWORKS solutions to quickly create prototypes that enabled the startup to impress investors and secure the necessary funding to bring its product to market by clicking on the banner below.
Learn more by downloading a White Paper that offers guidance to early-stage hardware entrepreneurs that can lead them down the path of success.