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How Hardware Startups Gain Initial Traction [Episode #14: Ben Einstein]

December 1, 2015 · 2  min.

The NextView podcast Traction explores the clever, creative, and atypical things entrepreneurs do to make initial progress against the odds. If startups should do things that “don’t scale,” then this podcast asks a simple question: What ARE those things? Past episodes include stories from founders of LinkedIn, DraftKings, General Assembly, Mattermark, Duck Duck GoInsightSquared, and more. Subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher

In our latest episode, Ben Einstein, Founder/Partner of BOLT, an early-stage VC investing in hardware startups, shares the stories of several connected devices and hardware companies and their tricks and challenges. We compare and contrast software to hardware in this episode, examining three core aspects of building any company:

  1. Building early products (customer dev, prototypes, etc.)
  2. Acquiring initial customers (including one “magic” number Ben proposes for a hardware startup to reach)
  3. Raising seed capital. (In a fun rant, Ben addresses his fellow investors and tells them how they need to change their approaches to hardware startups and their founders.)

Follow Ben @beneinstein and visit to learn more.

And let me know what you think of the show — tweet me (Jay Acunzo) @Jay_zo. You can also subscribe to receive all NextView projects focused on helping startups gain initial traction, as well as episodes of the show.


Listen now in these places or wherever you get your podcasts:




Channel links: iTunes | Stitcher