Benjamin Joffe, General Partner at hardware accelerator HAXLR8R, took the stage of 2014 TechCrunch China/TechNode event this week, saying there’re a dozen of categories of hardware projects they don’t accept.

Based in Shenzhen, China, HAXLR8R is an accelerator for hardware device makers, offering seed fund, office space and mentorship. Since the first batch in 2012, some 50 projects have graduated from the program, with about 30 from the U.S., 10 from Europe and 10 from Asia (8 from China).

HAXLR8R has offices in both Shenzhen, the long-time manufacturing center in China, and San Francisco. The team include about 50 experts and mentors, and a marketing team of ten. The experts and mentors with HAXLR8R would help startups improve their products.

Now Shenzhen has become a must place for makers to visit or live in, for there are all kinds of low-cost electronics parts, factories, and experienced experts who can tell you whether your hardware design is feasible at all. HAXLR8R Launch Day, however, is hosted in San Francisco in order to draw attention from the Western media and audiences.

Like most hardware startups, products with HAXLR8R launch on Kickstarter for early funding and adopters.

The projects HAXLR8R doesn’t accept, according to Joffe, include,

  • EASYware which is too easy to make or copy; for instance, a bunch of copies of Pressy emerged in China before the latter shipped its own product.
  • SAMEware which doesn’t differentiate enough; for instance, smart watches or activity tracking gadgets.
  • FUNware which is interesting, but there’s no business.
  • NICHEware for which there’s a very small market.
  • Other types of hardware projects HAXLR8R doesn’t want to support, by their definition, are FUTUREware, ARTware, VAPORware, LOCALware, SOLUTIONware, LAMEware, LATEware, BOREware and FAILware.

HAXLR8R was founded by Sean O’Sullivan and Cyril Ebersweiler who previously founded China Accelerator, a seed funding program, in 2009. China Accelerator, based in Shanghai now, is focused on software projects.

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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