Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.
Bay McLaughlin joined us in a conversation to discuss Brinc, the hardware accelerator in Hong Kong he co-founded that leverages on the Shenzhen ecosystem. He shared how Brinc selects founding teams and helps hardware startups to scale, and their latest drone accelerator program. Last but not least, he shared his perspectives on the Shenzhen hardware manufacturing ecosystem and the challenge of intellectual property loss for hardware founders outside China.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):
- Bay McLaughlin, Chief Operating Officer of Brinc (@betabay , LinkedIn, Askwhale: BetaBay) [0:40]
- How did you start your career? [1:50]
- What brings you to Asia and what is the origin story of Brinc? [3:13]
- From working in a corporation in Apple and Intercom to an entrepreneur & angel investor in French Press Films and Brinc, what are the interesting career lessons that you can share? [4:39]
- Brinc: Hardware accelerator in Hong Kong but manufacture in Shenzhen, China [7:16]
- What is the mission and vision of Brinc? [7:27]
- Who is on the Brinc team and what is their expertise to help the hardware startups? [9:04]
- What is the investment thesis for Brinc in how they select startups for their accelerator? [9:54]
- How does the accelerator program work for startups in Brinc? [10:58]
- How does Brinc set itself apart from other accelerator programs? [12:25]
- Which are the interesting companies currently on Brinc’s portfolio? [13:34]
- What are the traits of startup founding teams do you think are crucial to their successes and failures? [15:06]
- Do you connect the startups in your portfolio with other accelerators or venture capital firms after they complete your accelerator program? [16:33]
- How long do startups typically stay in the accelerator and what happens to them after they leave Brinc?
- Drone Accelerator Program (ReimagineDrone) with Brinc and Incubio [18:01]
- Hardware Startup Ecosystem in Shenzhen and Hong Kong [19:33]
- Most investors tend to prefer software over hardware due to the amount of upfront capital, why did your accelerator decide to pick the focus on hardware? [19:33]
- Given the proximity of Hong Kong as a financial hub and Shenzhen as a manufacturing hub, what are your perspectives on how a hardware startup move between both ecosystems? [21:03]
- How does one navigate the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem for product development and manufacturing? [22:47]
- Nowadays, a lot of hardware projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo get cloned easily by factories in Shenzhen at scale, for example, the Israeli Yekutiel Sherman’s selfie stick, how should one mitigate against intellectual property loss? [24:22]
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