I have thought about starting a hardware company but the initial costs always seemed to be a significant barrier, this hardware accelerator concept is a great one! I wonder if they have considered including as part of the package some shared licenses for tools: schematic capture, PCB layout, simulation, etc. Another thought would be a shared resource pool of prototype services such as PCB layout/fabrication, assembly, test, case design and mold creation. There are a lot of possible creative people that given some funding and services support could be viable start-up candidates. Here is hoping this goes well.
I think the biggest hurdle for any hardware start-up is certification: FCC, UL, CE, Canadian, etc. Certification is very expensive and requires experience to get through the first time. It's no big deal if you're a large company with lots of experience and large volumes. But it can represent a huge expense for a start-up, and the time it takes can be enough to miss the market window, especially if it takes multiple iterations.