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.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.