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This article was published on September 11, 2013

    HWTrek launches its early-stage hardware crowdfunding platform

    HWTrek launches its early-stage hardware crowdfunding platform Image by: Michael Blann
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    hwtrekHWTrek has launched a crowdfunding platform for early-stage hardware projects in an effort to fill a gap not being met by existing players like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

    The crowdfunding process for hardware can be tricky, as it often contains more risks and costs than other projects. Last fall, Kickstarter tightened restrictions for hardware projects on its platform in order to cut down on failed or delayed campaigns.

    HWtrek, which takes a 5 percent cut of funds plus fees for payments, believes it can help makers earlier in the development process by creating a community to help them with prototyping, production and the supply chain. The company has brought experts on board to endorse projects so that backers can get a better sense of which products have a higher chance of coming to market. As part of its launch, HWTrek has pledged $200,000 in partial pledge matches for five projects.

    HWTrek isn’t alone in its early-stage endeavors. Dragon Innovation launched its own crowdfunding site last month. Between hardware incubators and new funding options for different development stages, barriers to building hardware are being reduced.

    ➤ HWTrek

    Image credit: Digital Vision