Class: 2013 Summer Accelerator
HPT Engineering specializes in developing innovative technologies for the assistive technology field. We make it our mission to increase mobility and rehabilitate those who suffer from weak core and leg strength. The assistive technology business is growing at an unconditional rate and we have developed and implemented a state-of-the art new technology, The Hybrid Power Tricycle (HPT). The HPT was designed for those who suffer from weak core and leg strength such as Cerebral Palsy and offers the user the ability to feel the freedom of mobility and the joy of riding a bicycle. The HPT may be outfitted for all age groups and can be distributed nationwide. HPT Engineering operates as a small business that relies on personal sales as our income. We aspire to outfit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, daycare centers, and households with the HPT to ensure those with poor core and leg strength may receive the best possible product for treatment and rehabilitation. The assistive technology market is constantly changing and HPT Engineering will ensure that each of our products are ahead of the curve.
On Tuesday, July 16, we heard from two people from MFA. I learned a lot about accounting and taxes. There are lots to consider when forming a start up that most do not think of. My take away from this session was learning about the cash flow, income statement, and balence sheet and how they are vital for any business to stay a float. I found lots of examples one each online about how to calculate the different sections. This will help me understand these crutial documents when I look over them.
On Thursday, July 18, we heard from a panel about communication, branding, and design. I learned about the importance of branding my product and having people recongize it. The most important thing I learned was how to have my website flow. The website is a work in progress and I did not realize how much is important from the time it takes to load to how the menus work. Having a lot of pictures will take more time to load than a page that does not have a lot of pictures and how navigation bars with drop down items is not user friendly when on a mobile device or tablet.
Today (7/9/13) we heard from Bobbie Carlton, from Mass Innovation Nights. She talked about social media and the benefits of it. The biggest thing that I learned about today was search engine optimization, or SEO. Also, she talked about the benefits of inbound links and how to obtain more potential customers. The trickiest thing todo is to be able to balence social media and being able to further develop the product... I guess that is the challenge of just about every start up.
Some of the goals that we came up with are the following:
1. Apply for provisional patent
2. Build two prototypes
3. Develop a business plan for HPT Engineering and become a established business
These are the goals that we will continue to work on while at the Sandbox Accelerator program and making progress! One prototype is almost done with the mechanical part, just need to work on putting together the electroncs. The provisional patent form is almost complete and we are talking to a lawyer about the structure of the business! Granted these goals can always change, but after talking to one of my mentors, we feel like these are solid goals.
Last Tuesday we heard from Stephanie Cauvet from MFA about marketing. The biggest thing I learned about were the 4 P's (product, promotion, price, and place). This got me thinking about how these are going to play into HPT's product. We still need to do some more research on the price and promotion part of it. Also, we learned how branding can be a crucial part of having a product make it in the world overfilled with a bunch of established products.
An update on how the business is going- We are currently talking to a lawyer about setting an company and Anthony, Justin, and I are figuring out what structure to use. We are also working on appling for a provisional patent!!!
Tuesday I heard from the CTO and co-founder of tinyurl.com, Siddhartha Goyal at the new Sandbox space in Wannalancit Mills in Lowell. The best part of the day was learning about value proposition canvas. This will be beneficial to learning about potential customers and how important our technology can help them out!
Talking to other teams with similar ideas helped out with figuring some of the details that I am not to sure on. This is one of the most valuable aspects to the accelerator program.