Add access to follow-on cash to the list of perks at NextFab’s RAPID accelerator program.
The South Philly makerspace — which also has locations in North Philly and Wilmington, Del. — launched a follow-on fund worth $100,000 to invest in companies from its accelerator program, which kicks in $25,000, office space and access to mentorship.
No investments have yet been made from the relatively small fund, which will look exclusively at RAPID startups in its initial run, according to NextFab CFO Ken Tomlinson.
“Working with hardware can be expensive,” Tomlinson said. “But we’ve started looking at companies from the cohorts and there’s a few standouts that we’d like to support.”
The most recent cohort from the program is four hardware startups working with a range of solutions in robotics, internet of things and medical devices. On May 24, the makerspace is hosting a graduation showcase at its main, Washington Avenue location.
Meet the companies:
- Augean Robotics: Makers of Burro, a robotic cart that follows farm and other workers around and can travel autonomously.
- Hexmodal Technologies: Makers of an IoT device that automatically tests and reports on emergency lights.
- InstaHub: Makers of a snap-on light sensor for energy saving.
- RightAir: Makers of an ambulatory and wearable respiratory device for COPD patients.
“When troubleshooting bugs or deciding long-term strategy, having someone at the table next to you with years of experience has helped tremendously accelerate our progress,” said Chris Hariz, cofounder of Hexmodal. “A lot of the issues we face are solved problems, it’s just a matter of asking someone who has worked through them before.”
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