The Hardware Cup is a pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups. This year, it will be run entirely virtually.
While previous iterations of the Hardware Cup did a tour of 6 US regions, the 2021 Hardware Cup has a new format: the competitions are divided by industry vertical. The verticals include: AI/robotics, life sciences, cleantech, consumer products, smart home/connected devices, and smart cities/autonomous vehicles.
Applications Opened: January 5, 2021
Cleantech Application Deadline: January 26, 2021
Application Deadline for remaining 5 Verticals: February 21, 2021
Semi-finals: February – April 2021
International Finals: May 2021
Check our Competitions page for more details.
To be eligible, you must be an early-stage hardware startup with at least one physical product component.
This year, competitions will be divided by industry vertical. The verticals include: AI/robotics, life sciences, cleantech, consumer products, smart home/connected devices, and smart cities/autonomous vehicles.
Check out our Past Cups page to learn more about previous finalists.
You can only apply to one vertical; multiple applications are not permitted.
The Hardware Cup Format
6 teams will be selected in each industry vertical to pitch at a semi-final event. Each team will give a 3-minute pitch followed by about 3 minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges made up of VCs and investors.
The winning company from each vertical, in addition to a possible wild card finalist chosen by our judges, will pitch at the online Hardware Cup International Finals event in May 2021.
The winner of the Hardware Cup International Finals event will take home the $50,000 cash grand prize.
Additionally, all finalists will be featured online as part of a private AI/Robotics investor event with top hardware investors from around the country.
The Healthcare Safety Challenge
Medical error is one of the most persistent problems in healthcare. We’re looking for the most exciting healthcare safety innovations to solve this massive problem. Together with the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, we’re launching the Healthcare Safety Challenge! Learn more here.
The AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup will award a $50,000 cash prize to the Hardware Cup International Finals’ winner.