Building a VC-investable Hardware Startup

Business of Making

Wednesday, May 13, 1:50 pm to 2:10 pm in Theater
Building a hardware start-up is hard, and building interest from investors is even harder. While many companies launch new products on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, few go on to raise VC money and build rapidly growing business. Avidan Ross runs Lion Wells Capital, the only early-stage venture fund focused solely on hardware start-ups and connected devices. Join Avidan and Zach Supalla (CEO of Spark IO, one of Lion Wells Capital’s portfolio companies) as they discuss Avidan’s investment thesis and the characteristics necessary to build a hardware start-up that appeals to investors.


Avidan Ross

Founder, Lion Wells Ventures
Avidan is the Founding Partner of Lion Wells Ventures, where he focuses his investments on connected devices, engineering tools, and data science. He is a maker / hardware hacker turned investor. Before founding Lion Wells, he hosted a Food Network show (which never aired!) called Weapons of Mass Consumption in which he and his team built the ultimate food robots, most notably an arduino-controlled afterburner powered pizza oven. Avidan spent eight years as CTO of CIM Group, a $15 billion investment firm. There he focused on infrastructure investing in vehicle telematics, smart grid, and alternative energy. Avidan has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Columbia University.


Zach Supalla

CEO, Spark
Spark founder and CEO Zach Supalla is an entrepreneur, a designer, and a maker. Zach juggles hardware design, front-end software development, and leading his team through the trials and tribulations of a hardware startup.