Introducing The Hardware Series

Throughout 2023 WNT Ventures is hosting The Hardware Series

We know that building a hardware business is hard. It is unusual for hardware founding teams to have the full set of skills required to be able to support them to bring their product from concept all the way to market. We have planned six key workshops that will help give the foundational building blocks for any budding hardware entrepreneur.

The Hardware Rollercoaster

There are many high and lows that are encountered on this journey. It’s important to understand that a lot of the things keeping you up at night as a Hardware Entrepreneur, have kept people up at night before! This series is here to answer some of the questions you have but also to give you partners and networks that you can reach out to and ask questions so that you don’t have to go on this journey alone.

What are in the sessions?

In each session, we will be bringing together industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs to give you a toolkit to help you through some of the sleepless nights that building a company can bring.

Whether you are already on your hardware startup journey and have questions about certain areas or just thinking about embarking on that startup journey there will be useful insights, networks and case studies that you will get from the series.

Come to one as a standalone session or come to all.

Meet Niamh

Niamh Given is the perfect person to be hosting this series. She’s a seasoned founder and investor who has a wealth of experience working with hardware companies globally, and building business strategies. Niamh will be drawing on her impressive networks to facilitate or co-host some of the sessions.WNT Niamh square closeup

The Lineup

#1 Create a Product Customers will Love

Solving a real problem and finding your initial target market

We know that the world is already full of lots of products. Let’s make sure the product you are building is solving a real problem and that you know who your early adopter is going to be, so you can ensure every one of your products makes it into the right hands.

Led by WNT Investment Manager, Niamh Given, this workshop will give you tools and tips you need to talk to your market and ensure you have problem-market fit before you go too far on your journey. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, talk about market validation challenges you have had in the past and learn from companies who have been through the process.

Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

15 May - Sold Out

October - TBA

Christchurch Ōtautahi

31 May 2023 - 3:00pm to 5:30pm

Register here

Wellington Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Level 12, 157 Lambton Quay, Wellington Central

27 June 20213 - 3:00pm to 5:30pm

Register here

#2 Understanding the Value of Design

Understanding how building design into your product DNA adds value is important to engage your target market from the very beginning.

Experts in the field will talk you through frameworks and rationale based on empathy, collaboration, and experimentation to generate innovative solutions for hardware start-up companies. Followed by a panel, moderated by Nick Couch, WNT Investment Manager and experienced hardware startup founders.

Technology innovation can often be one of the key drivers of hardware innovation, however unless you understand your customer and design your product with an in-depth understanding of that customer, you can completely miss your target market.

When designing products there are so many decision points to be made, a design-thinking approach can help you make better decisions more efficiently.

Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

17 May - Sold Out

October - TBA

#3 Protect Your Idea and Product

Build a robust Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy to protect your product design and innovation and what to consider with hardware

IP is not just about your patents… building a robust IP Strategy is important right from the beginning. Hardware requires working closely with partners to protect your secret sauce while not hindering the progress you make.

Moderated by Carl Jones, WNT Managing Partner along with panelists industry expert Narly Kalupahana, from Narly.IP, and and Nicola Johnstone,, Head of IP Legal at Auckland Uniservices

Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

19 May - Sold Out

October - TBA

#4 Prototype to Market Workshop

You’ve got a prototype… how do you get that to your market?

This is one of the most underestimated steps in every hardware startups. Every single time we have worked with founders through this process, it has taken longer and cost more than budgeted.

Scaling will always be an iterative process, and at every stage there will be new learnings and new challenges.

Many entrepreneurs forget that there have been many products built before them and with that a multitude of challenges that have already been solved. It’s all about finding the right people to help guide and support you through the process. In this session, we will talk through the fundamental steps in the design for manufacture process that cannot be shortcut. The importance of component and supplier selection, product testing and risk assessment. We will also bring in experienced partners who have supported many startup founders through this process and talk through some case studies.

Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

10 August 2023 - 12pm to 2pm

Registrations TBA

#5 Towards Operational Excellence Workshop

Transitioning from fire-fighting to building strong operational foundations is the key to long-term success

In this session, we will bring together local and international experts who have built best in class supply chains for hardware companies.

Our experts will be able to handle the hard questions about how to build quality management systems, navigate complex logistics and ensuring you understand multiple approaches to financing your business when building products and inventory.


14 September 2023 - 12pm - 2pm

Venue - zoom

Registrations TBA

#6 Is Your Market Ready?

Your product is ready and it’s time to get it to your market.

This workshop will focus on building relationships with partners and getting your product to market.

Many companies find that they focus on building the product and expect customers to just find them… it doesn’t happen that way. Finding the right channels to market, engaging with partners and early adopters and ensuring you continuously learn and improve is critical. Revenue and Investment are dependent on you having a clear path to market.

Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau

12 October 2023 - 12pm

Registrations TBA

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