MechOptix was pitching to potential angel investors prior to being selected for the Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition. We discovered very early in the competition via judges’ feedback that we were not telling a big enough story for our global market. Working with the judges panel and the EDPA staff through multiple iterations or our business plan and financials resulted in a much better story to tell potential investors. We self-funded our Stoptix automatic brake lamp product development before we sought any outside funds. The milestone funding covers our product liability insurance premium, third party qualification testing and a 1,000 unit production run. This will dramatically accelerate our company because we had been unable to manufacture lamps due to lack of funds. Getting a go on every category of the Go/NoGo Assessment also confirmed what we have been telling potential investors and potential distributors.
The press coverage from the Launchpad event has already had a positive impact on our funding avenues. A French startup accelerator in the automotive segment sought MechOptix out as a potential candidate for their program, the first U.S. company to participate. This further validates our problem statement and market opportunity. Potentially working with a global manufacturer with facilities in France, Turkey, Mexico, China and the U.S. is very attractive to MechOptix for many reasons. Working with this accelerator also helps us to access international capital to fund our production and go-to-market execution. This continues the theme of “go big” that the Launchpad judges’ feedback stressed.
“Hardware startups have a major obstacle in manufacturing enough units to send to potential distributors and the media. This upfront cost combined with the development cost is often too much for the founders alone. Receiving funding from Alabama Launchpad to achieve our first production run milestone significantly accelerates our traction in the marketplace.”
– Jeff Hammock, Founder & CEO