Ideation Stage Hardware Startup Accelerator Program

Global idea-stage startup program for everyday inventors

Innovation Drive’s pre-seed accelerator program is all about how to create a successful startup through developing an innovative product. It breaks down the necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive framework that any hard-working person can learn and apply.

This 14-week part-time program will show you how to segment your market, design and build your product, find and attract the right customers, attract the right partners and funding, utilise support tools to streamline your operations and methods on how to scale to your business.

Guided by a large team of A-grade mentors, you will learn who your customer is, what you can do for your customer, how your customer acquires your product, how you can make money off your product, how you design & build your product and how you scale your business.



14 weeks







cut-off week











Market Ready

Innovation Drive takes you through a holistic and comprehensive 14-week training and mentoring program - ID FIT.

We support you every step of the way and engage both in-person and online, depending on your circumstances and location. We are flexible, agile, affordable, and provide great value for your investment.

Our training and mentoring program can support

  • large groups
  • teams in regional and remote areas
  • the physically challenged
  • those who work full time
  • those who work part time
  • students
  • people who are looking for work

In short, if you have an idea, we guide you on how to transform it into a real and tangible product.

Based on the success of the program in Sydney, we have established Innovation Drive China to build on that success and provide the same opportunity to innovators in Shenzhen and anywhere else in the world.

Our goal for 2022, is to take around 200+ budding entrepreneurs and inventors through our FIT training and mentoring program.

We want everyday inventors and entrepreneurs to have the chance to give life to their bright ideas and develop them into new products with great market fit.

14 weeks on the fast track


Week 1: Hardware Startup Landscape

At the start of the program, we discover the state of the market for hardware startups, dividing it into four main product categories: connected devices, wearables and personal sensors, robotics, and designed products. Next, it briefly examines the forces that have led to the recent growth of the ecosystem, including the history of the maker movement.

Market validation

Week 2: Idea Validation and Community Engagement

This week begins by emphasising the importance of validating the idea through conversations with distinct groups of people who will be critical to your success. Then intro to community building and customer development, discussing the different relationships that founders will form to help them along the path to building a company. These include the relationship between co-founders, how to choose advisors, and how to reach potential early adopters.

Know your market

Week 3: Know Your Market

This week, we cover techniques for market, consumer, and competitive-landscape research. It aims to help founders better understand where your products fit into a market ecosystem, which is important for idea validation, early brand positioning, and future fundraising. It also works through the basics of customer development interviews with an eye toward lean product development.


Week 4: Branding

Introduction to brand development for hardware startups which covers the basics of brand marketing, including brand identity, mission, personality and the development of brand assets. This will help you, the founder, craft your company’s cohesive brand identity, a critical component of success for any physical product.


Week 5: Revenue

In this session, we explore how to sustain a company before receiving financing or revenue, identifying the most lucrative revenue source for business, testing different revenue sources with target customers, and more.


Week 6: Product Design

The main objective of product design this week is to create a product or service with excellent functional utility and sales appeal at an acceptable cost and within a reasonable time. The product should be produced using high-quality, low-cost materials and methods. We learn the process of imagining, creating, and iterating products that solve users' problems and address specific needs in a given market. The key to successful product design is understanding the end-user customer, the person for whom the product is being created.


Isometric 3d printing composition with an indoor view of room with modelling software and human-controlled hardware vector illustration.

Week 7: Prototyping

The main goal for this week is to guide you from design to physical things, which includes types of prototypes (including works-like and looks-like prototyping), building your engineering and design team, outsourcing versus insourcing, chip selection, software, and some common terminology specific to the hardware space.


Week 8: Manufacturing

We discuss the common processes and pitfalls startups face when moving to manufacturing. It covers when and how to choose a factory and supply chain, where to manufacture, testing and certification, and packaging.


Week 9: Regulatory

All hardware products require some kind of certification to be sold. It’s one of the most overlooked steps in the very early stages of bringing hardware products to the market. It’s not uncommon to plan the early phases of the project with certification and other approval as a milestone. You will learn the steps to analyse regulations and dependencies.


Week 10: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms have made a dramatic impact on the ability of hardware-startup founders to take an idea to market. This week we cover best practices for running a crowdfunding campaign from start to finish: choosing perks, developing a pricing strategy, driving traffic, building community, and more.


Week 11: Fundraising

We cover how to navigate the fundraising ecosystem. We also examine the players who control capital—including angels, venture capitalists, and strategic investors—and the pros and cons of taking funding from each. It provides guidance on the strategies most likely to result in a successful fundraising, including when and how to reach out, create an ideal pitch deck, and structure around.

Go to market

Week 12: Go to Market

This week begins with a survey of business models and pricing strategies. Introduction to logistics and fulfilment best practices and evaluation of distribution channels, with special attention paid to margin and marketing considerations. You also learn the metrics that matter when evaluating the growth of a business. The emphasis throughout is on helping founders make the transition from product to company.


Week 13: Legal

Hardware-startup founders face unique legal considerations when building their products. They must navigate potential intellectual property issues, liability concerns, certifications, regulations, tariffs, supplier agreements, and more. This week we provide an overview of the pitfalls to watch out for and the type of legal support a founder will need at various stages of product development.


Week 14: Demo & Graduation

In this final session, you will celebrate with your peers, friends and family, as well as selected Mentors. Some Founders will also pitch to a live audience, and you will be officially onboard to all of the post-program resources and assistance that Innovation Drive provides.

Weekly missions

After the mentoring sessions, your coaches hand out and discuss your Mission for the coming week. Missions are lists with focus tasks that break down the essential work in easy to follow steps. These templates give structure and clarity to what you should prioritise and help you progress fast.

Missions make hard work achievable

  • Step-by-step guides with "fill-in-the-blank" task lists
  • Structured to help you focus on what should be prioritised
  • Optimised to lead you as fast as possible to a fundable and market ready product.

Bonus Content

As a member of our Shenzhen Cohort, you will also gain special access to presentations from some leading entrepreneurs and mentors. Here are some examples of what to expect.

Engaging Government for Sales & Grants

Mr. Troy Collings

This session teaches you how to navigate the complex issue of applying for government grants as well as a good deal of insight on how to go about making the state or federal government one of your best customers.

Building a Brand from the Ground Up

Tony McAuslan

Tony has launched over 80 brands and will share the secrets that have made many of his ideas international award winners.

What are you waiting for? 

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