I’m a maker, entrepreneur, founder, or brilliant mad scientist.
1. Is my product a good fit for Dragon Innovation?
We love hardware. We are especially in love with complex electro-mechanical consumer hardware. We work with what we love. If you have a solid team with an innovative, complex hardware project and are looking to build and scale your company, you will probably love us back.
2. How far along should my idea be before working with Dragon?
We can provide the most value to you when you are about 90 - 95% of the way to your final design. You should have a works-like/looks-like prototype, all your CAD files, and a pretty complete Bill of Materials (BOM).
3. Can you help me connect with investors?
The best way to get the attention of potential investors is to build a kickass product with a credible manufacturing plan. While we can’t facilitate intros, we can help you make your product stronger.
We recommend that you reach out to Bolt. Bolt is a venture capital fund designed to address the unique needs of early-stage startups at the intersection of hardware and software.
For additional resources, check out Brad Feld’s blog, which gives hugely helpful insight into how to approach scaling hardware companies with investment.
4. Are you part of Bolt?
No. Dragon Innovation and Bolt are two separate organizations, but with very close ties. We’re happy to make introductions to the Bolt team for our customers, but if you’re new to Dragon and looking to raise capital we’d recommend you contact Bolt directly via their website.
5. What is the Dragon Standard BOM?
We created a free Bill Of Materials tool as a Google Sheets Add-On to help teams get started with a pro-grade BOM. You can learn more here.
6. Do you have a crowdfunding platform?
Dragon used to have a crowdfunding platform and we learned a ton about crowdfunding for hardware. We’re not running projects on our own platform anymore, but we’re still using everything we learned to help teams crowdfunding on platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Fundable by getting them Dragon Certified.
7. I live outside the US. Can I still work with Dragon?
Yes, you can! Teams from anywhere in the world can get Dragon Certified or work with us for manufacturing solutions.
I’m interested in getting Dragon Certified
1. What is a Dragon Certified?
Dragon Certified is a product that gives you piece of mind before you head to crowdfunding, take pre-orders, or raise capital. It consists of a detailed design review for manufacturing, COGS analysis for manufacturing in both the US or far east, and manufacturing strategy creation. If you are crowdfunding, we can offer help in determining funding thresholds and volume calculations. Check out more info on the Dragon Certified page.
2. Why should my product be Dragon Certified?
Being Dragon Certified instills confidence in both you, and your backers and investors. It sets you apart from the crowd and gives you peace of mind that an experienced team thinks you are on solid footing as you take your product into production.
3. Can you help me with PR or marketing?
Dragon does not offer PR services. We do have a lot of experience with crowdfuding and launching hardware products and love to share best practices with teams we’re working with.
4. What specifically does a Design for Manufacturing (DFM) review entail?
Dragon will perform a detailed mechanical and electrical design review consisting of:
- Mechanical tear-down of prototype and/or review of CAD model
- Electrical schematic and layout review for manufacturability, quality, and reliability issues
- Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) analysis.
- Review of potential quality and reliability issues
- Review of packaging (if supplied) and suitability for protecting the product during transportation and warehousing.
- Review of product safety and regulatory compliance issues and requirements. Note that we are not experts in all areas. Some areas of regulator compliance (FDA medical requirements for example) may be outside the scope of this review.
Note that this is not a review of the fundamental design. Although we will of course inform the client of any issues found, we assume that if the prototype works then the design is functionally sound. If there is a subtle error in the schematic we will probably not spot it, and we do not review software or firmware.
5. Can Dragon help us with design or engineering changes?
As part of our service, we perform a design review of the mechanical engineering. We do not make changes in CAD as this work should be performed by the team. If you’re looking for hands on engineering assistance, check out Dragon’s Resources page.
I’m interested in Dragon RFQ or Project Management
1. Is my product a good fit for Dragon’s Manufacturing Solutions?
If you have a solid team with an innovative complex hardware project, and additionally are anticipating an initial run of 5,000+ units, we should definitely talk today!
2. Does it matter if Dragon’s Project Managers (PMs) do not have direct experience in my specific type of product? Will it take them a long time to ramp up and be useful on the PM side?
While the software/firmware is often very different across products, there is often quite a bit of similarity in hardware. Most products in the consumer electronic space include the following (of which we’re experts):
- Radio (WiFi / BT)
- Injection Molded Housing
- Stamped Metal
- Machined Metal
3. How is IP handled?
You can learn about how Dragon handles IP by reading our whitepaper: Methods to Protect IP
4. Can Dragon vet Contract Manufacturers (CMs) outside of China (e.g., Thailand, Malaysia)?
At this point in time, we do not have the bandwidth to be able to facilitate this vetting. However, we are in the actively growing our Contract Manufacturer portfolio. If there is a particular CM you think we should be aware of, let us know.
5. Can Dragon make design/engineering changes for me?
As part of our service, we perform a design review of the mechanical and electrical engineering. We do not make changes in CAD as this work should be performed by the team. If you’re looking for engineering assistance, check out Dragon’s Resources page.
I’m a backer of one of the awesome hardware projects.
1. What happened to your crowdfunding platform?
While we are no longer running crowdfunding campaigns, we are happy to work with you to answer any questions you may have about projects that you backed on our crowdfunding platform.
2. I have a question about a specific project. How do I reach the team?
You can ask them directly by selecting the “Ask the Entrepreneurs” link at the bottom of their campaign page, or by emailing us here at Dragon, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect you.
3. What’s this Dragon Certified badge I saw on an awesome project on Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Fundable, etc.?
That’s the badge of a project that has done its due diligence! Dragon Certified means that project has gone through the wringer with our team of experts, and you can support it with confidence that there is a rational manufacturing plan if their funding threshold is met.