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Design and engineering support to hardware-led social entrepreneurs

Client/ Funder: ASME
Location: Global
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Entrepreneurship

Challenge

Social entrepreneurs and inventors around the globe face many challenges in successfully commercializing hardware in informal markets. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) exists to support these entrepreneurs with engineering and design support and related networks. The ISHOW brings together a panel of engineers and designers with an average of 20 years of industry experience, as well as other specialists in intellectual property, business, and implementation.

Work

Catapult provides design mentorship to all 30 finalists at ISHOW events held annually in India, Kenya, and USA. Additionally, we provide customized packages of design support to each of the nine winners to be used within three months of the contest. Our team provides a mixture of services from manufacturing optimization to CAD modeling, as well as sharing our networks and strategic advice. We also document the entrepreneurs’ design needs going forward, and help the most promising winners gain further support.

Results

Catapult has helped several of the ISHOW social entrepreneurs get from prototype to market. We have also provided them with successful avenues for funding of further product development. The biggest value-add has been helping the winners to visualize and communicate their potential to investors, customers, and the many stakeholders in between. In all of our design and consultations, we ensure that the most sustainable materials and manufacturing processes are being considered and explored as viable product options.