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2016 Hardware Cup: Further Proof that Physical Product Companies Have More Fun

Hey Hardware companies...we are pretty psyched to be judging the finals of the 2016 Hardware Cup Challenge, on May 11 in Pittsburgh. After participating in the Boston regionals, we just couldn't say no when H-Cup organizers Alphalabs Gear asked Betaspring MD Melissa Withers to help pick the national winner. 
Melissa was on-hand at the Boston regionals a few weeks ago to share what Betaspring has learned working with hardware and physical product companies, discussing what we think comes next, and generally geeking out as companies pitched for a chance to win. 
Congrats to Water Hero for taking home the grand prize in Boston on February 22. Water Hero is a smart leak detection, protection and preservation system for household use. Think burst pipes and ruined homes. Now, imagine you have Water Hero and your home is saved from the deluge. You dig? As big fans of the New England startup scene, we are proud to have Water Hero represent the region in the Cup Finals on May 11 in Pittsburgh!  
Water Hero was not the only winner...the audience choice award went to Humon, a wearable device that uses a non-invasive technique to gauge muscle fatigue and help athletes find the training sweet spot between training and over-training. Melissa was not the only person in the room with heart-shaped eyes for this device, dreamt into existence by a MIT/Harvard team with big plans to take wearables next level. 
What's the Hardware Cup? It's a pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups and Alphalabs Gear (one of our favorite accelerators in the U.S.) is touring 9 cities around the U.S. to find and highlight the most promising physical product startups in the Nation. Winners in each city will receive $1k cash, a free Techshop membership, and other prizes, as well as a chance to win a $50,000 convertible-debt investment from Startbot VC at the National Finals in May.
Good luck contestants! 
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