Creator of the technology behind the iRobot vacuum, Paolo Pirjanian, is also the founder and CEO of one of the most awesome smart robotics companies yet, Embodied, Inc. He recently spoke at Innovate Pasadena’s Friday Coffee Meetup, a group co-organized by Echo-Factory, and I (one of the writers on the team) had the chance to interview him for an article on Huff Post.
Besides sharing the incredibly interesting story of how he came to be a superstar robot inventor, Paolo offered up a couple of ultra-practical pieces of business wisdom with me. I thought I’d share them here for any of our blog readers who are starting (or considering starting) a robotics company and might be on the hunt for investors.
So here are three main things VCs are looking for:
- While all inventers want to make extremely cool-seeming stuff, Paolo said you just can’t start there. VCs want to know the thing they’re investing in will sell. And really useful, sort of boring stuff tends to sell. Once you’ve established a track record, the sky’s the limit.
- Subscription-Based Business Models. Paolo said that VCs want to see that a product’s hardware is tied to a service with recurring revenues, like a subscription service. He used Dropcam as an example (but you can read more about that on Huff Post).
- 3D Printing Capabilities. For whatever reason, the need to produce hardware spooks VCs more than anything when it comes to investing in robotics startups. When companies are capable of 3D printing their own hardware components in-house, VCs take notice.
There you have it. But there’s a lot more to this story, so why not hop over to Huff Post and read my article? And, if you liked this post, you might also be interested in some of these: