Hardware Tribe Camp

Be a gamechanger in additive manufacturing and robotics!

Hardware heroes wanted. Become part of developing innovative solutions that are directly applicable to the production line of industry leaders Swarovski and Plansee. Sell your product, co-create, work on technical approaches and learn how large corporates work.

Get the chance to receive unique insights into global players and work together with their experts to revolutionize the market.

Acceleration Days
Kickoff: May 18-19th
Demo Day: June 30th
Werkstätte Wattens
Wattens, Austria
(on former premises of the Swarovski Factory)

Who are we looking for?
Hardware Startups: Offering an innovative product or technology in the area of additive manufacturing and robotics with at least a working prototype. Transfer technologies welcome!

May - June 2017

Scope of the project

The Hardware Tribe Camp 2017 will provide you with the possibility to identify the biggest pain points in the production lines of two of the biggest players on the market. You have the chance to develop new business ideas in interdisciplinary teams and/or to create new products and services without any risk.

The presented topics were defined together with decision makers at Swarovski and Plansee and provide a concrete opportunity to establish yourself as supplier or development partner.

The goal of the project is to position your solution or work on a working technical approach in cooperation with the industry partners to solve existing challenges.


What’s in it for you?

  • Accelerate through direct know-how access in business, industrial design and manufacturing
  • Find a strategic partner by getting connected to experts and leading industry partners
  • Get in-depth feedback by world-class mentors and experts in the field of hardware and business
  • Get access to a top-level prototyping lab and further develop your prototypes hands-on
  • Stay in a co-working space during the program and use the available machines at fablab
  • Receive additional budget for your material costs
  • Become part of one of the largest hardware start-up communities in CEE
  • Learn how a heterogenic set of companies work in a very short time and a framed setting
  • Sell your product and become a supplier for a major corporation

The challenges of Hardware Tribe Camp 2017

In a pre-defined session, the two industry leaders Swarovski and Plansee defined following topic areas, in which new solutions would provide a significant benefit for their production line.

Additive Image
Additive Manufacturing
(3D Printing)

-) Additive manufacturing of metal parts for jewelry without finishing or with novel well-suited finishing technologies (Swarovski)

-) Additive manufacturing for production of finished and highly individualized jewelry (Swarovski)

-) Additive manufacturing of metal parts with high precision. The challenge here is to establish the proper surface quality by keeping tolerances and avoiding undesired roundings (Plansee)

At Hardware Tribe Camp we would like to develop first technological solutions to solve these two challenges. In particular the rough surface of 3D printed objects is a major problem for companies producing either premium and/or large numbers of small products (i.e. components for various industries, e.g. medical, jewelry). Therewith related is the scaling up of 3D printing to serial production.

Industrial Image
Industrial Robotics

-) Cooperative robotics: enabling a flexible, cooperative and interactive co-working of humans and robots without time-consuming approval processes, by simultaneously keeping speed and accuracy of industrial robots and without compromising on the safety of operating personnel. (Swarovski)

-) Automated handling of small parts for large scale production: Flexible picking and positioning (Swarovski, Plansee)

The questions to be answered here are: How can you handle small objects and bulk materials? How can you guarantee the safety of employees working next to high speed robots?

The Journey

The camp is made up of the kick-off workshop, acceleration days and the Demo Day in Wattens. During these days you will receive additional input, access to exclusive mentors and work with the experts of Swarovski and Plansee. During the whole period of the Hardware Tribe Camp you will have access to the co-working and prototyping space of Werkstätte Wattens and weekly check-in calls with your industry partners.

Journey Image
After closing the application the best startups will be invited to a personal (remote) 10-minute pitch, in direct contact to all stakeholders. From these up to 6 startups will be selected for the Camp.
Workshop #1: Meet the technical experts of the established companies and present your solution.
Workshop #2: Have the chance to work directly at the production lines and pilot your solution
Workshop #3: Finetune your solution
Demo Day: Present your solution to a wide range of industry partners.
Join the Hardware Tribe Camp
Grab the chance now! The best applicants will receive a remote pitching slot on the 4th of May. After this session up to 6 selected teams will move on to the Hardware Tribe Camp. Be part of this outstanding opportunity to revolutionize the sector.

May & June 2017

Who is behind Hardware Tribe?
Team, Motivation and Expertise

Driven by the vision to solve hardware-related challenges and create new products through rapid prototyping, Werkstätte Wattens, WhatAVenture and the Standortagentur Tirol partnered to connect leading startups and market leaders. The goal is a prototype, process or proof of concept and a cooperation model between the established corporate and the startup. By combining the strengths of all partners, we build a high impact innovation format.

Centered around the infrastructure and facilities of the Center for Rapid Innovation, the FabLab, at Werkstätte Wattens

Powered by the scouting and matching expertise of WhatAVenture

Partnering with the network and cluster knowledge of Standortagentur Tirol

Swarovski Image

The Swarovski Group
The Swarovski Group comprises of four divisions dealing with optical instruments, production of grinding, sawing, drilling, and dressing tools, design of jewelry and high-quality crystal, genuine gemstones and finished products. What started in 1895 as small crystal manufacturing business in Wattens, Austria, has grown to be a global company making every day extraordinary. With a rich history and a culture of creativity, Swarovski is committed to growth and to maintaining its place at the forefront of design, creativity and technological innovation. Swarovski’s products are sold in approximately 170 countries and production locations are in Austria, China, Czech Republic, India, Liechtenstein, Thailand, Vietnam, and the US with more than 26,000 employees, and a revenue of about 3.4 billion euros (in 2016).

Plansee Image

The Plansee Group
The Plansee High Performance Materials division as part of the Plansee Group is entirely focused on producing, processing and marketing the refractory metals molybdenum and tungsten. The Plansee Group is also committed to ensuring a sustainable supply of raw materials. Applications are in the coating-, lighting-, power-, electronic- , medical industry, as well as in the power distribution and thermal processes. Operating in more than 21 countries, the Plansee Group generates around 1.18 billion euros (in 2016) gaining market shares in China and Southeast Asia.


The Hardware Tribe Camp aims to collaboratively identify and build new dimensions in the market. The primary language will be English but you can also present in German
The acceleration phase will have a duration of 2 months. Startups and experts don't necessarily need to be in Wattens. 3 Workshops will take place during this time, where you can exchange your status with the experts of the Swarovski and Plansee. The aim is to build a prototype and/or prepare the project for a successful cooperation. The FabLab can be used free of charge. Additionally, a budget for the required materials will be issued.
You will receive a financial aid regardig the expenses of transportation and accommodation to and from Wattens (at the heart of Tyrol). In some cases the whole costs can be covered.
You will be required to sign a short non-disclosure agreement to participate at the camp. This will be a mutual NDA and the rights to the prototype will stay with the startup. Some of the information likely to be shared may be sensitive, therefore the mutual agreement.
You will receive free access to the FabLab and its machines in Wattens. Additionally, you will also receive a budget for materials. This will discussed case by case regarding your project.