PCH will offer prosocial entrepreneurs capabilities normally reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Selection into the program will be based on potential for positive impact in the world, as well as market viability, design obsession, focus on user experience, and scale. Selected entrepreneurs will receive PCH service offerings at a reduced rate.
To launch the initiative, PCH will host a kickoff event to introduce its capabilities to potential program participants. PCH seeks both for- and not-for-profit companies with impactful products in the social/environmental space.
After the selection process, PCH will make its Highway1 platform available to early stage companies. Highway1 moves hardware startups from concept to product prototype ready to take on investor funding. The program includes up-to $50,000 in seed money in exchange for 3-7% of equity, and is valued at about $100,000. The program includes a 10-day trip to Shenzhen, China to learn about manufacturing in China, access to a 24-hour lab, engineering support, hands-on education, and mentoring, office space in San Francisco, and the opportunity to pitch their ideas to members of the press and investors at PCHs Demo Day.
For those requiring engineering and product design assistance, PCH Lime Lab will offer state-of-the-art engineering and product design and development at below market rates.
For later stage entrepreneurs, PCH Access will find the right, sustainable manufacturing partners. During this stage, PCH engineers will assist in the design of manufacturing components, including the factory line and tools, the dies and casts, and select materials and chemicals. Services will be provide below market rate in exchange for single digit equity.
For companies with non-profit status, PCH will potentially offer donation and may appoint a board member to the company's board.
PCH implements both product and factory improvement projects such as waste removal or factory worker health & wellbeing projects. This approach can lead to significant cost saving in addition to the reduction of negative sustainability impacts.
PCH will also work with each start-up on fulfillment and inventory management, getting these important products to where they are needed in the fastest time possible.
PCHs marketing, social, and PR channels will be leveraged to create and implement a joint publicity plan. Additionally, PCH will engage employee volunteer programs in support of the prosocial entrepreneurs.
Host Kickoff event to introduce its capabilities to potential program participants. Participants eligible for any or all of PCH services are welcome to apply to attend at www.pchintl.com
Eligible Highway participants will gain entry to the program from Spring 2016 intake onwards.
All other activities and services will be undertaken and/or made available on a rolling basis, including:
-Selection of at least three prosocial entrepreneurs by PCH for participation in the program between 2015 and 2018
-Provision of services through Highway1, such as seed funding, a trip to China, and engineering support
-Provision of services through Lime Lab, such as engineering and product design.
-Provision of services through Access, such as engineering and appointing factory partners.
-Employee volunteer support programs to be developed in partnership with individual prosocial companies.
-Media and PR support to be leveraged from the PCH media network.
Prosocial entrepreneurs are those with an idea which has the potential of solving social and environmental problems, and effecting change. Be it a water pump, a medical device, or a mode of bringing light to homes, these hardware ideas have the potential to tackle big problems faced in the world and impact quality of life.
Some prosocial entrepreneurs have access to funding, but lack engineering expertise. Others struggle to find factories to make their products. For budget reasons, these entrepreneurs may compromise the integrity of their product by choosing factories whose conditions do not maintain proper social and environmental standards. Equally, products designed to address disasters in the world require careful production and inventory planning to meet the peaks and troughs of demand; they also may require a place to be stored for easy deployment when needed. Put simply there are a lot of complexities, and hardware is hard. And that is where PCH can help.
PCH makes. Transforming the brightest ideas into brilliant products is its business. Through its unique platform, PCH supports its partners from concept and prototype to consumer, and the company wants to make products that answer global needs as well as global wants. PCH is uniquely positioned to ready prosocial entrepreneurs for real world manufacturing where they will compete with for-profit products, and to support them in considering the impact of both their final product and its manufacturing process. By creating this program, PCH will help turn these ideas into reality.