This year, Accelerate Baltimore is lucky to have the support of Harbor Designs & Manufacturing. We got to understand the work that they do and hear their advice for early stage startups below! Learn more about how they can help your startup by visiting their website.
Accelerate Baltimore: What does Harbor Designs & Manufacturing do?
Harbor Designs & Manufacturing: Harbor Designs & Manufacturing helps startups and multinational brands with new product research and development, prototyping, and turn key contract manufacturing solutions. Whether you have detailed design packages or just conceptual sketches, we custom tailor our services to suit our individual client’s needs, empowering them to turn their innovative ideas into cost effective products sold around the world. As an ISO 9001 & ISO 13485 certified design and manufacturing firm, we serve clients in the medical device, consumer product, railroad, and defense markets. Services include industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, programing, app development, prototyping, FDA & regulatory guidance, worldwide vendor management, technical and clean room assembly, warranty repair service, quality assurance, and logistics and inventory control.
AB: What have been some big milestones for the company in the past 6-12 months?
HD&M: With sales on track to double from the year before, Harbor Designs & Manufacturing has been in a high growth phase. We have added team members to procurement, engineering, quality assurance and assembly are actively interviewing for dynamic individuals to further add to the team. We have also expanded and built out our cGMP facility from 12,000 sq ft to nearly 36,000 square feet building out new clean rooms, wet labs, and resident spaces for synergistic companies who see a benefit in being co-located with their engineering and manufacturing partner.
Doubling down on our team-based approach, we have been actively forging strong partnerships with synergistic industry experts, service providers, maker-spaces and incubators like ETC. We find that not only does this collaborative approach break down traditional siloed barriers, it makes our entire region stronger and more attractive and inspiring to budding entrepreneurs looking to bring revolutionary products to market. By connecting our clients to the tools and resources outside of Harbor Designs & Manufacturing’s capabilities, we are offering our clients all of the resources they need to launch, sustain, and scale their companies and their products penetration in the marketplace.
AB: Where do you see the business in the next year? In the next five years?
HD&M: With considerable interest and successful product launches in the medical device industry, consumer market, railroad, and defense industry we have been actively spinning up teams with deep domain expertise in each industry sector. As our teams of industry experts grow in each market segment, we will be differentiating the Harbor Designs & Manufacturing brand into industry focused market segments.
AB: How has technology impacted your business?
HD&M: In recent years, technological advances have forever changed the way new products are brought to market and new, more powerful tools are coming online every day. With slide rules and hand drawn parts the industry standard just decades ago, we are working in an exciting new world of technological advances that’s changing every day. Powerful CAD software continues to push new boundaries allowing us to not only design products faster, but analyze things like stress in parts and even how molten plastic will flow through molds. By incorporating developments in virtual reality we are able to experience interaction with products before we make a single thing. We convert physical objects into data on computer screens with advances in 3D scanning, and turn raw data into physical objects with radical advances in additive manufacturing. We use new plug and play technologies like Arduinos and Raspberry Pi’s to circumvent months of electrical engineering and in some cases uses them not only in development, but finished products. From dramatic refinements in tried and true production processes to new technologies allowing us to do things like robotic assembly, printing conductive inks, and electro spinning nano fibers, production technologies are advancing at a logarithmic rate allowing us to make thing faster and better than ever before and in some cases in ways that just weren’t possible before.
In addition to benefiting from technological advances, we are helping to bring new revolutionary technologies to market. We are working on quantum based super cameras, bioreactors that grow cells and turn those cells into factories producing vaccines, robotic devices, encryption technologies, and new tools that revolutionize surgeries. With advances in web based communications and tracking tools we are more organized and better connected than ever before. We pride ourselves on being in the business of bringing new technologies to market using all of latest technologies to do it.
AB: Any advice for startups that are in the earlier stage?
HD&M: Persistence. The road ahead is paved with twists and turns you can’t anticipate, but success is tied to how you show up every day. Hold yourself accountable to the goals you set and how well you respond to them but forgive yourself for inevitable missteps and right your course immediately. And take the time to learn from those that have gone before. Identify successes of similar companies and cultivate mentors. Learn from their successes, missteps and course corrections so you can incorporate what they’ve done well and avoid the pitfalls. You are incredibly fortunate to live in an age and ecosystem actively designing itself to facilitate your success. Learn what resources and tools are available and know how to ask for help and when to switch gears. It’s a lot easier to map out your course before you set off down the road at 100 mph so take the time in the early stage to anticipate and plan for the road ahead. Challenge your own assumptions, learn how to tell your story, and learn how to inspire other people to want to be a part of it. When you’ve poked and plugged every hole in it you can come out knowing exactly what you’re selling, how you’re going to get there, why it's needed and how it makes financial sense to you and your customers, you will be well on your path to success.
AB: Why did you choose to support Accelerate Baltimore?
HD&M: With the very real success stories coming out of ETC and the Accelerate Baltimore program, Harbor Designs & Manufacturing has been a longtime supporter and proponent of the work they do. We refer our clients to them because we know firsthand how good the ETC team is at connecting the dots our innovators need to succeed. There are so many good ideas out there that never reach their potential because having a good idea is only a small part of the equation. The ETC and Accelerate Baltimore program administrators are experts at assessing their member’s strengths and deficiencies, matching them with mentors and service providers, and training them on the things all startups need to know so they can hit the ground running in the right direction. For all of our clients who have worked out of ETC and for those that have been accepted into the Accelerate Baltimore program, we are eternally grateful for the work they do helping to transform Baltimore City into a dynamic, tech-savvy ecosystem and startup generating machine.