Hot Pop Factory Presents the Hardware Startup Workshop at the MaRS Commons

Do you have a hardware project in the works but don’t have an industrial designer or manufacturing lead on the team? This hardware workshop with give you the tools to figure out how to design, prototype, line up manufacturing at scale, and bring your product to market. Together with a group of seasoned founders, industry experts and MaRS Commons, we bring you a comprehensive workshop open to a small group of 20. Join in with some like-minded entrepreneurs for a full day of case studies, knowledge sharing and group discussions.




With only 20 spots available, we’ve created an intimate workshop format to allow attendees to share valuable experiences with each other and foster meaningful discussions. In order to bring together a group of like-minded founders and entrepreneurs, we would like to learn a little bit about your product and team. Click here to apply!

If your application is accepted, you will be notified by September 17th with an invitation to attend the workshop.


Biying Miao + Matt Compeau
Founders | Hot Pop Factory

Our design studio specializes in the creative applications of digital manufacturing techniques like 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machining. We use these tools to help our hardware startup clients through the industrial design, prototyping and short run manufacturing stages to bring their products to market. We are leading this Hardware Workshop in order to share our experiences and lessons learned with the greater hardware community.

Mike Lovas
Chief Design Officer, Co-Founder | PUSH

After completing his first degree in Mechanical Engineering at Dalhousie University, Mike then attained his masters in Biomedical Engineering (also at Dalhousie). After several years of experience in biomedical engineering industry, Mike returned to academia to study Industrial Design at OCAD University to add a creative, user-centric approach to his “problem-solving tool belt”. Mike acts as both an engineer and industrial designer for PUSH.

Kate Hartman
Associate Professor | OCADU

Kate Hartman is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work spans the fields of physical computing, wearable electronics, and conceptual art. She is the co-creator of Vegalite, a wearable and fashionable light that just funded a successful round on Kickstarter. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured by the New York Times, BBC, CBC, NPR, in books such as “Fashionable Technology” and “Art Science Now”.

Tom Emrich
Founder | We Are Wearables TO

Tom Emrich is an expert in mobile, wearables and emerging platforms. He is a passionate wearable tech evangelist and founded We Are Wearables, an organization dedicated to fostering adoption and facilitating innovation in wearable tech through events, education, collaboration and resources. I also co-founded the first app review site dedicated to wearable tech across a multitude of devices called Wearable App Review.


    • Do you have a great idea for a hardware project but need help getting to the next stage?
      At this workshop, we will help you establish the ground rules and design criteria, upon which to develop your hardware idea into a marketable product.
    • Are you looking for funding but don’t have an MVP to show investors and potential customers?
      Our prototyping and industrial design experts will help give you tools to package your PCBs and electronics components into a convincing proof of concept.
    • Are you looking at an initial short run production of your product?
      This Hardware Workshop will address this challenge by outlining how to choose the most appropriate materials and manufacturing processes for your scale, and forge strong supplier relationships.
    • Want to know more about what a manufacturing budget and schedule looks like?
      Our manufacturing experts will help prepare you for the amount of resources and time necessary to support the development of a physical product.
  • Are you planning to use crowdfunding as a marketing and funding strategy for your product launch?
    Our experienced group of experts will shed some light on the right (and wrong) approach to preparing for crowdfunding. They will share some valuable tips to help you maximize the success of your campaign.