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Our RAPID Hardware Accelerator is a twelve-week program focused on helping hardware entrepreneurs jump-start their business by providing them with hands-on technical and business consulting. In addition to access to state‐of‐the‐art equipment, software, and training, NextFab will invest up to $25,000 in each of the four accepted teams.

The RAPID Hardware Accelerator includes:


In our startup accelerator, there are no barriers to invention. We offer a state-of-the-art maker space for you and your team. Not only will you have access to the equipment, tools and software your startup needs, but also to experienced professionals and a community of creative entrepreneurs.


Every great entrepreneur needs financial support to bring their ideas to fruition. We invest up to $25k in each hardware startup venture. In addition, we connect you with our vast network and share additional funding opportunities. There’s even opportunity for follow-on funding.

Product Development

You’ve got a great idea, and NextFab can help build it better. From sketches to renderings, from prototypes to first runs, we provide guidance every step of the way. Your startup will benefit from hands-on technical and business support and help you achieve product-market fit.

Educational Sessions

The NextFab startup accelerator goes beyond space and tools. Knowledge is power, and critical to success. You will learn about marketing and sales, launching crowdfunding campaigns, product development, investment readiness, IP protection and licensing.

A Custom Plan, Just For You

For every idea, there is a way to make it a reality. For every obstacle, we help you develop a solution. Our startup accelerator team creates and shares a custom plan and roadmap with each of the participants in the program based on their application, previous conversations, and on-boarding session. Subsequent consultation sessions are based on this initial plan and needs, but changes could be made to meet the participant’s new strategic needs uncovered during the acceleration period.

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RAPID is now Powered by KPMG Spark, who has created a unique managed accounting experience by combining accounting software, automation technology, and a real, human accountant that you can contact any time.

Program Schedule

Accepting Applications



What differentiates the RAPID hardware accelerator from other programs?

We are entirely focused on working with hardware startups and our state-of-the-art makerspace facility in South Philadelphia serves as a one stop shop for all their prototyping needs. The selected teams will get funding and direct access to NextFab’s Product Development staff. Think of them as an extension of your team. We’ll offer you advice, make introductions, and fill skill gaps or relieve bandwidth constraints that are preventing you from reaching development milestones. In addition to all of this, we’ll introduce you to mentors and experienced advisors, as well as our broader community of talented designers, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

Applicants and participants in our programs are discouraged from disclosing confidential information about their product(s)/device(s). You are solely responsible for your own intellectual property. We respect the confidentiality of your ideas, but similarly to other organizations in the startup ecosystem that are engaged in reviewing hundreds of business plans and ideas, we do not sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Where is the RAPID program going to take place?

All events and workshops will be virtual, but the accepted startup teams will have access to all three NextFab locations.

How many applicants will be accepted for each cohort of the RAPID Hardware Accelerator?

We usually accept 4-5 teams or individuals for each cohort of the RAPID Hardware Accelerator program.

What if I can't apply for the next cohort?

If for some reason you and your team are not able to apply for the upcoming cohort, you can submit your application to be considered for a future cohort. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed twice a year.

Will I/we get a mentor?

Yes! RAPID participants will be matched with mentors as part of the program.

Do you provide funding?

Yes, we provide seed funding for RAPID participants (up to $25,000 per team). We can provide follow-on capital based on your progress in the program.

Do you take equity?

NextFab will issue a Convertible Note Term Sheet indicating the key terms of our investment and a proposed investment amount. A Convertible Note means that no equity will be exchanged until the accepted team goes out to raise an equity round of financing. Using this investment vehicle keeps legal costs low allowing for each company to spend more on de-risking their product to attract future investment. In addition to capital investment, you may also receive credit to work directly with NextFab’s Product Development team for 12 months after the start of the program.

What is NextFab looking for in an applicant?

While we’re open to receiving applications from anyone, our ideal team would have 2 co-founders, a physical prototype, a patented technology, and a good estimate of the market size.

Does my company need to be incorporated?

No. However, we have a preference for startups incorporated as Delaware C-Corporations.

Have more questions?

Apply for Next Cohort