Help Center

Creator Section

Being a Creator on HWTrek

Creators on HWTrek engage with Experts – industry professionals in the hardware supply chain – to facilitate Creators’ Project development.

Creators tap into the wide range of expertise offered by Experts on HWTrek - from industrial design, distribution channels, consultancy, to component solutions - in order to set up and manage their supply chain to bring their Project to market.

Creators can find suitable Experts to support their Project at any point of your development process – from brainstorming an idea to mass production.

Setting up your Projects on HWTrek

Project Guidelines

To get the best from the hardware community resources, your creation must be a hardware innovation with clear function, must fit into one of specified categories on Create Project page, and shall not use designs, intellectual property, media or other content that you do not have the rights to.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol is used to help provide security when sending and receiving data from the platform. You can control who can access your Project through Project Visibility and Project Collaborator settings.

How do I create a Project?

Creating a Project enables you to get resources matching your requirements, collaborate with supply chain professionals, and manage your development with a tailored Project schedule on the Project Development Hub.

Starting your Project on HWTrek is easy.

  1. Create a Project and select a suitable category.
  2. Fill in basic information about your Project.
  3. Enrich your Project draft with details to enable people to understand your Project needs.
  4. Complete the Project to allow others to view your Project, and kick off collaboration with you.
  5. After your Project is completed, you'll receive a preliminary production schedule that you can manage and edit on the Hub.

Can I list my Project even if it isn't a connected device?

HWTrek is a collaborative platform for hardware innovation, and in order to get the optimum benefits out of the platform, your Project must be a connected device.

The Project categories include wearables, industrial applications, sports devices, toys & games, audio & video devices, smart home devices, tech accessories, auto applications, health devices, and science gadgets.

If you are unable to find a suitable category for your Project, feel free to contact us and we will set you up.

Can I list my Project without having a prototype?

Yes, the idea of listing your Project on HWTrek is that we can help you to find the Resources needed to drive the Project to the next stage. Whether you are seeking manufacturing support after crowdfunding or just begun developing your hardware innovation. When your Project moves forward, you can update the descriptions, and outline/update your requirements to get next level Experts to support on realizing your Project.

Nevertheless, we do recommend having a prototype, as it will bestow your Project with more attention from Experts.

What happens to my intellectual property on HWTrek?

HWTrek is all about enabling you to develop your Project - the ideas and inventions you bring to life here remain your property.

For details on how HWTrek guards your private information, particularly with regard to developing Projects, see our Terms of Confidentiality.

Who can view my Project page?

Once your Project set to Expert mode, you are allowing Experts to view your Project to initiate collaboration. When a non-Expert user wants to view your Project, a request to access is sent to your email.

In addition, you control who can view and edit your Project details by clicking on Manage Collaborators at the top right corner of your edit Project page. Here you can invite potential collaborators to your Project by either providing a direct link, or entering their HWTrek user names or email addresses.

Those that are given permission to View, can only view your Project page. Those that are given permission to View and Edit, can also access the Project on the Hub and edit the schedule.

You can invite up to 10 Collaborators to your hardware Project.

Alternatively, you can set your Project to Private mode, which only you and invited Collaborators to access your Project.

What do the different Project Stages mean?

The Project stage is the phase which best describes the current progress of your Project. The Hub will adjust your schedule according to the Current Stage of your Project. The different Project stages and their meaning are:

  • Idea / Brainstorming - You’ve got an awesome idea, but it’s still all on paper.
  • Proof of Concept - Your idea has been tested with volts and bolts, and it works.
  • Working Prototype - It’s functioning and has the basic look and feel you’re aiming for.
  • Product Design - This is how your product should look and function for customers.
  • Design for Manufacturability - You’re working with your manufacturing partner to fine-tune a design which can be manufactured on a mass scale.

What does Project Type mean?

Project Type refers to the nature of your Project or what you are setting out to achieve with your Project. The different Types of Innovation and their meaning are as follows:

  • New development - A first-generation product for your Collaborators.
  • Enhancement Project - Bringing greater functionality to an existing product.
  • Industrial design improvement - Bringing a new look and feel to a product.
  • Mechanical improvement - Raising the bar through better mechanical design and manufacturing.
  • Electronic improvement - Improving the functionality of the hardware, e.g. faster speed or longer range.
  • Software improvement - Bringing new value through enhanced software.
  • Scale up - Taking your operation to the next level, more units, better buying power.

What types of supply chain Experts are out there? What expertise do they offer?

Developing hardware is no easy journey - it’s a trek. But with HWTrek you don’t need to walk alone. HWTrek is here to bring forward seasoned, and resourceful Experts from our community to help you overcome obstacles and perfect those small details that really matter:

ODM / OEM / EMS - Commonly referred to as Contract Manufacturers, these firms offer a range of manufacturing and design services.

  • ODM - Original Design Manufacturers combine research, design and production capabilities - manufacturing a finished product to meet your requirements.
  • OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturers design and manufacture their own products and certified components. These can be bought by your company and rebranded to suit.
  • EMS - Electronic Manufacturing Services act as a factory for hire, taking finished designs and manufacturing them.

Modules - What functions will your device have? Module providers can supply the processors, cameras, sensors, and other components which make your device work how you want.

IC / Component design - Have a specialist function which hasn’t been met by existing solutions? IC / component designers can help.

Electrical engineering - To manufacture a product at scale you’ll need to develop and produce a printed circuit board (PCB). Electronic engineers design your optimum schematics, route components on your PCB, and produce the Gerber file used for manufacturing your board.

Mechanical engineering - Aside from designing the electrical aspects of your product, you’ll need to develop a functional structure, ergonomic design and select suitable materials.

Software design - A huge part of how users interact with a product is through software. These designers can build the apps used by your customers, and the firmware which tells your device how to operate.

Manufacturing consulting - Sourcing the right manufacturer can be a challenge. A consultant can speed up your selection process and help to approach the right partner to make your product.

Marketing services - Want extra help to tell the world about your product, raise media buzz, and connect with new customers? You might want to consider a marketing specialist.

What are certifications?

There are two types of certification which can be applied to your product: Mandatory and Optional.

Mandatory - Electronics require a range of mandatory certifications depending on factors including the type of product, functionality, intended use and where it’s being sold. If you want to enter the market, you’ll need to acquire the relevant mandatory certifications.

Optional - To make your product more marketable and competitive, you can also apply for extra certifications. These can be useful for reassuring customers of the environmental and quality standards your product has been made to, or for using branding such as the Bluetooth logo on your product/packaging.

If you know some of the certifications you want to apply for, select them from the list or specify them. It’s OK if you don’t know, mark it in “Others” and the Hub will help you to find suitable certifications later on.

Why do I need to select Target Market(s)?

Selling electronics in different regions can require different certifications. To ensure your product can be sold where you plan, select all the countries where you intend to sell it. This helps the Hub create a well-constructed plan which will save you time and money by getting things right the first time.

Why do I need to select a specific ship out date?

Consider when you plan to have a product finished, mass produced and ready to be shipped to your warehouse. This will be a major goal for your Project, but don’t underestimate the work that lies ahead. The Hub will generate a plan which takes your ship out date into consideration.

Accelerating your Project development

How do I contact an Expert?

When accessing an Expert profile from e.g. the Resources page, you can contact the Expert by either click the Message button to send a private message, or post a public comment on the Expert’s Board.

How can I receive additional guidance?

At HWTrek we want to match you with industry Experts in order to move your Project forward. The large number of community members possess a variety of skills and expertise that you can benefit from in your Project development.

However, it can sometimes be an overwhelming task to locate the perfect match of collaborators. To combat this, HWTrek offers additional help by assigning a professional Project Manager to your Project. We have an experienced in-house Project Management team that oversees your Project development, sources qualified leads for your requirements, identifies adequate supply chain partners, and inquiries with potential investors.

If you want to learn more about this service, please contact the PM Team.

What are Prestige Solution Programs?

On the top of the Expert Solutions page you'll find the Prestige Solution Programs.

These are special programs that you have to apply for provided you meet the application requirements. We highly recommended to stay tuned for the Prestige Solution Programs, as these are rare opportunities to enroll to prestigious programs that will take your Project to the next level.

Expert Section

Being an Expert on HWTrek

Experts on HWTrek are vetted industry professionals from the hardware supply chain including manufacturing (IC/Design house, EMS, OEM, ODM, components distributor, mechanical), marketing, wholesale, venture capital, or consulting/agent.

HWTrek Experts offer their experience, industry know-how, and/or Solutions to Creators in order to collaborate and drive their Projects forward and to foster a community of hardware innovation.

How can I become an Expert?

  1. Sign up as an Expert.
    • To become an Expert on HWTrek, you must come from the hardware, consumer electronics, Internet or manufacturing industries; or any other area within the hardware supply chain.
    • You must provide a reference URL (Company website or LinkedIn) to show your expertise.
  2. Approval.
    • To ensure only like-minded professionals share the stage with you, and that our Creators can seek advice with trust and confidence, we review all Expert users before fully activating their accounts. Our supply chain management team will get in touch with you shortly.
  3. Welcome!!! You are now an Expert on HWTrek.
    • Start enjoying all the benefits of being an Expert.
    • Be the first to tap into new Projects listed to HWTrek, and offer you insights and opinions to Creators. Be part of the Project development process.
    • Kick off direct communication with Creators.

What are the benefits of listing my Solution on HWTrek?

Creating your Solution on HWTrek means that you are part of a growing community of Creators and Experts who are collaborating together in an ecosystem of hardware innovation.

By having your Solution listed on HWTrek you will access new business opportunities, and in turn grow your own business.

Our platform enables you to conveniently engage with Creators and propose your Solution efficiently, and streamline sales pipeline.

How do I list my Solution on HWTrek?

  1. Once you have become an Expert, you can create your Solution by going to the Create page.
  2. Write the Solution name, and click Create.
  3. Follow the guidance steps to describe the Solution.
  4. Before submitted the Solution, remember to polish your profile to make it appealing to Creators.
  5. The submitted Solutions will be reviewed by us. After approval, your Solution will be listed on the Expert Solutions page. Now you can offer your expertise directly to Creators!

How do I offer my Solutions and make proposals to a Project?

You can propose your Solution to a Project directly on the Discover page.

  1. Click on Propose my Solution.
  2. Select the Solution you want to offer.
  3. Write a proposal message, and click send. The Project owner will receive your proposal.
  4. You can also input the unit price, service price, or minimum order of your Solution.

HWTrek Project Development Hub (the Hub)

What is the Project Development Hub?

HWTrek's Project Development Hub is a cloud-based platform for hardware innovators – like yourself – working to manage your product development, connect with manufacturing and supply chain industry Experts, and bring your Project to market. The Hub generates a management flow tailored specifically to your Project and facilitates collaboration between you and HWTrek’s ecosystem of industry partners. This ensures the best matches and connections based on your unique Project and areas of expertise to help you navigate the complexities of bringing new hardware products to market, in order to deliver a high quality product on time, under budget, and at scale.

Once you have completed the questionnaire, your Project is on the Hub. Here you’ll find tools to aid your Project's development, access key industry knowledge, or expand your resource pool by inviting desired collaborators to help oversee stages of development.

Who can access my Project on the Project Development Hub?

Besides you and your Project Collaborators, you can invite Experts to take a look at your Project, and share it with other potential collaborators. This is a great way to receive feedback and advice on how to move your Project forward.

In order to protect sensitive information, the Manage Collaborators feature gives you complete control over what information you share and to whom you share it with.

What are the benefits of using the HWTrek Hub?

The Hub was specially designed to empower next-generation hardware makers like you. At HWTrek we know that navigating the industry and developing a product is no easy feat, so we developed the Hub to help light your way. Here you’ll find all the resources needed to take control of your Project, overcome obstacles in your way, and make informed decisions about the path you take.

Develop: To help you determine the right path for your Project, we integrate feedback and support from experienced hardware Project managers in your Management Panel and Task Queue.

Drive: In order to help drive your progress forwards the Hub assesses your Project’s needs, and recommends compatible Experts and their Solutions - helping you overcome obstacles and take a better product to market.

Deliver: To enable flexible management the Hub is entirely online, allowing your Collaborators to access it anywhere, anytime.

What does the Hub Dashboard do?

The Hub Dashboard gives you an organized space to view all the awesome Projects you're developing, and to keep an eye on their progress.

Can I edit my task queue?

Sure! On the Management Panel, select the task which you’d like to remove and click the bin icon to delete the task. Note, if the selected task contains any subtasks, this action will also delete the subtasks, so be sure to save a copy to your archive before proceeding.

How can I delete tasks from my queue?

On the Management Panel, there are two ways to easily add new tasks into your queue. If you’d like to add a new top-level (level 1) task to the queue just click the add (+) sign next to Status; if you’d like to add a subtask into the task queue, just click the add (+) sign on the task-bar.

What if I encounter a delay?

It’s not about the time matter; it about getting things done. Your Project schedule is designed to be flexible to fit with real-world development scenarios. Should you encounter a delay with a stage of your project, you’ll be able to update your schedule through the Management Panel, see how this affects the rest of the proceedings, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Can I save a copy of my schedule?

Sure, every time you edit your schedule the changes will be saved automatically. If you’ve made some edits you’d like to backup, you can save a revision to your archive and keep on editing.

To save a particular version you’ve created, while at your Management Panel, open the Side Menu and select Add version to archive. You can store up to 7 versions here, and access them again whenever you want.

What are task predecessors?

The predecessor feature is used to set the time relationship between two or more tasks in your schedule. There are four types of relationship you can assign:

  • Finish-Start: The preceding task must finish before this task can start.
  • Start-Start: The preceding task must start in order for this task to start.
  • Finish-Finish: The preceding task must finish before this task can finish.
  • Start-Finish: The preceding task must start before this can finish.

You can also assign a time lag/lead between tasks. This can enable you to determine scenarios such as when one task finishes, there is a delay of X days until the linked task begins.

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you're unable to find the information you are looking for, or just want to drop a message, feel free to email us at