Supporting ISHOW Idea Lab: Methodologies for Benchmarking Startups

An Advancing Workflow project to support ASME Idealab in the developing methodology for the selection process of Idea Lab applicants.

Supporting ISHOW Idea Lab: Methodologies for Benchmarking Startups

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation mission is to support and promote hardware innovations that tackle global challenges. One of the Foundation’s initiatives is the ASME ISHOW, an accelerator of hardware-led social innovation. Since its launch in 2015, the accelerator has supported more than 200 hardware ventures to develop their prototypes into a market-ready solution.

As the accelerator developed, a gap was identified in early stage idea innovations. Applicants to the ISHOW accelerator did not have a prototype but had promising solutions. In order to provide guidance to hardware innovations at these early stages, ASME ISHOW has launched Idea Lab. Idea Lab is a new initiative to guide aspiring social entrepreneurs through the design process, from problem statement to low-fidelity prototype. Idea Lab acts as an incubator and provides mentorship, seed capital, resources, tools and space to aspiring social entrepreneurs with an innovative and impactful idea, concept, or developed concept who have not yet created a first iteration prototype.

This project focused on the design and implementation of the application selection process for Idea Lab, using insights from existing incubators. With a long term vision, the selection process includes factors such as, hardware production feasibility, potential social impact, as well as future investment attraction. A layered approach also meant that at each stage of the review process, different levels of expertise were utilized in order to make an informed decision on the selection of applicants.

With the Launch of Idea Lab, ASME will be supporting the Full Spectrum of Tech Development

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