Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator

Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator

The Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator, offered in partnership with the Cornell College of Engineering, is a deep dive into exploring hardware entrepreneurship through an intensive 11-week summer program. Teams are led through a process for determining if their ideas are commercially desirable, technologically viable, and economically feasible. Upon completion of our program, Hardware Alums are positioned to recruit team members, bring on partners, work with contract manufacturers, and pitch to investors.

Our innovative philosophy and methodology is suitable for all types of hardware offerings. In addition to our summer program, Rev hosts a series of speakers + workshops to grow your network of thought leaders, industry experts, and successful startups. We also have a state-of-the-art purpose-built prototyping lab that is open to Hardware Accelerator participants as well as Rev member companies.

In the Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator, we help teams move from a “back of the napkin” idea to a prototype, validated business model,  and a pitch: a prototype that they can tested  with customers, a business model to set future product direction, and a pitch with which they can engage partners and investors. The process is broken down into 3 three-week design sprints with well-defined product and business goals: Feasibility, Proof-of-Concept, Prototype & Pitch. Before the sprints, we kick off the program with a four-day “Skills Camp,” during which we take our eight teams through a series of exercises to introduce them to both product development and business skills.



Teams explore their options for building their product while simultaneously engaging in customer discovery in order to learn more about their customers problems/needs.


Teams focus on creating looks-like and works-like prototypes in order to further refine their concepts and continue to garner customer feedback.


Teams integrate all the feedback and learning to create an integrated functional prototype suitable to gather customer feedback and investor interest. Teams also receive pitch training and prepare for Demo Day.

Demo Day

Demo Day is when teams share what they’ve been working on with the community. The event is both an exhibit and a pitch marathon, teams craft a clear and concise pitch that shows their knowledge of their customer’s  need, the product’s market viability, their passion for their start-up, and their technical creativity.

2020 Summer Accelerator

Due to restrictions related to gathering and social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer 2020 Napkin-to-Prototype Hardware Accelerator has been cancelled.