On Tuesday the 6th of August, the TroubleMaker team has officially launched the NEW membership model to the world.
After more than 6 months interviewing people, we got crystal clear what product developers need from Shenzhen, China. Watch the replay of the introduction to discover how TroubleMakers enables product developers to succeed with safe development of hardware products in China.
The first time Nicolas set foot in a production line he was all of 18 years old, and in a way he’s never really left. A life-long interest in science and engineering landed him a job in front lines of a French car plant straight out of high school. Naturally curious and a problem-solver, Nico took quickly to this new environment and set about understanding how things worked, and what didn’t. Two decades later he hasn’t stopped. His path naturally led him to China, where he is one of TroubleMaker’s regular . Here his experience and natural aptitude for problem-solving have served him well.
From experience, Nico is the kind of guy that hears you mention a product idea in passing, and a couple of days later rather casually points you to a viable solution while you are still doing basic research. Sometimes suggesting minor design changes or component substitutes that cut costs when you weren’t even thinking about yet. Get a prototype to production on time and save the Q4 budget as casually as he’ll order a cup of coffee. Nico is that rare commodity; a product development manager with ample China experience and broad-scoped technical expertise.
Such skills being in high demand in Shenzhen, Nicolas keeps a busy schedule. He’ll develop about 5 concurrent products every month. Last year was especially busy, he estimated he carried over 100 products to completion in 2018. And if you’ve read this far, here’s today’s Code: TM1337. Enter the field into your campaign page for an extra 10 points towards your total score and get that much closer to winning amazing discounts! As one of TroubleMaker’s gurus, Nico will host regular Q&A’s and can help your project navigate the jungle of international manufacturing.
TroubleMaker launches global E-membership solution for hardware developers
TroubleMaker is a community of hardware developers, engineers and supply chain managers in Shenzhen China. They help people who are developing products with realizing their goals by providing useful and actionable information, referrals and engineering services.
For the first time, you can tap into Shenzhen’s fertile hardware ecosystem from anywhere in the world! Access our community and get your ideas from prototyping to production line at world-beating speeds. Until recently, people had to physically come to China to become a TroubleMaker. From now on, everyone worldwide can sign-up and have direct access to all the knowledge and services of TroubleMaker from the comfort of their own chair.
E-membership is for start-ups and individuals that are currently not in China but want to tap into the valuable manufacturing and hardware development expertise of TroubleMaker’s community of engineers and makers. TroubleMaker e-membership includes the following:
Access decades of production and design experience in the “Silicon Valley of hardware”. Daily live Q&A sessions with engineers, designers, and developers with hands-on experience in China. These sessions are recorded and accessible for members to listen back on demand.
Wikifactory Pro account: Wikifactory is a revolutionary hardware development platform that significantly improves productivity for hardware developers the way how Github does this for software developers.
Mail order consolidation: Instead of paying 10 times shipping cost for 10 separate product samples from China, TroubleMaker can consolidate your shipments and then forward them to you. This service alone can save an active hardware developer hundreds of Dollars per month in shipping fees.
TroubleMaker venues and community. TroubleMaker is located right Smack in the middle of Huaqiangbei, the world’s largest electronics and components market. Members have workspace right on top of one of the market buildings and three laboratories equipped with everything needed to bring a product to life. They may attend seminars and take part in Shenzhen’s vibrant tech community.
There is in fact much more included. The e-membership service will officially launch on August 6th, 2019, and starting from the 17th of July the CEO of TroubleMaker, Henk Werner will host weekly live video events to connect to the community and raise the curtains bit by bit. During this period, early supporters can access unique services and prizes by inviting others to join the launch campaign.
After three years, hundreds of members and over 15.000 visitors, TroubleMaker is firmly established as a dynamic, community-driven workspace in Shenzhen, the world’s most fertile hardware ecosystem. Its mission is to connect and empower like-minded entrepreneurs and hardware developers who support one another and create imaginative solutions that improve people’s lives.
Today we will meet the first of our many members and friends who make TroubleMaker a special place to be. Say hello to Marvin, or 韩怡 (Han Yi) in Chinese.
Like most Troublemakers, Marvin’s path to tech
entrepreneurship was unique, shaped by a desire to grow, innovate and improve
people’s lives. Originally from the region around Chongqing city, Marvin got
dual degrees in preclinical medicine and English language. Opportunities in a
smaller Chinese city are often hard to come by, so he decided to move to
Shenzhen to seek his fortune.
This illustrates part of what makes Shenzhen special. As a
first-tier city and its strongest technology hub, it draws entrepreneurs and
aspirational workers from all over China. Shenzhen is a migrant city that has
sprung up almost overnight, going from a provincial township of 30.000 to megacity
with over twelve million inhabitants in 20 years. As a result, it is probably
the only large city in the world where asking people where they are from will
almost always result in “somewhere else”. This melting pot character
contributes to the city’s can-do, open-minded attitude. No matter where you come
from, if you have ideas and are willing to work hard, Shenzhen will give you a
chance to do something.
Ideas can come from the most unexpected places. During his first
time in Shenzhen Marvin witnessed a tragic drowning accident at a public pool.
Having volunteered as a lifeguard, Marvin knew that more could be done so he
began to investigate the problem. In China’s hot summers, pools are popular and
often overcrowded (locals jokingly refer to popular bathing spots as “dumpling
soup”). Swimming isn’t commonly taught in schools and many lifeguards lack
sufficient training. This led him to the realization that there was a great
need for swimming safety in China that was not being met, and thus began the
idea of the Baymini and Marvin’s company, Seenwater.
Founded just a year ago, Seenwater is developing
innovative IoT devices that allow parents and safety staff to monitor swimmers
and detect risky situations before tragedy strikes. The Baymini is an “anti-drowning”
alarm designed for children. A transceiver connected to pressure sensors can
sense if the wearer is sinking and will trigger sound and light alarms both at
the wearer and at a parental monitoring unit if it senses a dangerous
situation. It can also be triggered manually if the user is frightened or
worried. Marvin hopes that the adoption of his invention will prevent swimming
accidents and save lives.
Seenwater had a few struggles at the beginning, as startups often do, but Marvin received both personal and technical support from Henk “The Map” Werner. Henk, the current manager of TroubleMaker, volunteered to help out even though Marvin was a member of a different incubator at the time! Group swimming sessions were organized as both a social activity and and field-testing what would become the first iteration of the Baymini. When his contract ended, Marvin moved his company over to TroubleMaker. To use his his own words:
“People at TroubleMaker share with each other, it feels more like a community than just a collection of start-ups. If you want to start something new and only have yourself to rely on, it’s easy to get lost, but if you have support you will get set straight.”
What’s next for Marvin and Seenwater? Well, he is currently
working on new approaches to water safety, including monitoring cameras that
can be installed in pools and drone surveillance systems that can patrol
beaches. These systems are being trained to recognize the movements of a
drowning swimmer. He’s reaching out to both public and private partners to get
his innovations into customer’s hands and into to the pools and beaches of
China, where they can start saving lives.