Our Alumni - 2014

CoolChip

CoolChip Technologies is marrying modern electronics with the ability to cool them effectively.

Enter the new age of kinetic cooling. Compared with conventional approaches, CoolChip’s patented & patent-pending kinetic cooling technologies deliver a 2-5X advantage across heat transfer, acoustics, and form factor.

CoolChip is solving the computing industry’s multi-billion dollar efficiency problem — offering a significantly better consumer experience across devices enabled by better cooling.

HOW THEY WORKED WITH HIGHWAY1
CoolChip had gotten stuck. They had good prototypes and found some traction, but it wasn’t quite enough. “The biggest thing,” co-founder Steve Stoddard recalls, “was really to figure out how to scale what we were doing in small quantities; how to take the business to a production level.”

“Being purely mechanical, our product is a little different from most of the other hardware you see coming out today,” he added, most of which involves electronics and software. This made CoolChip slightly different from the rest of their Highway1 class, but that wasn’t a problem, “especially with the brainstorming and engineering resources Highway1 has available.

They really helped us go back and question some of our most basic assumptions. Ryan and Jon had done their homework on judging where we were in technical development and what should be our three most important priorities over the course of the program. What we really got from them was an instant understanding of what our issues were.”

As a Boston-based company, the exposure to Silicon Valley was also invaluable. “Highway1 really helped us get better connected with the startup community there; suddenly we had access to potential employees, workspace, and capital, which for us was really important. We were finding our biggest customers were already in the Bay Area; coming to Highway1 helped highlight to us the value of being there. It’s a great way to very quickly get embedded in the community: if we’d tried to come out to San Francisco without that, it would’ve been a much longer struggle for us for sure.”

Since graduation, CoolChip made another valuable discovery: “You’re part of the Highway1 community for life. We’ve seen that through resources for alumni, the invitations we continue to get, even access to the machine shop, which they’ve continued to improve.”

CoolChip has partnered with a Taiwanese company and expects to have their first product available to customers this year. “The biggest part of our market is OEMs rather than directly to consumers,” Stoddard notes, but he isn’t ruling out consumer retail either.

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Highway1, a division of PCH, is the premier hardware startup accelerator, located in San Francisco. We look for great hardware startups, with an exciting business idea and a compelling prototype. We help you design products that deliver real value to customers, that are delightful to use and that can be manufactured at scale.
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