Hardware continues to be a hot sector in the startup community, with a number of investment firms backing startups that make physical goods to change the way we live. Lemnos Labs is one of those firms, and it has raised a $20 million fund and opened up a huge new warehouse space to exclusively support early-stage hardware startups.
Lemnos Labs was founded in 2011 by MIT graduates Jeremy Conrad and Helen Zelman Boniske. The two decided that they wanted to help hardware companies to build new products, and felt the best way to do that was to catch them at the very early prototype phase. Eric Klein later joined as a partner to offer additional support.
The firm expects to invest in between 10-12 startups a year, writing checks between $100,000 and $250,000 for 10 percent of equity. More important than the money, Lemnos provides a space where companies can work, prototype, and build out their hardware products.
The idea is that each of the partners would spend time with a set of startups and provide help in engineering, business development, fundraising, and other crucial business elements for the first 12 to 18 months of their life cycle. Those companies would spend that time working out of the Lemnos Labs space during that time.
With that in mind, Lemnos has moved into a huge new 8,000 square-foot warehouse where its portfolio companies have access to a wide range of machinery and other startups to provide each other support. The firm has purchased more than $150,000 worth of equipment that is available for use by any of the companies, allowing them to cut cost of development.
The space is also used for regular meetups, as Lemnos hopes to bring together its existing portfolio companies with other hardware startups and entrepreneurs.
Since being founded, Lemnos has backed 17 different companies in the robotics, aerospace, transportation, agriculture and connected devices segments. The firm’s past investments include Airware and Local Motion, with its first 10 companies going on to raise more than $35 million in additional funding.
To learn more about Lemnos and what it has to offer, check out the video above.