Hardware Ideation Process


CW Applied Technology are based in Shannon. They work with hardware startups to help them design products, build prototypes and move into volume production. They provide a hardware ideation process to allow inventors to develop their ideas commercially. We went along to visit John O’Connell, the Managing Director, who told us all about the hardware ideation process. Below is video of the interview, which shows the working space provided by CW for the exercise.

The next session is coming up this Saturday, January 9th, and we’re excited to say that Siobhán from Mint Tek is one of the 12 on the review panel!

Ideation Process

The idea behind this ideation process is to allow hardware startups to pitch their idea to an invited group of 12 people and to seek help from those people in specific areas where they see themselves as having a problem. The problem might be that they’re not convinced that the product idea that they came up with is something that’s viable and that will sell, or maybe there’s too much competition out there, or where do they go with it next.

Once we understand the products and the issues, then we select the 12 people that we will invite to be part of this review session, and we have a facilitator who would then bring them through the process.

Session Overview

They would start off by asking the inventor to give a one minute description of what their product is. At the end of that then, the facilitator will ask a series of questions of the inventor to determine what is the issue that they would like to be resolved during the 2 hour session. Then the facilitator lays out how they plan to run the session, dividing it up into sub-groups with particular subjects to be discussed.


For example, in the last one we did the big issue for the inventor was what functionality to include in his design. So having done his explanation of what was in there, then people teased out that. The product was a speaker that could be used with internet radio so we had people of all age ranges, entrepreneurs, business people, engineers, people with strong opinions on this area, and people working in the music industry. I think that the designer felt that he got a huge amount out of this, and now had a better idea of how he might shape the functionality of his product as he goes forward.

Some of the areas covered are:

  • Yes, I would buy this product. No, I wouldn’t buy it because…..
  • Design, look & feel, and what that meant to people.

Arrange an Ideation Session

Get in contact with John at:


At least one session a month will be happening from 2016 onwards on Saturday mornings. These sessions are free. Nobody gets paid for them. This is an initiative to try to grow the ecosystem. CW Applied Technology provides the space, the facilitator, the coffee and they invite the 12 people to voluntarily take part.

We Want To Hear From You!

Have you participated in an ideation session? Tell us about it!

What do you think about the process based on our outline above? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @MintTekCircuits