South African startup Asimmetric has been selected to join San Francisco-based hardware accelerator Highway1, with the startup planning to produce the next generation of its WiFi monitoring hardware.
Earlier this year, Disrupt Africa reported Asimmetric launched its WiFi monitoring tool in South Africa, allowing WiFi providers to manage the user experience on their network.
Six months after the launch, the startup has become the first South African company selected to join the renowned Highway1 accelerator.
Highway1 is an intensive 16-week programme where hardware startups work directly with a dedicated team of engineers and other professionals to improve their hardware, operations and sales. Graduates of the programme include the likes of Drop, Ringly, Podo and Cue.
Asimmetric said its goal at Highway1 is to produce the next generation of its hardware; a network sensor used to test internet quality for WiFi providers and mobile operators.
“We’re a software and analytics business, but our proprietary hardware is an important part of how we deliver our product,” said David Wilson, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Asimmetric.
“Building hardware is difficult, but having partners like Highway1 and PCH, who’ve seen it all and done it all before, eliminates a lot of risk for us.”
Programme participants work out of Highway1’s office and have access to its state-of-the-art prototyping lab in San Francisco. The accelerator also includes access to experienced mentors, cash investment, and opportunities to pitch to venture capitalists.
As part of the programme, the startups were recently taken on a trip to China to meet and work with manufacturers.
“It was valuable to meet with suppliers and to see the most advanced factories in the world. We will bring what we have learned back to our partners in South Africa, as we continue to manufacture most of our hardware in Cape Town,” said Asimmetric co-founder Ross Douglas.
Asimmetric is one of 13 startups selected to participate in this round of the accelerator. Highway1 received over 350 applications for the programme.
“This would be a fantastic opportunity for any company, but for a Cape Town-based startup with humble beginnings it is extraordinary,” said Wilson.
“San Francisco is the centre of the tech universe. We’ve met some of our tech heroes. We’ve met with some giant tech firms that are household names. We are incredibly fortunate and are working around the clock to make the most of this rare opportunity. We’re excited by how everything we are learning and doing is going to help us serve our clients better.”