Consumer Electronics · Design

Manufacturer required

Andrew Chalk Co-Founder of a startup. CEO of a startup. CTO of a Hedge Fund. Quantitative Researcher. Superb COO.

January 27th, 2019

Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs:

I have invented a product in the consumer space. It is battery-powered and would be the kind of thing one would find in a store like Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, Fry's or Walmart (in the U.S.).

Currently it is a schematic, a PCB, and a prototype in which the components are strung together. It needs two things to be commercialized:

1) The components need to be fitted into a plastic case. It would likely be about 10" x 4" in US units. This is an industrial design job;

2) Then it needs to be manufactured. First in batches of 100, then 1000, and maybe higher. While the batches are small I plan to have it manufactured in the USA, near where I live (north Texas) so that I can "sleep on the factory floor" while the initial units are made. When batches become larger, I will investigate offshore manufacturing (and sleep on their factory floors).

Questions: Item 1 (above). What is the name of the type of company that does this design? I.e., what term would I Google? My searches on e.g. "product designers" come up with too general a sample of results. I have a hunch that there is a 'term of art' for what I want and don't know what it is.

Item 2 (above): Similarly, what am I looking for here? The firm must be able to fabricate a plastic case. Fittings. Electrical connectors, cables, etc. And pack it for consumer sale (I will supply the box design).

Obviously it would be more helpful if I gave an exact description of what the product does -- but I can't.


Ray Riley Design Studio GM at Microsoft

January 28th, 2019

Andrew, Try: Industrial Design Prototypes Product Design Prototypes Pre Production Prototypes A local ID firm can help you get through this or a local product design firm. If the design is a simple packaging project, look for a product design firm, if you intend to design a unique container and or unique customer experience that requires an ID team to create a variety of concepts, then hire an ID firm first. Ideally you find a full service ID firm that can do it all. Budget is always the challenge. Not sure what big city is North Texas? What ever is closest is where to seek consultants. Good luck. Ray R

Steve Owens Startup Expert

January 28th, 2019

You need a CM - Contract Manufacturer. If you need some referrals, just send me an email.

Jay Waheed Operations Management

January 28th, 2019

Like Steve said, search for contract manufacturing. there are few in Richardson area.

Vinay Rao Award Winning Designer & Director at Bang Design

January 29th, 2019

Andrew, I am an industrial designer, manufacturing engineer, and fellow entrepreneur. My venture designs consumer and enterprise class products, and licences them to brands or manufacturers. i.e. we do product strategy, industrial design, experience design (including digital/ voice UX), manufacturing engineering, prototyping and liaison with contract manufacturers till ramp up to production. This frees the partner venture to focus on their core tech and/or branding and distribution. We're active in (random examples)

High tech

Professional Sports (the Indian Premier League players wear our gear)

Depending on how mature your current development is, you could engage with a design firm or speak to a contract manufacturer/ moulder directly. I know mould manufacturers and moulders who can do close toleranced, high volume moulding for consumer brands (Ikea/ toys) in India, Taiwan and China.

The only hitch of course is that we no longer have a studio in the US, and are present only in India. You should be able to find similar resources in the US. Most of the moulders we have engaged with in the US over the past 20 years, have become specialised in higher value engineering grade work in Medical, auto, pharma, solar and high tech. I can write to a couple and check for their interest.

Mr. Kelly Johnson Looking for Co-founder

January 29th, 2019

I have used to find contract mfgs in the US before. They don't necessarily fit my specific brand of finding suppliers, so have not actually used any of the manufacturers I found on their site. Not their fault, my niche is just unique. But can say they are a good company and might be a good fit for you.

Gareth Hughes Pursue your passion, enjoy life, give back.

January 30th, 2019

Hi Andrew,

There are quite a few options here in the DFW area for what you're looking for ... from PCB prototyping to volume assembly and manufacturing. As others have mentioned, searching for Contract Manufacturing can help. To drill down to your specific needs, you may also want to look for 'Electronics Contract Manufacturing' and 'Electronics Assembly'.

Here are a couple of local options for you: and



Andrew Chalk Co-Founder of a startup. CEO of a startup. CTO of a Hedge Fund. Quantitative Researcher. Superb COO.

January 28th, 2019

@Ray: Thanks! In this case the city is Dallas Fort Worth.

Andrew Chalk Co-Founder of a startup. CEO of a startup. CTO of a Hedge Fund. Quantitative Researcher. Superb COO.

January 28th, 2019

@Steve Owen: Thanks. I just sent you an Inmail on LinkedIn.

- A

Andrew Chalk Co-Founder of a startup. CEO of a startup. CTO of a Hedge Fund. Quantitative Researcher. Superb COO.

January 28th, 2019

@All : To anybody who has been to Houstex

Is this a worthwhile place to go to find a contract manufacturer?