You can probably produce closer to home than you think

    Non-profit organization FORGE brings nearshoring to US startups

    There is a perseverant theory in hardware that manufacturing abroad is the cheaper/better/more efficient option. You manufacture there, assemble somewhere else, and finally approve and market in the United States.

    But it turns out to be possible to produce closer to home. With supply chains in the news more than ever, nearshoring is an option for startups; it turns out that many of the things you can build abroad can be built in your own backyard, with surprising benefits along the way.

    To find out more about how to pull back your production – or to build a local supply chain in the first place – we reached out to FORGE, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit whose mission is to help innovators build relationships with manufacturers and designers much closer to home. To date, it has supported more than 600 startups with their manufacturing, product development and supply chain needs, and aims to help many more.

    “We help innovators, people with innovative products, companies, individual inventors, especially with their product development, production and supply chain,” said Laura Teicher, executive director of FORGE. “There’s a huge number of support organizations in the ecosystem, but many of them are focused on business planning, fundraising, on these other aspects of business. And hardware is hard. It has a higher failure rate. It has additional challenges. And that is where FORGE is laser-focused.”

    Hardware is indeed difficult. Inventions do not come entirely from the brains of their inventors, and large-scale production is particularly challenging. So let’s take a closer look at FORGE, how it works and how it helps founders potentially produce on the other side of town instead of the other side of the world.

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