What is Sixth Sense?
Sixth Sense is a program offered by the Manufacturing Intelligence division of Hexagon to help innovative companies with brilliant ideas who are looking to bring their products to wider markets and scale their business with help of Hexagon. The program invites companies to apply and potentially begin a process of working with us to identify ways that Hexagon can help participants address challenges faced by manufacturers and designers. Hexagon identifies challenges and asks companies to submit applications to describe their products and services and how they address those challenges. Anyone can apply, though companies with a focus on certain challenges are most likely to succeed. Hexagon provides guidance about the type of challenges Hexagon is interested in, and the type of companies and potential participants who should apply, to increase the likelihood that an application results in specific action.
The program proceeds in two primary tracks. Both tracks are commenced by applying to participate in the program. The applications will go through an evaluation process, and certain participants whose solutions respond particularly well to the challenges will be selected to explore further opportunities with Hexagon. Other applicants, whose applications not chosen to proceed, will nevertheless benefit from having been introduced to Hexagon. Hexagon may engage in other transactions or pursue other opportunities with applicants in the future.
What stage company can apply?
We welcome any stage company with a focus ranging from smart manufacturing to sustainability and beyond (broader applications also welcome) to apply but prefer companies with some revenue (~$1m) and less than 3 years in existence. We encourage companies that need help to scale their business and are looking for a partner who can help supercharge their growth.
How far along should we have progressed?
Due to the quality and quantity of applicants we’re anticipating, we encourage you to apply if you’ve already had a product/service and have some revenues coming from 1-2 anchor customers. While we will review early-stage companies our preference would be for companies needing help to scale their business.
Which industry or business model can apply?
Any smart manufacturing and sustainability (for smart manufacturing) for-profit business is welcome to apply. We also encourage startups in closely related fields that could be applied to Smart Manufacturing (design, production and quality).
Do we have to be incorporated?
You should be. Incorporation limits liability of shareholders. This would also help push the process along if additional funding is made available.
What size check does Sixth Sense write?
The Sixth Sense program does not result in a specific investment or action that is determined beforehand, though investment by Hexagon in a participant is a possibility. The program primarily involves an opportunity to win the chance to work with Hexagon on specific outcomes, like reseller agreements, technology availability from Hexagon, hardware loaners, and potentially investment. Hexagon will always be open to funding opportunities when there is a right fit. In addition, Sixth Sense will bring venture capital investors to presentation days, building valuable relationships with participants. (Hexagon does not guarantee any commitment to further funding as an outcome. The venture capital companies act on their own and Hexagon has no influence on their decision, nor receives any financial consideration from venture capital firms.)
Investments or other forms of support from Hexagon may be subject to additional terms and conditions to be mutually agreed with participants.
What are your diversity and inclusion goals?
We champion cognitive, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation diversity. Sixth Sense has an implicit aim to improve diversity as part of its charter in line with Hexagon’s corporate purpose. We believe that a key to any successful innovation and business is in its diversity which is why we have set a part of our goal on recruiting startups where founders come from underrepresented communities.
Who is an “underrepresented” founder?
All founders who identify as a Woman, Person of Color, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply for the program.
We look for certain factors when evaluating any team application:
- Founder-market-fit: Are you solving a pain point where you have had career or personal experience with the problem?
- Professional or personal experience: Do you have subject matter and/or domain expertise? What is your ability to build a team and recruit top talent in the future?
What kind of products/services are we looking for?
- Value proposition: Is your product useful, and is the right solution to the problem identified?
- Roadmap: Do you have a vision for future improvements and/or product offerings?
- Defensibility: How easy is it to copy the solution?
What is the market opportunity?
- Size of market: Do you know your available and addressable market?
- Room for growth: Is the market you are in growing?
- Competitive landscape: Will you be 1st or 2nd in their market? How competitive is the landscape?
Do you have the grit to go all the way?
- Customer discovery/feedback/market research: What have you done to validate your solution with their target market?
- Traction: What is the market adoption so far?
- Resources/fundraising/previous accelerator and/or incubator experience: Have you raised money or participated in programs to propel them forward previously? Was your experience positive?
What geographies can apply to Sixth Sense?
We are interested in companies located anywhere, except countries or regions subject to embargo or for which business transaction may be restricted or prohibited by applicable law or Hexagon’s compliance program.
What does Hexagon bring to the table?
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division operates all over the world and is the largest division of Hexagon, which is itself a public company employing 20,000 people in 75 countries. Hexagon has tens of thousands of customers in aerospace, automotive, medical, defence, general manufacturing, and more. We have deep expertise in delivering products and services to diverse markets around the world, and extensive relationships that enable that to happen.
Hexagon would offer our chosen companies support tailored to the specific challenge and chosen participant. Support could include mentorship (both internal and external), access to select tools, data sets and hardware made by Hexagon, and exposure to Hexagon VC networks and other expert relationships. It could also involve free loaner hardware from Hexagon, and other forms of support.
Hexagon would look to develop a specific relationship with chosen participants, which may include reseller agreements, investments, integration projects, or other appropriate transactions.
What would Sixth Sense think of as a strong application?
The application is our chance to get to know you – make sure that you provide evidence that your solution is addressing a problem and that you have product market fit. Your challenge should be scaling and distribution. While we will focus on companies that have a product/market fit, we will consider companies that might be struggling with product development and/or product market fit.
What about my intellectual property?
We expect you to keep it! We do not ask for and you should not disclose your secret sauce or confidential information to us. The focus of the program is exploring how to scale your innovative products. When we collaborate on the technical or product-specific aspects of those projects with us we have appropriate NDA protection for both parties.
If Hexagon and the participant elect to enter a different kind of arrangement, because of the program, or for another reason, that arrangement would be subject to different or modified legal terms. The rights that participants give Hexagon as part of the program are set out in the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence Sixth Sense Program Terms and relate primarily to material in connection with the program. We do also have NDA agreements available when necessary.
Could Sixth Sense invite my competitors?
The application is open to many participants to apply, so participants who compete could apply to Sixth Sense at the same time. However, Sixth Sense will make reasonable efforts to avoid that two competitors are participating at an advanced level (beyond the application phase) at the same time but if that is not possible, we will make accommodation so that no confidential information is exposed between competitors, including private areas for data exchange and conversations.
Finally – things that are important to us:
- What does our “informed intuition” tell us?
- Are we excited about investing in/working with this company/team?
- It is important to us that you are a kind human being and that you are willing and able to work with us. You will also be required to commit to not violating or causing Hexagon to violate Hexagon’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
- Equally importantly, is there a fit to Hexagon and partner roadmaps and opportunities?