Frequently asked questions

What stage company can apply?

We welcome any stage company from smart manufacturing & sustainability in smart manufacturing focus (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 be 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?

Yes. You must be incorporated as a limited liability company. If your company is raising venture capital in general, it is helpful to be structured as a B or C-corp. This helps push the process along if additional funding is made available.


What size check does Sixth Sense write?

Significant investment of expertise and access through funded proofs of technology/solution for those selected and an opportunity to win Joint Venture opportunities. We estimate that the monetary benefit is equivalent to a $100,000+ investment. Sixth Sense typically will not make a direct funding investment. We will bring venture capital companies to demo day but will not guarantee any commitment to further funding as an outcome. Hexagon will always be open to funding opportunities when there is a right fit. We will also connect you to several in-kind service opportunities to help your business with a total value about $50,000 for those services.


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 underestimated groups are encouraged to apply for the program.

Things we look for when evaluating team applications:

  • 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?

Finally:

  • 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.
  • Most importantly, is there a fit to Hexagon and partner roadmaps and opportunities?

What geographies can apply to Sixth Sense?

We are interested in companies located anywhere.


Besides the open innovation platform, what do you bring to the table as a partner?

We offer our chosen companies support including mentorship (both internal and external), access to all tools, data sets and hardware made by Hexagon, free office space from Hexagon or its partners if required, exposure to Hexagon VC networks and continuous engagement in our alumni network.


What would Sixth Sense think of as a strong application?

This 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.


We are looking forward to learning more about you and your company. If you have any questions, email us at sixth.sense.mi@hexagon.com