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Business Modeling for Robotics and Automation

Topic: Hardware
Cyril Ebersweiler

“The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.” (William Gibson). This is a sentence that certainly rings true when uttered in reference to the current state of automation and robotics we are experiencing globally. The trend is white hot and here to stay. While we are witnessing the power of automation through software (as a disrupter and game changer in a positive way,) robotics can often be depicted as a negative trend, with potential to take jobs away from people, endangering employment. So what is the true value of automation? It lies in our ability to harness the incredible power of the production tools. We’ll explore what robotics and automation can do for business, and how to take part.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Explore scenarios of automation
  • Deep dive into industry verticals and disruptors
  • Discover the characteristics of the ‘new wave’ of robotics companies
  • Business modeling for robotics and automation
  • Financing for robotics and automation
  • How to start a business based on OPR (other people’s robots)

This training course is for you because...

  • You are an executive or a technologist which will be impacted by automation
  • You have an idea for a new automation product or startup, or look for one
  • You have no background in technology but want to know how to benefit from automation


  • This course will assume some basic familiarity with business practices, management, the lean startup method, and the software development process.

Recommended Follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Cyril is a General Partner at SOSV and the founder/MD of HAX. He is a board member/advisor to a few startups including Formlabs, Angel List, Collaborate (ACQ: CISCO), Hackster (ACQ: AVNET), Avidbots and Simbe Robotics. He is an experienced investor in deep tech (250+) and has invested globally. Cyril is a popular speaker at international events (TC Disrupt, Collision, Pioneers, MIT Forum, etc...) and Universities (Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc...), has written dozens of articles and publishes regularly on topics such as technology, robotics, health and crowdfunding. He has been featured in The Economist, Popular Mechanics, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Wired, BBC and more.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Segment 1: Landscape Overview (35 min)

  • The “3 Ds” (Dull, Dirty, Dangerous)
  • Mapping the territory
  • Possible impacts
  • Break & Q&A: 10 min

Segment 2: Evaluating Risk (35 min)

  • Building a robotics product
  • Working with startups
  • Predicting the future
  • Break & Q&A: 10 min

Segment 3: Business modeling (35 min)

  • The ‘Task-oriented’ model
  • The ‘Vertical’ model
  • The ‘All you can eat’ model
  • Break & Q&A: 10 min

Segment 4: A mean (of production) to an end? (35 min)

  • A bigger pie
  • OPR (“Other People’s Robot”)
  • Break & Q&A: 10 min

Course wrap-up and next steps