Growing with circuits, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from -Kenzie-‘s photostream

AlphaLab Gear is a Pittsburgh-based, nationally ranked accelerator — consistently in the top 20 nationwide — for early-stage physical product companies. They are once again holding their National Hardware Cup. This is a pitch competition for early-stage hardware startups. The Cup tours seven cities around the U.S. (Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Washington DC, Chicago, and Austin) to find and highlight the most promising physical product startups in the nation.

Winners in each of the seven regional semifinals will receive $3,000 cash, a one-year license to Solidworks, and other prizes, as well as a chance to win a $50,000 convertible-debt investment from Startbot VC at the National Finals to be held in Pittsburgh in April! Early stage physical product startups at any stage from ideation, to prototype, to post-revenue are eligible to enter.

Via Ilana Diamond, Managing Director at AlphaLab Gear, in Business Wire:

Building on the success of the previous two years, this year’s Hardware Cup brings a new twist: it’s going international. Teams from South Korea, Japan, and potentially two more countries will send their best competitors to Pittsburgh for the first International Hardware Cup. “It’s inspiring to see the hardware community come together over international borders,” says Diamond. “We can’t wait to see the best the world has to offer.”

There are rolling application deadlines for each regional competition with the first being January 22nd for Los Angeles and Pittsburgh’s deadline happening on February 7th.

Please click here for more information and to apply online.