ShopLocket started as an e-commerce site for product startups to collect payments but now is poised to introduce more products. 

By Betsy Mikel (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)

Launching a tech startup is a big enough challenge. Launching a tech hardware startup is a whole different ballgame.

Katherine Hague and Andrew Louis recognized the additional challenges that hardware startup founders face on their entrepreneurial journey. In late 2011, the two launched ShopLocket, an e-commerce platform that helps entrepreneurs collect pre-orders and payments for their big idea products.

For two years, the Toronto-based VC-backed startup has grown from a simple website for collecting payments to a community of innovative product creatives. ShopLocket has helped launched products like Blaze Laserlight, a laser light that projects an image of a bicycle in front of cyclists to alert turning drivers and Bublcam, a 360-degree panoramic camera that raised $350,000 on Kickstarter.

As ShopLocket grew and became a key player in bringing early adopter technologies to market, global product development and supply chain company PCH International took note. Last week, PCH International acquired ShopLocket with the goal of creating “the world’s first end-to-end service offering that helps startups to create, develop, manufacture and sell hardware products direct to consumers.”

“It’s rare to find another organization that shares your exact vision for the future of the industry,” said ShopLocket CEO and Founder Katherine Hague in a PCH press release. “It’s even rarer to find one that appreciates your work, recognizes your potential, and wants to give you the resources to make your vision a reality.”

In an announcement on the ShopLocket website, Hague stressed that this acquisition would certainly not be the end of ShopLocket platform. Through this acquisition, PCH is committed to investing in early-stage hardware and together, both companies hope to get the world’s most innovative products into the hands of visionary buyers faster and better than ever before.

“Through our shared vision, we will be expanding the ShopLocket platform and creating a global community dedicated to supporting the hardware revolution,” Hague said.

PCH CEO and Founder Liam Casey also commented on the announcement in the PCH press release:

“This acquisition puts us at the intersection of hardware and ecommerce, and allows us to authentically communicate with a tech-savvy community. The products will include wearable tech, connected devices and personalized gadgets. This is the future of creating, making and selling products for wearable tech and the Internet of Things.”

 What tech products in the making do you think will wow the world next once they go mainstream?

Betsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day. Follow her on Twitter at @betsym.