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We are here to help you succeed. Start a conversation today to learn how.

How to reach us

1.877.235.1004 Toll-free

+1.613.235.1004 International

Head Office
314 Athlone Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 5M4

Connection Tools

Interactive White Board #1

Interactive White Board #3

Secure Client Portal


Your first point of contact: VP of Operations, Ian Kayser

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to sign an NDA first?
NDA’s are used to ensure confidentiality for both parties during our conversations. We provide interested parties with our mutual NDA form where the terms apply to both parties. NDA’s have standard terms which we follow. Alternatively, if your organization has an internal NDA that requires our signature, we will handle this through email.
How long will my project take?
Depending on the complexity of your product idea, it generally takes 6 to 9 months to move from concept design to manufacturing ready. Our creative team will find a solution that differentiates your product and provides good user value at target cost. Our manufacturing setup experts can then help you identify and secure contract manufacturing resources (onshore and/or offshore). Need help with your first pilot product build? We set this up and fine tune quality during the initial production batch build and on to continuous production.
How much will my project cost?
Industry statistics show that 70% of a product cost is locked in during the initial Concept Design (CD) stage in the development of a new hardware product. The exploration and definition of a new product idea takes 200 to 700 hours based on the complexity of design, number of custom components, regulatory requirements and if there is a need for build-test-assess-refine exploration of the high-risk features that make the product great. CD stage work starts around $25,000 USD and a detailed custom CD budget will be created for you by the Design 1st senior team, based on your projects’ specific needs.
What is the process for the first step, Concept Design?
During this first CD stage of the work, the Design 1st team creates products on paper and test the solutions virtually and with hard models if required.  The team defines the physical shape, interface, mechanics of motion and structure that will meet the demands of the users and mother nature.  For electronics products, our team defines the hardware architecture including power, key components,  and connection protocols to other devices and the cloud. Our software team defines the product firmware architecture and APPs required in parallel with the other product planning. Key component identification and cost estimating as well as tactical manufacturing assembly strategies are defined for full product options review and product selection by the client.
What happens after, Concept Design?
CD stage ends with a detailed specification and presentation of the selected product option. This detailed concept definition provides our clients with a presentable and credible product solution.  Our deliverable results in a detailed view of the final product that can be presented to investors and first customers.  Hardware start-ups looking for a fast, expert, professional experience require the budget to fund our team through initial CD stage work and then on to engineering, prototyping, testing and production.
Why Design 1st?
The Design 1st team works with well-organized and funded business teams that require a professional hardware product development team to take their idea and quickly move to production ready with a focus on what their users want.

Video: Meet the Design 1st Team

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