If you’re a mechanical engineer, you can either launch your own startup or invest in already existing ones to make a profit. In this article, we’ll list the best startups for mechanical engineers that will provide you with food for thought.
The specifics of startups launched by mechanical engineers
Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, analyzing, and maintaining the mechanical systems of the machines. They can create any type of mechanism: from a simple robot that can perform only one type of task (such as washing windows) to smart robotic assistants that can replace human professionals at a factory assembly line. Automation can save a lot of time, funds, and effort for companies from many industries, be it small cafes or power plants. It minimizes the risk of human error, regulates processes, and helps deliver products of consistently higher quality.
To launch a mechanical engineering startup, you need to have a technical education and entrepreneurial talents. When hiring staff members, you should be able to assess their level of professionalism and make sure their personalities fit your team. If some of your team members with substantial technical expertise quit, it might be more difficult to replace them, compared to finding a new accountant or copywriter.
In the 20th century, a mechanical engineer would typically work for a large corporation. They would stay with the same company until they retired, and their work was rather predictable and stress-free. Nowadays, the work of a mechanical engineer has become much more dynamic. Over the last 30 years, businesses that were launched less than 5 years ago account for nearly all net new jobs and almost 20% of gross job creation.
Compared to large corporations, startups have limited budgets. All team members need to be very flexible. Every new day brings new challenges and new opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. Typically, startup policies are less strict when compared to large corporations. The everyday communication of staff members resembles discussions and arguments in a family. Mechanical engineers often take part in conversations that are not immediately related to their work. For instance, they might be required to share their opinion about marketing activities. Their profound understanding of the product and their fresh outlook might enable the marketing department to create more efficient campaigns.
From a financial point of view, working for a startup might be more rewarding than joining a large corporation. If a mechanical engineer owns the business or has shares in it, they can make a lot of money as the company scales.
The best engineering startups to pay attention to
The engineering startups listed below might inspire you to create your own business projects or invest in these companies to make a profit.
This company was established in 2019 in Sweden. As its name suggests, it manufactures electric trucks. It was the first brand that came up with the “truck as a service” concept. The heavy vehicles that it builds are fully electric and sustainable and can boast enhanced safety. They were designed to solve the last-mile delivery problem. In 2021, the order book for the Volta Zero vehicle reached $260 million.
This one was started in 2015 in the US. The company bears the same name as its product, the nTopology engineering design software. It enables engineers to conceptualize new product ideas with 3D modeling. You can use it not only to test your prototypes but also to share your workflows with team members.
This company was founded in 2017 in the US. It creates autonomous, AI-powered robots that can complete various tasks to help human professionals. For instance, one of their products can cope with over 23,500 tasks. It works in hospitals to assist medical staff.
This one was established in 2016 in Germany. It builds browser-based software that engineers use to create vehicles, satellites, and other machinery. Engineering data might be very dynamic — and Valispace products help centralize and manage it. All the teams working on a project will have access to a single source.
This computer-aided engineering startup was launched in 2015 in Sweden. It provides architects and engineers with wind simulation solutions that are available as SaaS products. The platform designed by Ingrid Cloud showcases the effects of wind flow on product design. The demand for it comes from the aerospace and automotive industries as well as companies that build HVACs.
This materials science startup was founded in 2016 in the US. It produces carbon composites that are used to create ebikes, turbines, aircraft, and other mechanical structures.
This US-based company was founded in 2016. It builds and sells large farming robots that automate agricultural processes. For instance, they can harvest berries. Such machines are supposed to help farmers cope with the shortage of human labor.
This aerospace startup was opened in 2019 in the US. It helps companies deliver cargo to inaccessible areas. Its products are called precision airdrop solutions. To control the trajectory of cargo dropped from an aircraft, they rely on mechanical components and guidance systems.
This robotics startup was established in 2014 in the US. It produces robots that can deliver goods autonomously, performing curb-side deliveries within 30 minutes. The fleet has already completed 1,500,000 deliveries.
This one was established in 2015 in the UK. The company makes industrial pressure valves that can control the pressure of water, gas, and oil. These products also come in handy at facilities that are responsible for power generation. Compared to competitors’ products, these valves are more affordable, safer, and more efficient.
This robotics-focused mechanical engineering startup was founded in 2016 in the US. The autonomous electric-powered vehicles that it creates perform local deliveries. The demand for them comes from pharmacies, grocery stores, and restaurants.
This one was launched in 2015, in the UK. It specializes in creating computerized numerical control factories and other automated manufacturing solutions, including robots that can substitute human workers.
This company was established in 2019 in Spain. It manufactures electric-powered motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters with swappable batteries. So far, it has sold just around 250 units — but they have already helped to save over 1.4 million kgs of CO2. Among all the EV brands that operate in Europe, Velca has the largest online following.
This electrification startup was founded in 2011 in the UK. It offers hybrid powertrains for trucks, buses, and other heavy vehicles. Besides, they specialize in IoT telemetry for heavy-duty vehicles such as PaaS and SaaS.
This one was started in 2009 in India. It builds autonomous single-station car wash systems and releases more than 500 units per year. Treo Engineering was the pioneer of touchless car wash in the country.
This startup was launched in 2013 in the US. It builds autonomous robotics solutions that help ecommerce businesses replenish their stocks and handle materials. These creations rely on computer vision, machine learning, and AI. After integrating Berkshire Grey solutions into their workflows, companies can cut down their overhead costs by 70%.
This one was founded in 2015 in the US. It develops AI-powered solutions that protect service members and civil individuals. This startup enables unmanned aircraft to function just as efficiently as if they were operated by human professionals.
Founded in 2009 in the UK, this company builds foldable mobility scooters. These means of transportation are lightweight, comfortable, and aesthetically appealing. Plus, their product range features a power chair.
This electro-mechanical startup was launched in 2017 in the UK. It produces and sells kits that enable regular bicycle owners to turn their means of transportation into electric bikes. The kits are compatible with dozens of bicycle models. In 2019, it took Swytch only 1 month to hit $1 million in sales. Bicycles powered by the kits this company manufactures have been collectively ridden for over 1 million miles.
This 3D simulation business was established in 2012 in Germany. Engineers can use its platform to test the mechanical design of their products before actually building them. The web-based software by SimScale creates high-fidelity virtual models of solutions. Engineers get a chance to detect flaws at the earliest stage possible and fix them with minimum expenses.
Top industries to launch a startup in mechanical engineering
These top industries for mechanical startups can help you generate a steadily high profit and will offer great scaling opportunities.
Up to 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste are disposed of worldwide every year. People throw away their old gadgets and domestic appliances in the landfill because they don’t know what to do with them. You can purchase these items from private users and companies cheaply and recycle their spare parts to create new products. You’ll get a steady source of income and you’ll make this world a safer and cleaner place.
Solar panel manufacturing
This idea is perfect for mechanical startup companies that are located in territories with abundant sunlight. It’s the most cost-efficient technology for obtaining energy from the sun. Such panels can be installed both on houses and industrial buildings. Today, almost 70% of solar photovoltaic module production takes place in China.
Manufacturing of water disposal machines
Only 3% of all the water on our planet can be used for drinking. Water that people use for agricultural and industrial purposes needs to be purified. It’s a finite and scarce resource. Mechanical startups can come up with ideas for reducing water wastage or removing impurities from the water. Besides, you can design a water disposal machine so that it generates energy.
Aluminum doors and windows manufacturing
Aluminum constructions can last for decades and boast outstanding structural stability. They offer excellent anti-burglary protection as well as great acoustic and thermal insulation. This material enables you to exercise your creativity and deliver unusual, visually appealing products.
There is a huge market for aluminum doors and windows. The demand for them comes from private house owners, educational institutions, business centers, industrial clusters, and many other types of consumers.
To excel in this industry, your staff members need to be good not only at manufacturing but also at the science behind using this metal. Technologies related to producing and using aluminum evolve very quickly. To outperform your competitors, it’s vital to keep up with industry trends and be among the first to integrate new solutions.
Scrap metal business
Every tonne of recycled steel saves 1.5 tonnes of iron ore and 0.5 tonnes of coal. Metal is 100% recyclable. Just as in the case of recycling e-waste, you can purchase scrap metal from private users and businesses in your area and get valuable resources out of it. Later, these materials will be used for creating new products.
Manufacturing household gadgets
Some might think that a startup in mechanical engineering can’t compete with tech giants when it comes to manufacturing gadgets. But in fact, you can start such a business with modest expenses. Research the local market to find out which features the available blenders, mixers, and coffee makers miss. Create a product that fixes these pain points and offer it to consumers.
You can launch a crowdfunding campaign with pre-ordering opportunities to assess the demand for your unit. You should ask customers to provide feedback to you and improve your product based on people’s reviews and comments. If you enjoy innovating, your company might skyrocket in a couple of years.
Mechanical industry machines manufacturing
Before launching a startup for electrical engineers, you need to thoroughly research the market. The opportunities for automating processes are endless. You can build robots that cook pizzas or mix drinks in a bar. You can improve the already existing solutions that assemble other solutions in factories. Alternatively, you might consider making not machines but parts for them.
The most rational approach is to begin with the simplest products and slowly expand with time. Before you start hiring professionals and creating prototypes for your products, you should ask local businesses about their pain points and preferences. Instead of relying on the results of research that you can find online, it would be wiser to get in touch with owners and top managers of companies from your area.
Manufacturing of defense weapons
Startup mechanical companies that create defense weapons need to comply with many governmental regulations. But the demand for your products will come not only from governmental bodies. You’ll be able to sell your units to private security companies and even export them.
In 2023, the video surveillance market is expected to be worth $62.6 billion. A typical American resident is likely to be caught on camera over 75 times per day and a Londoner over 300 times a day. You can start manufacturing CCTV equipment for businesses and private users.
The market is far from being saturated yet. Even if there are many competitors in your area, you can carve a niche for yourself by offering innovative features or, by contrast, making simpler and more affordable products with only the basic functionality.
Mining equipment lease
The viability of mechanical engineering startups from this sector depends on their geographical location. Your business should be registered in a territory where mining is legal. It’s best if your clients are located in an area with access to cheap energy. Customers might prefer to lease mining equipment and not buy it because it’s expensive. You should prepare a large sum of money as an initial investment.
Generator maintenance services
Mechanical engineering startup companies can provide maintenance for any type of equipment. We recommend you focus on generators because there should be many of them in your area and the demand for your services will remain high all year round.
Sure, this would be a less glamorous career than manufacturing custom gadgets. Your staffers should be ready to work with oil and grease. But you’ll be able to make a handsome profit, and the business will scale swiftly.
Fitness equipment manufacturing
By 2028, the size of the global market for fitness equipment is projected to reach $14.8 billion. To start building ellipticals, treadmills, and other complex products for sports centers, you need to have solid expertise and a large budget.
Alternatively, an engineering startup can focus on simpler equipment for home usage. Your products should be affordable, long-lasting, compact, visually pleasing, and versatile, allowing your customers to train different groups of muscles right in their bedrooms.
Metal sign boards
Compared to their wood and neon counterparts, metal sign boards are much more durable. They can nicely fit any interior and are very easy to take care of. To start producing them, you need to find a reliable supplier of raw material, rent or buy a premise, purchase the necessary tools and equipment, and hire staff.
Outdoor bicycle rack manufacturing
Before launching this type of business, it’s vital to find out about the industry regulations and carry out thorough market research. Bicycle racks are supposed to be placed close to the entrances to shops, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities. They should nicely fit into the surrounding landscape, be durable and safe to use. Racks differ in materials and construction. One of the trickiest aspects of this business is building an efficient marketing strategy.
3D printers manufacturing
It would be reasonable to focus on the simplest 3D printers — those that private users can place in their houses or garages to create small objects for everyday use. Such units can be used to produce toys, decor items, kitchen utensils, storage pieces, and other similar objects.
Entrepreneurs can start small businesses by printing and selling custom products with the help of the machines that you build. Besides, you can make printing materials and accessories for 3D printers.
Nuts and bolts manufacturing
Even though there is nothing innovative in this type of business, it can take off quickly and bring you a substantial income. First, find out which type and size bolts are needed in your area the most. Second, sign contracts with reliable suppliers of raw materials.
Such a business doesn’t require large investments but it’s important to maintain a consistently high quality of your products.
Training school or courses
Mechanical engineers can make money not only by manufacturing items but also by sharing their knowledge with others. The demand for your services might come from your colleagues who received training of mediocre quality. And of course, you’ll educate people who are making their first steps in this field of knowledge.
To make a name for yourself, you should combine theoretical and practical training. Consider adapting your courses for online and offline formats. Strive to provide your clients not only with the information related to engineering but also with industry contacts and recommendations on making a successful career.
This can be regarded as an individual case of providing training services. The demand for professionals who know how to handle CAD/CAM/CAE is steadily increasing. After completing your courses, people will be able to quickly find well-paid jobs.
Repair of automobiles
The more technological solutions modern cars feature, the more difficult it becomes to repair them. Skilled professionals need to know how to handle climate control systems, audio systems, rearview cameras, and dozens of other solutions.
Explore the local market to find a niche for your business. Which solutions do other companies from this sector fail to repair most often? Which systems tend to break down most frequently? Which helpful and powerful repair tools are not used in your area yet? Once you determine your competitive edge, you should emphasize it in your marketing campaigns.
Even though it’s a low-margin business, it can generate a decent profit thanks to a large number of clients.
Customization of automobiles
The term “customization” means that the client wants to upgrade the exterior and/or interior of their car to make it more stylish and comfortable. People want their autos to stand out from the rest without sacrificing the safety of driving and other technical parameters. They might also want their cars to become faster and more maneuverable.
To succeed in this segment, you should hire employees with great technical skills. Plus, all your team members should be creative, flexible, and always eager to learn new things.
If you have technical expertise, you can monetize it by building digital or physical products. Your company can belong to the IT, transportation, manufacturing industry, or any other sector where you can find opportunities. To boost your odds of success, you should carry out thorough marketing research, hire staff members with the right skills, and keep analyzing customer feedback.