Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has partnered with PCH, a San Francisco hardware specialist, to help startups create innovative health care devices. The deal pairs two subsidiaries of the companies, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and PCH Access, both of which aim to help startups navigate their respective industries, health care and hardware manufacturing.
PCH and J&J will offer office space, funding, product design, distribution, marketing and help with regulatory and clinical matters to the startups, which must apply to join the program.
The arrangement comes as Silicon Valley enjoys a hardware renaissance. Where hardware was once relegated to large companies with massive resources, startups are increasingly taking advantage of new technologies that make hardware prototyping easier. It’s led to a flurry of startups taking on everything from drones and connected devices to wearables and robots.
But prototyping is the easy part. Manufacturing is where it gets tricky. PCH, which did $1.1 billion in revenue last year and is known for working with Apple (AAPL), created subsidiaries, including PCH Access, and the Highway1 startup accelerator, to help startups go from prototype to store shelves.
The stakes for manufacturing the latest tech gadget can feel high – there may be a backlash if a Kickstarter reward is delayed! – but they’re nothing compared to the stakes in the medical field. Johnson & Johnson knows this intimately; the company paid out almost $2.5 billion in 2013 to settle thousands of lawsuits after its hip implant devices were found to be faulty.
Fortune recently profiled PCH and its accelerator, Highway1, which is the focus of an upcoming reality show called Bazillion Dollar Club on Syfy. Read that here.