Lightspeed Manufacturing, a Haverhill printed circuit developer with an international customer base, is hoping to foster innovation by launching the Lightspeed Challenge, a hardware startup competition. Lightspeed, in partnership with local government groups, business organizations, and Northern Essex Community College, is inviting companies with a great idea and limited resources to enter the contest. Examples of recent hardware innovations include a guitar with an integrated iPhone that anyone can play, a touch-screen tablet computer, and sensors in a smartphone and clothing that monitor location, context, and environment. MassChallenge, an annual $1 million global startup competition and accelerator program, is providing the model for the local competition. The winner of the Lightspeed Challenge will receive up to a half-dozen free printed circuit boards culminating with a working prototype. Finalists will share $10,000 in cash, access to Lightspeed’s design services and production facility, access to free and discounted work space at the Burgess Business Center Incubator in downtown Haverhill, and free consultation and connections to supply chain resources for production. Everyone who enters the competition can receive free workshops and mentoring on topics such as business, finance, marketing, and technology. Contest organizers hope to attract 15 to 20 contestants. The application deadline is Oct. 15. For full details on the challenge, visit lightspeedchallenge.blogspot.com.