One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to be the person I needed when I was younger. That’s why I’m super excited to announce that I am joining Techstars as managing director for the Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator.
As anyone who’s connected to the startup scene knows, starting and growing a company can be a lonely endeavor. When I founded a company several years ago in West Hartford, Connecticut, I was extremely fortunate to build relationships with leading organizations, to provide solutions that mattered, and to raise capital.
After two rounds of funding, I found myself in a whirlwind. My company was acquired by an industry leader, which shortly thereafter asked me and some members of my team to relocate to Boston. Since then, I have had countless opportunities to help the company with digital innovation, software development, process mapping, infrastructure modernizations and outreach into the startup community. In the past year, I’ve also joined the Board of Directors at a growing equity-backed company doing amazing things, and serve on an advisory board for another.
Techstars: A Worldwide Network
Techstars is a company I remember reading about and admiring in 2010 when I was working on my own company, but I wasn’t quite sure how to work with them from where I was at the time. Since then, they’ve continued to grow at a phenomenal rate, with countless success stories (SendGrid, DigitalOcean, etc.) and truly are the worldwide network helping entrepreneurs succeed.
If I had the opportunity, I know I would have greatly benefited from participating in an accelerator with Techstars as I was building my business, and am excited by the idea of helping other entrepreneurs work with Techstars now. So when I recently learned that they were launching an accelerator in Hartford, CT with a Fortune 500 company and industry leader Stanley Black and Decker (NYSE: SWK), I was intrigued.
The Hartford area is filled with smart, educated people who are doing big things across many industries. But it doesn’t have quite the startup scene of Boston or NYC… yet!
A Central, Vibrant Location
I moved to Connecticut in middle school, and have loved it ever since. After college, I spent time in other places including Rhode Island, Oregon and New York City, but when my husband and I mapped out where we wanted to ‘settle down’, we made our way to the Hartford area. Equidistant between New York City and Boston, Hartford is filled with many notable companies, has access to major universities, is loaded with history and a downtown that continues to be revitalized.
Innovating Additive Manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing, the industrial version of 3D printing, is in use for many companies already. In the past few years, advances in the space have started to radically shift how companies are using the technology, and the application of it has the potential for massive disruption. In fact, industry research from IDTechEx indicates the market may reach $40 billion by 2027. In the past two years, there have been significant investments in additive manufacturing companies and some acquisitions.
With additive manufacturing, companies can now share parts more easily across digital networks. But this same ease of transmission also creates an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the security and protection of data along the supply chain. Potential applications for the use of additive manufacturing are endless and include prototyping, advances in materials, and tooling. This vertical has created a new opportunity for startups seeking to understand and improve systems, or in some cases, to disrupt them. Forward thinking companies like Stanley Black and Decker are being strategic in identifying what innovations are happening out in the field and investigating ways to work with them.
The #givefirst mission of Techstars, combined with Stanley Black and Decker’s objective of finding innovative companies in the additive manufacturing space, got my attention and drove me to action. The entrepreneurial strength of an organization like Techstars and the industry expertise of a company like Stanley Black and Decker is certain to attract innovative, groundbreaking companies ready to disrupt business as usual. This combination of strengths will lead to an exciting accelerator and make great things happen for startups, for Hartford and for Stanley Black and Decker.
We can’t predict what any one company will develop, or the impact that it will have. And while ideas are many, execution is the key to success. So I’m energized by and appreciative of the opportunity to join Techstars to help find companies who are inspired and motivated to build the next great thing, and I look forward to the long term impact they will have.
Applications are open now. Regardless of what stage you are at, if you are an innovative company working in the additive manufacturing space, consider applying for a spot in this summer’s Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator. Be sure to join us for an interactive AMA on February 26th to get all your questions about the program answered!