Funding is a constant issue for the 3D printing world as research and development on new products is never cheap. FABulous is a recently launched incubator that aims to unite the community and bring that all-important funding to create an ecosystem of start-ups.
Additive printing is advancing at an outrageous rate and genuinely has the capacity to change the world on a number of levels. Manufacturing, medicine, space exploration and even food production all stand to benefit.
FABulous believes it can help facilitate change by bringing the brightest minds together with investors with the deepest pockets. It can also protect the venture capitalists from the fly-by-night schemes that any burgeoning industry will inevitably attract.
Bridging the gap between tech and money
By pre-qualifying the businesses and attracting only the best talent, then it could be an attractive opportunity for tech investors and even hedge funds that don’t have the expertise or the time to thoroughly investigate each opportunity.
Expect more of these kind of firms in the future as 3D printing and the associated industries are producing mind-blowing breakthroughs on a near weekly basis. It’s almost too much for the casual investor to understand and many will shy away from ploughing in much-needed funds. Warren Buffet said it himself: “Don’t invest in a business you cannot understand.”
39 companies feeling the benefit
The incubator is helping 39 Information and Communication Technology start-ups right now and a further 150 SMEs and web entrepreneurs that are looking to service the industry. It has ploughed in $6.17 million so far and that is set to grow, fast.
Not only does it provide funding, there’s a wealth of knowledge and training on offer that can stop great ideas amounting to nothing. We have lost lots of great ideas over the years because a fantastic inventor simply didn’t have the head for business, or a great salesman didn’t understand the technicalities of running a business.
A serious back office
CARSA, an innovation and tech consultancy that has been in business for 25 years, is behind the incubator. Partners include a research lab in Tenerife, a Belgian research institute, a foundation set up to push the region of Baden Wurttemberg in Germany as a centre of technical excellence, one of Italy’s largest engineering firms and a Europe-wide headhunting firm for tech firms.
It’s fair to say, then, this is a serious back office.
With a support team like this behind them, these start-ups can simply do what they do best. Of course it goes beyond simple support. If FABulous can establish itself as a serious source of funding, then it can act as a hub, connecting the companies it backs. Even if they only do business with each other then it virtually guarantees some level of success.
It’s a potent draw for 3D print pioneers who know there are at least 150 companies that could share resources, negotiate jointly with suppliers and even work together on upcoming tests.
Indeed, the incubator is trying to unite its companies right now to create definitive data that can be used throughout the industry. Even the testing capabilities of this many companies could be a potent weapon in itself.
Going on the road
FABulous has already held a series of roadshow-style events where entrepreneurs can come and pitch their ideas. It also has a healthy presence at industry fairs and shows, which has put it in touch with some of the brightest minds and most interesting concepts.
So expect to see a lot more from this incubator. 3D printing is one of the most attractive industries in the world right now and it hasn’t really lived up to its potential in terms of attracting investment.
The likes of FABulous could put that right.