Formnext invites applications for 2021 3D printing Start-up Challenge

Formnext, the 3D printing industry’s leading European trade show, has launched the 2021 edition of its Start-Up Challenge

After taking place in a fully digital format in 2020, this year’s event will see exhibitors and visitors return to the trade show floor between 16-19 November for face-to-face interactions once more.

As such, preparations are underway for this year’s Start-up Challenge, which will once again invite innovative 3D printing companies that have been trading for less than five years, to apply for the award. Entrants will be assessed by a panel of industry experts featuring 3D Printing Industry’s own Editor-in-Chief Michael Petch, who will then declare the winners.

“After many months of extremely limited contact opportunities due to the pandemic, it is all the more important for young innovative companies and start-ups to present themselves and connect with customers or partners,” said Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext at event organizer, Mesago Messe Frankfurt

“We want to support this over the long term with the Formnext Start-up Challenge and offer the winners a highly attractive package that allows them to make their mark in the international world of additive manufacturing.”

Entries for the Startup Challenge 2021 are now open, with 3D Printing Industry's own Michael Petch set to be on the panel of judges. Photo via Formnext.
Entries for the Startup Challenge 2021 are now open, with 3D Printing Industry’s own Michael Petch set to be on the panel of judges. Photo via Mesago/Matthias Kutt.

The Formnext Start-up Challenge 2021

This year’s Formnext trade show will feature the seventh edition of the Start-Up Challenge, which aims to provide a platform for emerging 3D printing businesses. 

Over the years, winning the competition has enabled a variety of now-established 3D printing firms to raise their profile, find prospective clients, and establish contact with investors, and include the likes of 3D printing software company 3YOURMIND, automated post-processing provider DyeMansion, and SLS 3D printer manufacturer, Sinterit.

To be eligible for the competition, businesses must be founded after January 1st, 2016, and not majority-owned by an established company. The start-up must also have a product or service that is market-ready in terms of customers, product status, and revenue.

In addition to a 3D printed award, the five winners of the Formnext Start-up Challenge 2021 will each receive a Formnext exhibition and marketing package, including a fully equipped exhibition booth in the show’s Start-up Area and inclusion within the event’s marketing and communication activities. 

The winners will also be given the opportunity to take part in a pitch event as part of Formnext, and receive a company profile from a media sponsor. Corporate coaching from a member of the judging panel will also be on offer. 

The deadline for applications for the Formnext Start-up Challenge 2021 is July 2nd, 2021, with winners due to be announced in September. Eligible start-ups that would be interested in submitting an entry can apply here.

The main stage at Formnext Connect 2020. Image via Mesago Messe Frankfurt.
The main stage at Formnext Connect 2020. Image via Mesago Messe Frankfurt.

The AM Ventures Impact Award 2021

Entrants to the Formnext Start-Up Challenge 2021 will be eligible for the AM Ventures Impact Award, launched for the first time last year by investment firm AM Ventures in cooperation with Formnext,

The AM Ventures Impact Award recognizes the positive environmental impact of 3D printing innovation and will be awarded to the 3D printing company that advances the 17 environmental goals set out by the United Nations (UN), including promoting green energy and conserving resources. 

The award focuses not only on environmental considerations but also on social aspects of sustainability, such as education and equality.

Applicants will be required to show what technology they provide, the applications it is produced for, and what actions they have taken on sustainability, including within their supply chain. The winner will need to prove that they have had a significant environmental impact within their respective field.

Formnext 2019 at Messe Frankfurt. Photo by Michael Petch.
Formnext 2019 at Messe Frankfurt. Photo by Michael Petch.

Previous Formnext Start-up Challenge winners

2020’s Start-up Challenge winners impressed the judging panel with a range of technical developments spanning automated design software, new plastic materials, production monitoring, and automated post-processing. The panel’s industry experts identified the following five innovations as the best at the conference:

Addiguru, a provider of real-time monitoring technology for additive manufacturing processes that combines computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), and physics-based algorithms.

MolyWorks, a US-based company focused on the circular economy for metal, whose NASA-recognized Greyhound system converts metal waste into metal powders for 3D printing at the point of need. MolyWorks also won the AM Ventures Impact Award 2021. 

NematX, a spin-off company from ETH Zurich focused on commercializing the extensive knowledge gained by the university in the field of high-performance polymer 3D printing

TOffeeAM, a topology optimization enterprise with the goal of unlocking the potential of additive manufacturing via topology optimization for engineering components.

AM-Flow, a Netherlands-based 3D printing software company that provides advanced manufacturing offerings to drive forward to digitization and automation of 3D printing post-production processes. 

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Featured image shows entries for the Startup Challenge 2021 are now open, with 3D Printing Industry’s own Michael Petch set to be on the panel of judges. Photo via Mesago/Matthias Kutt.

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