Stanley Black & Decker launches Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator

The STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator is looking for 30 additive manufacturing startups to join a support and mentorship program in Hartford, Connecticut.

The program is run by the world’s leading supplier of tools and storage, Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), in collaboration with startup accelerator professional Techstars, and aims to bring new technologies to the market with the help of 3D printing.

Making Manufactory 4.0

With a manufacturing history dating back to the late 1800s Stanley Black & Decker is determined “to stay at the forefront of technological change.” As such, the company intends to open Manufactory 4.0, “an Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence,” to test new technologies relating to the internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics and advanced materials.

Manufactory 4.0 will be the central hub for projects funded by the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator. The location of the center, as explained by David Brown, co-CEO and co-founder of Techstars, “is thriving with early-stage startups ranging from companies focused on science, technology and software solutions to B2B and small business services.”

In addition, “Connecticut was at the heart of the first three Industrial Revolutions and has continued to have a strong manufacturing presence, which makes it a great location for an accelerator focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and additive manufacturing, in particular.”

Inside Manufactory 4.0. Photo via Stanley Black & Decker
Inside Manufactory 4.0. Photo via Stanley Black & Decker

An investment in the future of manufacturing

The program will run in three waves throughout 2018, 2019 and 2020 each giving 10 fresh startups the opportunity to benefit from Manufactory 4.0 facilities and financing. The first wave of budding businesses will enter the program in the third quarter of 2018 following applications that open in January.

According to Corbin Walburger, Vice President of Business Development at Stanley Black & Decker, “Additive manufacturing is a field that is constantly evolving and will significantly change the manufacturing environment of the future.” Furthermore, “The STANLEY+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator demonstrates our commitment to this emerging industry,” he says “and shows our intent to […] incorporate innovative and disruptive technologies into our business model.”

3D commitment

Overall, the new program presents a firm commitment to 3D printing by Stanley Black & Decker. Up until now, the company has had a tentative involvement with the technology, demonstrating its use for cutting edge toolmaking in an Autodesk case study, and releasing its own desktop 3D printer, the Stanley Model 1, in collaboration with South Korean electronics corporation Sindoh.

The Stanley Model 1 desktop 3D printer. Photo via Jebiga
The Stanley Model 1 desktop 3D printer. Photo via Jebiga

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Featured image shows traditional manufacturing. Photo via Stanley Black & Decker