I’d be stating the obvious if I pointed out that launching a business is difficult. You can work yourself to exhaustion and pour your entire heart and soul into a venture, but the harsh reality is that so much of getting a company off the ground depends on other people. Customers, obviously, but also investors. It takes a lot of money to build a business, and the money doesn’t start coming in until after the business is built, so seed funding is critical for so many startups. There’s recently been a wonderful trend towards embracing startups as vital to the economy of the future, with an increasing number of organizations dedicated to financially boosting these fledgling companies. Applying for seed capital is like applying for a job, though – there’s a sea of applicants out there, so it’s a struggle to make oneself stand out above the rest.
Canadian company 3Dprintler knows the struggle well. The rapidly expanding startup was the fortunate recipient of a seven-figure angel investment from a private company last month – after the Canadian government ignored them completely, according to the 3Dprintler team. The influx of money has helped them to rapidly push forward with several planned developments for the company, and now 3Dprintler has decided to pay it forward with an investment fund of their own.
“Now, we want to step in and help fellow entrepreneurs who are struggling to get their ideas off the ground…Since inception, 3Dprintler’s mission has been to innovate in the additive manufacturing industry and make 3D printing more accessible to everyone,” the team states. “We went through hard times, looking for support and funding from the Canadian government, and we know first hand that it is one of the toughest things to do, especially when you need to make big decisions quickly but you’re forced to deal with a slow and highly inefficient bureaucratic system, packed with people who do not even understand today’s most important technologies.”
Thus, the launch of a $100,000 “pre-seed” investment fund geared towards tech startups in the earliest stages of their development. In particular, 3Dprintler is looking for companies in the fields of 3D printing, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality and the Internet of Things. They intend to invest between $5,000 and $25,000 in each of their chosen recipients, whom they will help to flesh out their ideas, develop working prototypes, and grow their businesses “within the 3Dprintler ecosystem.”
“Ideally, we are looking to find synergies with entrepreneurs who will develop on top of the 3Dprintler eco-system and enhance it,” the team continues. “Examples of what we are looking for include:
Algorithms or software to fix and convert CAD files;
Artificial intelligence bots;
Augmented reality 3D-printing applications;
3D-scanning applications and app’s”
Does your business fit any of these criteria? Apply here or here – and good luck. I always love to see a good startup succeed. What do you think of this idea? Let’s talk about it in the 3DPrintler Pre-Seed Funds for 3D Printing Startups forum over at 3DPB.com.