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Running a startup is tough. Startups are responsible for some of the most innovative and influential ideas out there, but sadly, a much greater percentage of startups fail than succeed. It’s hard to see a young company fail, and it’s often through no fault of the company itself, simply a difficult economy, competitive market, and lack of necessary support. That last is what Techstars intends to supply for startups. The company offers young companies financial, human and intellectual capital to help them succeed; currently, it counts more than 300,000 among its alumni.

Recently, Techstars began accepting applications for a new accelerator called the Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, part of a three-year partnership between Techstars and Stanley Black & Decker. To get companies thinking about applying to the accelerator, Techstars held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session in which Claudia Reuter, Managing Director of the Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator; Jenny Lawton, COO of Techstars; and Tim Hatch, VP Innovation & Technology of Stanley Black & Decker answered questions about the accelerator and its benefits for those who apply.

If you missed the AMA, you can check out a recording here. According to Lawton, the questions fell into a few different categories:

Why is Stanley Black & Decker doing this?

Stanley Black & Decker, according to Hatch, is on a mission to find the best 3D printing companies out there. The company has been using 3D printing for more than three decades, and is looking for new ways to implement the technology in its production processes.

“We want to learn from you, we want you to learn from us, and we want to create a partnership to move forward,” he said.

[Image: Techstars]

Who will be involved? What are the benefits? 

Companies selected for the accelerator will have access to mentors from within Stanley Black & Decker as well as throughout the industry. They will benefit from access to capital as well as Techstars’ large investor network, which will offer startups opportunities for success.

What types of companies is Techstars looking for?

While the accelerator is focused on additive manufacturing, Techstars is also interested in a broader range of companies – for example, startups dealing with B2B software solutions that have a relation to workflow, the supply chain, ERP or CRM tie-ins could apply.

“While we’re very interested in companies with cutting edge solutions for 3D printing hardware and materials, we want companies that are tackling B2B SaaS to know that they should apply also, as we want to see a variety of company types in the actual cohort that relate to additive manufacturing,” Reuter told 3DPrint.com.

Stanley Black & Decker is interested particularly in companies that it can continue to work with after the program has ended.

Why Hartford, and what will the space be like?

The accelerator space under construction. [Image: Claudia Reuter]

Hartford, Connecticut offers several benefits: it’s halfway between New York and Boston, while offering a lower housing cost than either of those two major cities. It has a vibrant city center and universities, and Techstars will be sharing more information in the near future about the types of resources available on site.

Techstars has a long history of helping young companies to succeed, and the company’s passion for startups and entrepreneurs is clear. If you’re part of a startup involving additive manufacturing or related technology, the Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator may be an excellent resource for you. If you’d like to learn more, you can request an in-person or virtual meeting with Reuter here. If you’re ready to apply now, you can do so here. Applications are due by April 8th, and the program starts on July 16th.

Starting a business is difficult and scary, but you don’t have to do it alone – resources like Techstars and Stanley Black & Decker are more than willing to help.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

 

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