Trimatis was formed at Penn State University by recent mechanical engineering graduate Jason Lehrer, current electro-mechanical engineering technology student Tito E. Orjih, and engineering faculty member Marietta R. Scanlon. The three of them were inspired to create the startup after seeing how much waste 3D printers generated – as well as how much waste was on the streets of Philadelphia.
“During my environmental stewardship internship, I witnessed a copious amount of plastic waste littering the streets of Philadelphia,” said Orjih. “Where people saw trash, I saw an opportunity to build a business and help the environment.”
After starting the company, Orjih and Lehrer applied for the 2018 PennTap Inc.U competition.
“We had to turn an idea that was proven in a lab into a business in a short period of time,” said Lehrer. “A lot of time was spent looking into the market to see if this would be a viable business.”
After Inc.U, the pair pitched the company at the 2018 Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference.
“We prepared by doing a lot of pitch practices in front of different people with different perspectives,” Orjih added. “Each practice pitch helped us address our mistakes and helped us understand how to adjust our pitch based on the audience.”
“Another humbling experience,” Orjih said. “The best part was networking with people from the crowd who generally loved what we were doing and wanted to support us.”
Invent Penn State has allowed many students to get businesses off the ground; in the past three years 21 innovation hubs have been funded in Pennsylvania as part of the initiative.
“The education and resources Penn State has provided have been instrumental to the development of the company,” said Scanlon. “The research Jason conducted during his participation in the Multi-Campus REU program sparked the idea. In addition, the Langan Launchbox, Penn State Berks’ innovation hub funded by the Invent Penn State grant, has provided countless resources to ensure the team’s success.”
Trimatis was recently selected as one of 10 finalists in the Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an idea incubator and business plan competition for startups aiming for a positive social or environmental impact. Trimatis has been participating in the incubator all summer and is now in the crowdfunding part of the competition.
“We plan to keep progressing, improving on our process, marketing and developing connections with people who will be assets to the company,” said Lehrer.
“Our eyes are on the official launch day,” Orjih said. “Our goal is to launch by Jan. 31, so we are taking the proper steps needed to finally be in business.”
If you’d like to support Trimatis, you can check out its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Source: Penn State]