AMS Spring 2023

Applications Open for BASF Forward AM’s New 3D Printing Startup Contest

Inkbit

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Germany-based BASF 3D Printing Solutions (B3DPS), a 100% subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH, is organized into startup-like structures in order to best serve a variety of 3D printing customers. In 2019, B3DPS rolled out a new corporate brand presence at formnext 2019 called Forward AM, and works to set up and expand its business with components, advanced materials, systems, and services in the 3D printing industry under the Forward AM name.

BASF Forward AM Ultrafuse 316L

Now, the BASF brand is launching its Forward AM Innovation Award, which is touted as the first worldwide contest for startups that are using 3D printing to develop innovative new applications.

“Your startup can be in any industry; we are looking for 3D printing applications with a strong focus on innovation, sustainability and scalability,” the contest page states. “Dental aligners, shoes, tools, automotive parts, music instruments, industrial tooling and molding, medical implants, sports equipment, toys, architecture, fashion, construction… Do you have an idea for a product that would benefit from switching to 3D printing? Then it’s time to apply!”

A team of major industry leaders are sponsoring the contest:

  • AMPOWER
  • AMT
  • Autodesk
  • HP
  • Photocentric
  • Sculpteo
  • Ultimaker

AM Ventures, BASF Venture Capital GmbH, Deloitte, and Women in 3D Printing are also supporting the Forward AM Innovation Award by helping the BASF brand choose the participating startups, as well as offering coaching sessions based on their specific expertise, and giving the winners access to their services and products.

The ‘Forward AM Innovation Award’ and its sponsor team

The new Forward AM Innovation Award is meant to help speed AM innovation and adoption by supporting startups and entrepreneurs coming up with unique, scalable, and sustainable ideas for products that utilize 3D printing. According to the contest website, you shouldn’t apply if your startup is developing 3D printers, software, and/or materials, but rather applications in which 3D printing is used to make the product. Applicable startups, from all over the world, will be less than five years old and employ less than 50 people, and spin-off companies from universities or other companies are also eligible.

Applications can be submitted starting today until March 28th, 2021, and the first 100 applicants will receive a full features license for Autodesk Fusion 360 that’s valid until June 30th, 2021. Semi-finalists will be chosen on April 14th, with the semi-finals taking place on April 28th. The contest’s supporting and sponsoring companies will choose four finalists, which will each receive two months of expert coaching, marketing exposure, and industry connections, along with €20,000 in goods and services to prepare for the finals.

On June 30th, the finalists will pitch their startup ideas in front of a live jury and the public. The winner will be awarded €80,000 in goods and services, which they will choose from the various sponsors’ catalogs. In addition, the winning startup will get the chance to have a dedicated personal session with venture capitalists from BASF Venture Capital GmbH and AM Ventures. But that’s not all—two other awards will be announced at the finals. With the Deloitte Sustainability Award, €10,000 in cash will be given to the startup with the best sustainability strategy, and the startup that wins the audience vote at the finals will receive an additional €15,000 in goods and services with the Public’s Choice Award.

Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the Forward AM Innovation Award via its website. You can also find news about the contest on social media under #ForwardAMaward. Good luck!

(Source/Images: Forward AM)

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