AMS Spring 2023

Operation Warp Speed Alum Joins Fortify as CEO

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Fortify, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and additive manufacturing (AM) materials company, has announced Lawrence Ganti as the company’s new CEO and Board Director.

Having served most recently as president of SiO2 Materials Science, Ganti spent most of his career with chemical/pharmaceutical giant Merck. He also worked on the US government’s rapid effort to catalyze development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, Operation Warp Speed, under which SiO2 scaled up the production of the firm’s novel hybrid pharmaceutical packaging technology. Ganti succeeds Josh Martin, Fortify’s co-founder and CEO, who will become the company’s chief product officer.

Image courtesy of Zippia

In Fortify’s press release announcing the news, Martin commented, “We’re moving from the phase of initial product introduction to the market to commercial scale-up, and I, along with my co-founders and the board, felt it was the right time to bring in some outside expertise to help lead Fortify to the next level.”

Bobby Yazdani, managing partner and founder of Cota Capital, an investor in Fortify, added, “Lawrence will bring a fresh perspective to Fortify. He has led rapid commercial and operational expansion across various industries such as SaaS, biotech, and manufacturing, most notably with his last role at SiO2 leading the scale-up of integrated hardware, software, and advanced materials for end-use manufacturing applications.”

Image courtesy of Fortify

Given Ganti’s experience on Operation Warp Speed, he is a fitting choice to head-up Fortify. Earlier this year, the company entered into a strategic investment agreement with In-Q-Tel, a venture capital arm of the US intelligence community. Specifically, Fortify entered into an agreement with In-Q-Tel to develop materials and production processes related to radio frequency (RF) and wireless tech for the industrial internet of things (IIOT).

Thus, Ganti seems to hit all the marks to be a perfect candidate to lead a rapid scale-up of an electronics printing company. And In-Q-Tel is especially successful at picking winners, so both Ganti and Fortify will likely be successes in the market segment.

More broadly, “rapid scale-up of electronics printing” is not something that’s likely to happen as a standalone development. That is, if a rapid phase of growth for electronics printing happens, it will require/involve the success of many companies, both directly and indirectly. Put most simply, it will be something that people will notice. Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that In-Q-Tel seems to not only be betting on the success of Fortify, but on the success of the very premise of printing electronics devices.

Finally, the most likely catalyst for a sudden, dramatic expansion in electronics printing activity could be the expansion of the advanced manufacturing environment itself. The fact that Fortify is focused on the industrial internet-of-things is a key detail in this respect. More immediately than any other new material component, the success of advanced manufacturing will require an upsurge in the amount of sensors and transmitters that can be embedded in every machine involved in the production process. (This is aside from the sensors/transmitters involved in the goods produced, themselves.) In this sense, the success of advanced manufacturing processes will almost certainly require the success of electronics printing to happen, before the solidification of the rest of the Industry 4.0 technologies into the economy-at-large can take place.

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