April 18, 2014
Every year thousands of innovators work to bring their ideas to fruition. Those who succeed do so through a combination of hard work, technical prowess and maybe a little bit of luck. Innovators can also receive a helping hand from a number of sources, including contests, angel investors, and crowdsource funding websites such as Kickstarter.
GIGTANK is a program designed to help new startups by offering them access to the tools, capital and connections needed to bring a product to market. Based in Chattanooga, TN, the name GIGTANK comes from the city’s status as one of the first US cities to offer a gigabit internet service. This year’s GIGTANK features 12 finalists, many of which involve additive manufacturing (AM).
“The interest GIGTANK has received from startups across the country has been amazing,” said Mike Bradshaw, director of GIGTANK and executive director of CO.LAB. “The reputation the program earned in its first two years brought us dozens of very highly-qualified applicants.”
The GIGTANK program will run from May 12 through July 31, and winning teams will receive $15,000 in initial funding, a $3,000 stipend for specialist support, free workspace, and free housing. The winning AM teams include:
Lathon Technologies is developing a dual extruder head, multi-material desktop material extrusion system. The company is working to ensure its product, called the Lathon, offers faster print times and a larger build envelope than competing systems. According to the company, unlike many other material extrusion printers, the Lathon is capable of printing dissolvable support structures that can help improve print quality.
TrakTek 3D is a mobile additive manufacturing service for equestrian and automotive sports. The company is working on a mobile facility with the ability to work with 3D printing to offer a variety of metal and polymer-based parts on-demand and on-site. This startup intends to save its customers time through quick production turnaround, and also to offer custom parts nearly overnight.
Nestegg Biotech seeks to provide biotech solutions with a focus on AM. Using patent-pending technology, the company provides non-toxic scaffolding to the pharmaceutical and research industries, offering them the opportunity decide which products to fund while simultaneously reducing research costs required to bring a new drug to market.
3DOps works with medical teams to provide 3D printed models for use in pre-surgery planning. Models are designed by using specific patient data to ensure accuracy. The service offers surgeons a chance to see and touch potential problem areas before beginning an operation.
Below you’ll find a video about GIGTANK.