Staub to help 43North award $5M
Each year 43North holds a business competition (think Shark Tank, only without producers or Mark Cuban), in which any entrepreneur worldwide with an emerging business or a business idea can enter to win huge prizes. This year we’ve been asked to get involved – to help produce a remarkable and meaningful award for the big winners. Winners of this year’s competition will receive 3D Printed trophies specially manufactured by Staub Machine Company… oh yeah, and up to $1,000,000! Here are some details about how the competition works.
If you haven’t heard of 43North yet, you will soon. Nominally, 43North is a business development hub located on the medical campus in downtown Buffalo, NY. It is funded by the Buffalo Billion and New York State Power Authority, and is charged with bringing new and emerging businesses to Buffalo. In reality, 43North is much more than a state government entity. It is an unprecedented program – an annual business competition that is open to entrepreneurs across the globe – bursting with energy and enthusiasm for our region.
A 3D Printed Award Takes Shape (Literally!)
43North is awarding Big Money and Big Opportunity to entrepreneurs from around the world. $5,000,000 is given away between eight winners – in addition to tax breaks, mentorship, and incubator space. Since day one, there has been an initiative to develop an award for winners that represents the city of Buffalo, 43North, and the Competition. The tagline for the 2016 award is “City on the Rise”, so the brass at 43North looked to local artisans who could craft an award to represent the big picture.
Naturally White Bicycle, one of Buffalo’s most accomplished design firms, was tapped to do the heavy lifting on concepting and branding. 43North and White Bike were intrigued by the properties of 3D Printing, so they reached out to Buffalo Manufacturing Works and Staub Machine to learn more. After a brief meeting of the minds, there was no doubt that these awards were going to be 3D Printed. The collaboration between 43North, White Bicycle and Staub just clicked. We found that all three companies had real synergy, and shared essential core values. As we learned about the 43North brand and the nuances of design, White Bike and 43N learned characteristics of 3D Printed parts and the freedom (and some limitations) that designing for Additive presents the artist.
We needed to represent 43N and a “City on the Rise” with the creation of these awards. Anyone who’s been through Buffalo in the past few years can tell you that we are on the rise. Publications from USA Today to National Geographic to Wine Spectator are calling Buffalo one of America’s great comeback stories. The creative minds at White Bicycle envisioned a cityscape with ascending geometric towers to show the revitalization and growth happening in our city. They nailed it.
Dan Exford, our Engineer on the project, took this idea and ran with it. We decided to use FDM technology for the towers. Of course we could vapor smooth the award and post-process it in a number of ways, but the team decided that we wanted to see a raw 3D printed part. We wanted it to be obvious that this trophy was produced using Additive Manufacturing. We printed the top section of the awards on our FDM 3D Printer in sets of four, utilizing a total of 120 hours of machine runtime. These sections are made of white ABS-M30 – a durable thermoplastic that will hold up to years and years of admiration.
Dan designed a base for the awards, into which the towers fit perfectly. The base features the branding elements for the trophy, including the 43North logo and the names of the sponsors. White Bicycle and Dan cleverly designed the base to complement the ascending towers, while bringing in important elements of the 43N brand. Travis Bauer, our Additive Specialist, worked to print and process the bases using a technique that our customers love. He calls it the “ship in a bottle” effect, in which he super-polishes our clear material to reveal elements inside. The effect is really stunning.
When the base and tower are put together, you’re seeing more than just two pieces of an award combined. You’re seeing two 3D Printing technologies come together to make one piece of art. You’re seeing the fusion of beautiful, thoughtful design and cutting edge technology. And you’re seeing the collaboration of three companies who are passionate about what they do and about the region that they operate in.
Staub Machine Company cares deeply about the community in which we work. We also care about our industry and the jobs that our industry supports and creates. By supporting 43North in this effort, we feel like our goals and corporate identity are in perfect alignment with the cause. We are proud to be a small part of this huge undertaking. We believe that this Business Competition can bring exciting new companies to Buffalo, and also help shine the spotlight on our region as one that is energetic, focused on business, and primed for even more growth.
The competition has been going on for months, but has heated up in past weeks. As of today, there are 16 finalists vying for cash prizes. The top ten will advance to the final day, and will be eligible for a share of the $5 Million. Each round of presentations and judging is free and open to the public, and make up some of the events happening during 43N Week. On October 27th at 6:00 pm, the Final $1 Million Round takes place at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, and is open to the public. The top three teams will give live pitches and compete for the grand prize. You’ll witness all the drama and excitement of the competition, and can see one of the awards being printed live in the Shea’s lobby. Get free tickets to the event here, you know we’ll be there!