Being an entrepreneur is far from being an easy labor. There are many, many difficulties to face before bringing your idea to the market. But that’s actually the beginning of a harder stage: Successfully growing your business. Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives to help you reaching potential costumers and grow your business; these are actually the main purposes of a 3D printing accelerator.
So if you have decided to be an entrepreneur, an arduous battle harder than anything you’d seen awaits you:
- Finding new markets.
- Generate profits.
- Coordinate new projects and team works.
And I keep saying it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, let’s talk about 3D printing accelerators.
Most accelerators offer its costumers great benefits, like the opportunity of getting financing for your project; They can also help you find new markets for your products. I know it already sounds fine, but, before you start with a serious implementation of accelerators, I recommend you to first consider if your business really needs an incubation.
- First of all, analyze if your company is at the right time to receive support. Then,
- Is it now the time to grow or it needs other primal areas to be fixed before?
Please take these points in consideration in first place.
Get to know the printing technology you’re working with.
Remember that we are working with a versatile technology. Therefore 3D printing is not only for prototyping but also for production; As a matter of fact, more companies are implementing 3D printing in their production processes, so if you are willing to jump in any these sectors, better analyze your value proposition first. What makes you unique and Special among the competition?
Some cases could be:
- Printing time Vs. your competition’s.
- The cost of your technology (is it cheaper or more expensive?)
- Ease of operation. (The end-user does not need to be an expert in 3D printing)
- The versatility of materials. (Different materials in a single printer without costs in accessories)
Now it’s time to grow.
While there are numerous alternatives in accelerators around, each one is dedicated at specific targets. Hence, today I bring you a list of 3D printing accelerators that you can apply now, depending on your needs.
1.- NEXTFAB, a 3d printing and Maker technologies accelerator!
NextFab Venture service divisions provide local hardware entrepreneurs and companies with funds, office spaces, business coaching and mentorship, workshops and product development, networking and more.
Located in Philadelphia, NextFab is a network of membership-based maker spaces. It provides full access to tools, technology, education, events, and services for makers with any skill level. It also offers different plans to support your 3D printing business including its own Rapid accelerator program and business incubator.
NextFab has the potential to help you earning opportunities in the Market. It doesn’t matter whether you’re developing projects, crowdfunding campaigns or hardware startups. Because NextFab can take your product or business to the next level.
2.- MakeinLA, a 3D printing accelerator and hardware and tech innovation!
From Southern California, MakeinLa is building a strong community specially dedicated to bring hardware companies to market. Moreover, it has the support of NEO Tech and Hexlab so they’re able to apply professional equipment and resources into their selected Startups.
They have a 4 part month program specially designed to reach your market and make profits.
In the 1st Month you will learn who is your customer target and how are you going to make money on them, a few aspects of the program are:
- Stress testing of product/market fit.
- Daily customer interviews testing hypothesis, present findings to all startups.
- Competitor landscape open crits.
2nd Month you will know how to reach you customer target and what prototype will need to be compelling to them.
- Data crunch on works-like prototype
- Customer testing of looks like prototype
- Additional hypothesis testing
3rth Month ready to take a prototype to market and know how much it will take to get a mass following and get the product mass-produced.
- UX and software development
- Customer testing of works-like prototype
4th Month knows how much money will be needed to raise a successful hardware-based business and will be prepared to find like-minded investors for our journey.
- Mock due diligence (ex: be able to pronounce EBITDA, the files you need in your Dropbox).
- Post MiLA plan.
- Develop metrics – customer acquisition, digital marketing.
3.- Buildit, an accelerator of things!
Located in Estonia, Buildit accelerator has an intensified program especially designed for creative industries and hardware startups from all around the globe.
Its Key areas during a four-weeks program are:
- Strategies for business idea validation.
- Design thinking.
- Product design and development.
- Product-market fit.
- Sales and marketing.
- Fundraising and legal issues and
- Pitch training.
In addition, it offers regular meetings with mentors and visits to different manufacturing plants and design agencies. It’s a perfect combo for Mechanical and Designers, isn’t it? Startups who applied this program are also offered a free co-working space in the centre’s of Tartu city with full access to different prototyping tools. Teams also have a discount on different services from Build it partner, including tools, design service, legal service, accounting service and more.
Build it will receive 3% in advisory shares. In order to cover their living expenses during the program, every team receives a 3000 EUR investment. Most noteworthy, teams who show commitment and dedication will be chosen to a follow-on program that is tailor-made to the specific needs of each project!
Also published on Medium.