The Third Dimension
London, Beijing, Tel Aviv — these are the cities most commonly associated with thriving startup ecosystems abroad. But one country demands not to be left out of the running as a top-of-the-list hotbed for global innovation: the Netherlands.
In two weeks, the nation that claims such inventions as WiFi and the CD-ROM is bringing a group of their top startups to New York City to convince the world that Amsterdam is the next destination for tech innovation. The Dutch Consulate in New York is sponsoring 11 companies for a five day tour. They’ll meet with VCs, tour the offices of major New York tech companies, and spend two days at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival.
If adulation for Brooklyn’s own Bre Pettis from sources like Time magazine and Stephen Colbert is any indication, 3D printing has found its way into the cultural ether. Who doesn’t like the idea of a machine that spits out a product based on your digital specifications? It’s even saving the poor homeless hermit crabs, didja hear?
Well, the personalized manufacturing revolution is not lost on VCs.
Shapeways, the company Betabeat called a contender for the next Etsy, just raised an impressive $5.1 million from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures—the same VC firms that invested $5 million in Shapeways’s series A round last September. Unlike Maker Bot, which creates open source 3D printers, Shapeways focuses on printing out your designs and setting up (an Etsy-like) marketplace for designers to sell their goods.
In addition to the $5.1 million, the startup, which is headquartered near Madison Park, also got a loan commitment of $1.2 million from NYC Investment Fund.
But the really big news, at least for New York City, is that the company plans on opening up local printing facilities, reports TechCrunch.