“This is a dream come true for an entrepreneur,” gushed MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis at this morning’s press conference announcing his company’s acquisition by Stratasys. “It’s an exciting new day for us.”
But much of the brief event was devoted to reassuring everyone that the quirky Brooklyn startup won’t change, even though it’s now a subsidiary of a massive, publicly traded company.
“MakerBot is MakerBot is MakerBot,” Mr. Pettis promised, after waxing nostalgic about the days when the company was so strapped for space that they once rented a Brooklyn apartment and started shoving in desks.”We’re a special place.”
First Tumblr, and now comes another sizable New York City exit. Turns out the whimsical MakerBot won’t be raising a round, after all, because the desktop 3D-printing startup is being acquired by publicly traded behemoth Stratasys, for $403 million in stock. (Of course, that’s just the initial value, based on today’s $84.60 closing price for shares of Stratasys stock.) Stakeholders qualify for additional performance-based earnouts, with an initial total value of $201 million.
New Tech City gets new managing editor WNYC announced yesterday that Manoush Zomorodi will become managing editor of New Tech City, the weekly tech podcast and segment on Morning Edition. According to the press release, Ms. Zomorodi—who co-created and currently hosts the program—“will oversee a new phase of New Tech City, in which WNYC plans to expand the weekly segment into…a digital media enterprise with videos, live events and other components that break from traditional radio programming.” Keep your eyes and ears peeled, folks!
YOLO FOMO 'n all that jazz
Brooklyn’s own Makerbot Industries, the buzzy startup that produces 3D printers and recently opened a storefront in Nolita to display its printed plastic wares, is reportedly looking to raise a round totaling $25 million. Or maybe they’re in acquisition talks. It’s definitely one of those things, so says the Wall Street Journal.
Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, singer/songwriter Tori Kelly, IRL Productions’ Emily Gannett and billionaire / Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at Conduit Corner @ SXSW 2013 (photo by Erica Gannett)
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
This was my sophomore outing at SXSW (‘Spring Break for Nerds!’) and it was every bit as epic and intense as the first one. Five days of non-stop boozing ‘n schmoozing ‘n pool partying ‘n BBQing ‘n celeb meeting ‘n concerts with little-to-no sleep can take its toll. I feel like a HERD of elephants ran over me! Now that I’ve put that mental picture in your head, let’s dive in.
My 2013 SXSW actually began right here at La Guardia airport, where I ran into bunch of local tech peeps en route to Austin, including Newscred CEO Shafqat Islam. There was a storm coming, but luckily we got out before it hit. In fact, my flight left half an hour EARLY, if you can believe that, so thank you, United. (Of course, the return flight was delayed by an hour, so there went all the hard-earned goodwill. Oh well.)
Recording artist Will.i.am, as you may know, is something of a self-styled technologist. Besides holding down a sweet gig as Intel’s director of “creative innovation,” he pops up in pro-coding propaganda and once featured a Makerbot in one of his videos, because why not. Now he’s further demonstrating his devotion to technology in the title of his latest track: “#thatpower,” released today.
Real Genius Andreessen Horowitz invested $15 million in Rap Genius to help its Ivy League cofounders to annotate the Internet. But how much will they have to pay to rein in the braggadocious Mahbod Moghadam?
In a recent issue of Wakefield, a newsletter covering “tech and startup insight not captured elsewhere,” Maboo was up to his old shenanigans, volunteering information about a “feud” with Mark Zuckerberg, who also happens to be backed by Andreessen Horowitz.
Apparently, Mr. Moghadam was at Ben Horowitz’s home, “chilling” with Zuck and Nas as is the new mode of Silicon Valley socializing. (Mr. Horowitz happens to be close friends with Steve Stoute, Nas’ former manager.) Despite Zuck’s heightened privacy concerns (it’s complicated?) Rap Genius cofounder couldn’t resist Instagramming his good fortune.
Life in 3D
Your heart-shaped Birchbox. Tired of cellophane-wrapped boxes full of chocolate-flavored fat? On February 7, Birchbox is launching a limited edition V-day box—the “We Heart” Collection. For $36 you can have goodies like nail polish, bobby pins and some mascara product advertised as “triple action,” in case you’re not getting any this year.
Newsreels Tonight at 6 p.m. marks the premier of “MAKERS: Women Who Make America,” at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. This video and broadcast initiative is a collaborative effort between AOL and PBS that aims to communicate stories of revolutionary women who help shape today’s world.
After the events in Newtown, the gun control debate has taken on a new urgency. Suddenly 3D-printed firearms look a lot less like a thought-provoking experiment and more like a danger to the public–and Makerbot wants nothing to do with that.
CNET reports that just yesterday, it was possible to get the blueprints for the lower receiver of an AR15 semiautomatic rifle on Makerbot’s wiki Thingiverse. Today, there’s nothing but this listing where the downloads used to be. It’s part of a wider crackdown across the site on 3D-printed weapon parts.
This made the rounds back in August on design blogs, but it seems us techies missed it: Realität, a Mexico City-based design firm, has devised a way to translate music into a snazzy physical form. They’ve mapped the soundwaves and printed the models using a Makerbot.