Meet Your Maker
buyers and sellers
This weekend, tens of thousands of DIY enthusiasts, families and plain old nerds packed inside the 7 train for the trip to Maker Faire, held as always at the New York Hall of Science. It was a jumbled lot that poured out and onto 111th Street.
There were kids everywhere. On skateboards and razor scooters, in strollers and on their mothers’ hips. They couldn’t get their hands on the exhibits fast enough. They waved to robots and crawled all over the museum’s exhibits and painstakingly assembled their own projects.
Shapeways attracted lots of eyeballs in the fourth quarter of last year, and not just for stunts like this. According to a report from SecondMarket, the 3D printing marketplace gained interest on SecondMarket’s private stock market at the fastest clip, as the number of investors following the company grew more than five-fold in the last three months of 2012.
Basel Bust? Artsy’s invite for its Art Basel party this year–thrown by Chanel–was positively littered with enticing cohosts. “On behalf of Carter Cleveland, Larry Gagosian, Wendi Murdoch, Peter Theil & Dasha Zhukova, we invite you to a beachside barbecue on Wednesday, December 5th in Miami Beach,” the invite said. Perhaps too enticing. “I ended up not going because it was such a shit show,” said one would-be guest. The tipster blamed the venue, noting that “the same thing happened last night at Amfar. It was a mess trying to get into the after party and there were 400 people waiting outside and inside it was a crowded mess.”
Typical for Art Basel, said the source, brushing off complaints. “Less so for tech startups :)” Too bad they missed Demi Moore’s highly gif-able turn on the dance floor next to Lenny Kravitz. Perhaps our partier will have better luck with Tumblr, which is hosting its own Art Basel extravaganza tonight.
Hrm: Staples, that place your office manager disappears to twice a week, has just announced its very own 3D printing service, in partnership with MCOR. Fast Company reports it’ll be called “Easy 3D” (natch) and ought to launch in early 2013.
Meet Your Maker
The Manufacturing Maven
When 3D-printing startup Shapeways held a ribbon-cutting for its new “factory of the future” last month, more pols were in attendance than at a Hurricane Sandy press conference: Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Empire State Development Corporation President Ken Adams all made the trip to the cavernous building that will house 50 3D printers, churning out as many as 5 million products every year.
Meet Your Maker
This morning, Betabeat ventured forth to the industrial environs of Long Island City for a ribbon-cutting at what’s being billed as the “factory of the future.”
Naturally, quite a few tech scene regulars were in attendance, like New York City Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky. But, by and large, it was mayor Michael Bloomberg’s show–that, and of course Shapeways, the company that’ll soon be 3D printing user-generated designs right were we were standing.
“There are plenty of good reasons we want New York City to be the epicenter of the industry, something, folks, that the factory and the research lab here at Shapeways will help make possible,” he told us, before adding, for anyone missing the point: ”This is the future of our city.”
Shapeways, the Etsy of 3D printing, which moved to New York in after an investment from Union Square Ventures, is poised to open a “factory of the future“ in Long Island City. Fresh off a $6.2 millon fundraising round led by Lux Captial, the company is eager to share some impressive new numbers.
Today, the company told Betabeat that Shapeways’ marketplace now offers “6 billion product variations.” Or, as they clarified, “one unique product for everyone on the planet.” To put that in perspective, Walmart only offers about 120,000 unique items in their stores. Suck it, big box bores.
Shapeways also shared this handy infographic with Betabeat, which sadly arrived by one-dimensional email:
Meet Your Maker
Stay tuned Kickstarter announced via tweet yesterday that, starting this fall, U.K. residents will be able to use the crowdfunding platform to launch their own projects. Currently, although people anywhere can give money to projects on the site, only individuals based in the U.S. can launch projects and receive funding.
Advise away Tout’d, a new digital forum for personalized recommendations, launched last week. As a social media platform and referral space, the app for iOS and Android enables users to ask for advice from friends as well as share recommendations ranging from restaurants and gadgets to professional referrals.
Sell now Join M&A professionals this Thursday at General Assembly for the first Startup Exit event on the East Coast. With a focus on social commerce and online retail and fashion, the evening will feature a fireside chat with Etsy’s Director of Strategic Finance, Carrington Williams, and well as a panel featuring the CEOs of Thrillist, dotBox and OpenSky. Tickets are required.
Reinventing design and manufacturing for the 3D-printing age sounds more capital-intensive than your run-of-the-mill social networking app. Thus to fund its growth, Shapeways, a Dutch company now headquartered in New York, just announced $6.2 million in financing led by Lux Capital, which the company says is an add-on to the $5.1 million series B round raised from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures last November.
Lux Capital doesn’t typically fund consumer-facing startups. According to its website, the Madison Avenue venture capital firm has been more concerned with cancer therapies and petroleum replacements, which is a vote of confidence in Shapeways’ potential. ”We seek investment opportunities to help turn technical breakthroughs into world-changing businesses,” Lux cofounder Josh Wolfe said on the company’s blog.
Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian stood at the front of a large room at the Hunters Point Plaza Penthouse in Long Island City, and looked out over the rows of tables set up for various startups based in the borough that, let’s be honest, doesn’t always have the best rep in the city.
“The New York tech community is just starting. There’s so much awesome stuff happening in all of New York City,” he said. “The only issue I’ve got is there’s a lot of it going on right around here.” He pointed to a map of Manhattan.