Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Entrepreneurs Are Problem Solving

Gartner’s famous hype cycle has landed consumer hype for 3-D printing in a period of decline, but this has had little bearing on the advance of the technology. Despite waning consumer interest, 3-D printing has continued to grow at a rapid pace, largely due to adoption from entrepreneurs who see the technology as an integral part of the future.

3-D printing, which is most commonly associated with small-scale prototype development, is finally making the leap into market-scale production. What is driving the recent change? John Carrington, CEO and founder of ZVerse, a 3-D printing software company, explains, “Turning 2-D concepts into 3-D models used to take a significant amount of effort and expertise from the designer. It was immensely challenging to bridge the gap between idea and product fruition. With recent advances in software that support 3-D printing and its business integration, it has become feasible for entrepreneurs to leverage this technology to advance their businesses.”

Here are some of the top ways entrepreneurs are using 3-D printing technology to accomplish their goals:
1. Developing minimum viable products.

For entrepreneurs and startups, this is a significant development. One of the biggest hurdles in starting a venture is developing a minimum viable product that will garner early customers and investors. In the past, product development has been costly, not only because it requires highly-skilled design but also the expense of creating more units is often prohibitive for self-funded startups.

By providing low-cost production at faster speeds, 3-D printing is helping entrepreneurs develop minimum viable produc

ts at a much faster rate. This means that when it comes time to raise funds, instead of presenting an idea to investors, entrepreneurs can introduce an actual physical product. If they plan on crowdsourcing through online communities, it’s much easier to garner support with a visual presentation of a real product that crowd funders can get behind.

2. Unique medical solutions for healthcare startups.

A growing number of healthcare startups are using scans and machine learning to improve the medical field by creating detailed maps of the human body. Some of these innovators are also starting to use 3-D printing to model the information they discover to help doctors improve everything from diagnostics to surgery.

 

“When we look at the healthcare space, MRI and CT scan data is currently presented to physicians and patients in a 2D format. With 3-D printing, models can be made showing organs and tissues as they might appear in the body, which, as you can imagine, has countless benefits for planning treatment,” said Carrington. “Software has been the primary vehicle for making this process applicable for medical professionals.”

By casting 2D information into 3-D models, physicians can better assess the individual body composition of each patient in real dimensions to assist them in determining which treatments are best. As costs decrease due to adoption, these applications will be commonly available for medical practitioners.

Kinds Companies Will rising

Deciding to bring your company public is a big step that can take months of planning.

CB Insights, a firm that analyzes tech trends, predicts that 369 companies could have IPOs this year. Individually, the businesses in this IPO pipeline have raised an average of $262 million to this point. Altogether, these companies have raised $86.2 billion in equity financing to date.

 

Seventy-three percent of the businesses in the IPO pipeline are internet companies. Mobile and telecommunications is second, but that category has 39 companies on the list compared to the top spot’s 269.

The tech companies most likely to seek IPOs this year, according to CB Insights, are Utah-based software company Qualtrics, Zuora, a company that makes software for business subscriptions, meal kit delivery service Blue Apron, security software maker Okta, and Pluralsight, a company based in New Mexico that makes online video tutorials for tech skills.

 

Out of the 369 IPO pipeline businesses, 54 are based in New York, 21 are based in Massachusetts and 205 are in California. Rounding out the top five are Utah, with 11 companies, and Texas with 10.

The report found that that the venture capital firm that most had its finger on the pulse was Andreessen Horowitz. The firm, which has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Buzzfeed and Facebook, had the highest number of IPO pipeline companies in its portfolio that were valued at $1 billion or higher in 2016.

Dressed As Santa

Casey Neistat is wrapping up an incredible year. Fresh off his deal to sell his video-sharing app Beme to CNN for a cool $25 million, the YouTube star is looking for fresh new ways to keep himself entertained.

So, why not construct a drone that’s powerful enough to lift a human high off the ground? And by human, we mean Neistat himself. Dressed as a snowboarding Santa Claus.

Of course. Happy holidays!

What better application of drone technology, right? For fans of Wu-Tang Clan and the late ODB, the music will be a pleasant surprise as well.

This isn’t the first time Neistat has made a viral snowboarding video. Earlier this year, he shot a video of himself on a snowboard, being towed by a Jeep through the snow-covered streets of New York City. That video has more than 15.5 million views.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg got actor Morgan Freeman to be the voice of his artificial intelligence assistance Jarvis (cheekily named after Tony Stark’s Jarvis AI from the Iron Man movies).

Zuck has been working on Jarvis for about a year, and in the video below, you’ll see him using it to manage many things in his household — including room temperature, his toaster and teaching his daughter Mandarin. You even see him use it to get one of his signature grey T-shirts to him by a cannon-like device.

 

The billionaire decided to create Jarvis after he wanted to learn more about AI.

“My goal was to learn about the state of artificial intelligence — where we’re further along than people realize and where we’re still a long ways off,” Zuckerberg said in a Monday Facebook post. “These challenges always lead me to learn more than I expected, and this one also gave me a better sense of all the internal technology Facebook engineers get to use, as well as a thorough overview of home automation.”

This one definitely gets a “Wow.”