Now in its seventh year, the Formnext Start-up Challenge recognizes young and innovative companies from the world of additive manufacturing. In addition to new, creative, and viable business ideas, the subject of sustainability also plays an important role. A young company will therefore also be selected from the applicants to receive the AM Impact Ventures Award. Applications are now being invited from companies that are no more than five years old. The deadline for applications is 2 July 2021; winners will be announced in September 2021.
Since its inception, the Formnext Start-up Challenge has offered additive manufacturing start-ups one of the most attractive platforms for showcasing their companies to the AM world and attracting the attention of customers, partners, and potential investors. Winning the Formnext Start-up Challenge has given an important boost to the market entry of a number of internationally successful companies, including 3Yourmind, Dyemansion, Kumovis, Sinterit, Trinckle 3D, Xioneer, and many more.
“After many months of extremely limited contact opportunities due to the pandemic, it is all the more important for young innovative companies and start-ups to present themselves and connect with customers or partners,” explained Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President Formnext at event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “We want to support this over the long term with the Formnext Start-up Challenge and offer the winners a highly attractive package that allows them to make their mark in the international world of additive manufacturing.”
In addition to the 3D-printed award, the five winners will each receive an impressive Formnext exhibition and marketing package, which includes, among other things, a fully equipped exhibition booth in the Formnext 2021 Start-up Area and inclusion in all relevant and worldwide Formnext marketing and communication activities. In addition, the winners can participate in a pitch event as part of Formnext, receive an individual company profile from a media sponsor as well as corporate coaching from a member of the judging panel.
The international panel of high-profile representatives from all corners of the industry comprises Dr. Kristian Arntz (CEO Fraunhofer Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP), Stefanie Brickwede (project manager at 3d Printing@DB and Managing Director of the Mobility goes Additive network), Arno Held (AM Ventures Managing Partner), Alexander Oster (Director of Additive Manufacturing at Autodesk), and Michael Petch (Editor in Chief at 3Dprintingindustry.com). Also bringing his expertise to the Start-up Challenge is a new panel member, Peter Mayr, Professor of Materials Engineering of Additive Manufacturing at the Technical University of Munich.
Following its debut last year, the AM Ventures Impact Award will be presented to selected applicants of the Formnext Start-up Challenge for the second time, in recognition of approaches to sustainability. Environmental considerations (such as green energy and resource conservation) and social aspects (for example, education and equality) play an important role in this. According to Arno Held, Managing Partner at AM Ventures; “Additive manufacturing offers great potential to address key global economic and environmental challenges.”
Any up-and-coming company with a product or service that is market-ready in terms of customers, product status, and revenue can take part in the Formnext Start-up Challenge, provided the start-up is not majority-owned by an established company and was founded after 1 January 2016.