One of the many realizations to come from this election cycle is that telling the truth really doesn’t matter anymore, we live in a post-fact world where you can say or post anything and ignore proof that it is wrong. In this week’s post, I ask: “What does living in a post-fact world imply for business?“
Innovation has become almost a magic word, and in the startup world innovators are given demi-god status. We like to think that there are people out there who just come up with ideas that change the world. Reality is that we kind of overkill the whole thing and “It’s time to stop putting innovation on a pedestal, and praise getting stuff done.” Channeling a little Andy Rooney on this one.
We had a lot of fun while learning a lot during the first ever Perfect Pitch competition at PADT. This is an event where startup mentors get up and pitch the same fictitious company. During that process, we learned a few things that are useful for anyone trying to fundraise for a startup or those who mentor companies. “Pitching a startup well: What I learned while competing for the Unicorn Cup” highlights those lessons.
November 6-10: Las Vegas, NV
ANS Winter Meeting & Expo
PADT’s Flownex team will be at the winter meeting with a both and presentations to talk about how to use the Flownex Simulation Environment to model nuclear reactors and related systems. Always a good show, it is a chance to learn about the power Flownex for thermal fluid simulation. See you at Caesar’s Palace
The full agenda and all the details for this event are here.
November 10: Phoenix, AZ
Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards
One of our favorite events every year where everyone who is involved in technology in the state of Arizona comes together to celebrate what has been achieved and to catch up on what happened during the year. We will be there at 4:00 in our booth and would love for people to stop by and say hello. Awards start at 5:30, and PADT was on the selection committee and helped make the awards again this year.
This really is a must attend event, at the Phoenix Convention Center, for anyone involved in tech in the state, large company, small company, or academic.
Get the details and register here.
November 11-17: Phoenix, AZ
ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition
We are very fortunate to have this year’s congress here in Phoenix at the Convention Center! We hope to see many of the people we know from around the world. Please do stop by our booth (November 13-16) and say hello. Dr. Bhate is also giving some presentations on 3D Printing and simulation and we will be hanging about with our ANSYS and Stratasys partners as well.
Get the details and register here.
November 18: Phoenix, AZ
ANSYS Startup Roadshow Kickoff
We are kicking our ANSYS Startup Roadshow off at CEI in Phoenix to introduce the ANSYS Startup Program to, you guessed it, startups. This fantastic offering from ANSYS, Inc. allows early stage customers access to the high-end tools they need to get their products to market faster, with better performance, and reliability. We will also be presenting on how to use simulation to make your startup a success.
If you are a startup and you are making things, this is a must attend.
Register here and watch this blog and your email for events in other locations as we take this on the road to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Southern California.
Customers, friends, partners, and students braved 100 degree temperatures and some unusual traffic to gather at PADT’s Tempe office to celebrate engineering and manufacturing in Arizona at Nerdtoberfest. Machinists, startup experts, engineers, and professors mingled under the stars and took a tour of the facilities while enjoying pizza and beer.
The day started with a seminar on Metal 3D Printing given by Dr. Dhruv Bhate. If you missed it, you can watch his talk here:
We followed that with the first ever PADT Perfect Pitch competition, where four teams pitched the same fictitious company as an exercise in seeing if those who teach, can do. That was such a big part of the day that it has it’s own blog post including a link to a video of all of the pitches.
And after the the laughing and congratulations to the winner of the Unicorn Cup, we started the open house. A chance to tour PADT and network with other members of the Arizona Tech Community.
If you have ever read a post before about one of our open houses you know we have a consistent problem. Once the party starts we stop taking pictures. The only one I got was of Dhruv showing off our new Laser Concepts Metal 3D Printer.
That room was definitely the star of the show and we calculated that Dhruv was talking from 3:00 to 8:30 – five and a half hours non-stop. He earned his pizza and beer.
The table from Basis Chandler was also popular, where they talked about their 3D Printed prosthetic hand project. We also had representatives from the SciTech Festival and RevAZ talking to visitors. The 3D Printing demo room was great and many people stopped to hear about how we are combining 3D Printing and ANSYS Simulation.
We always enjoy these events, they give us a chance to socialize with people we see all the time in work situations. It is also a great opportunity for us to introduce people that would probably otherwise not meet, and grow the strength of the Arizona engineering and manufacturing ecosystem.
The verdict is in, if the company barq! actually existed they would have raised a lot of seed money yesterday. Members of the Phoenix area startup community gathered at PADT to try out a new idea: what if the experts who mentor and coach startups tried their hands at pitching a company? The result was fun, funny, and educational.
Local incubators/accelerators CEI, Seed Spot, and Tallwave joined PADT in pitching a totally made up company, barqk! to a group of judges who are startup experts. We talked about poop, doggy depression, bessel functions, big data, valuations, and the cat revolt. In the end we ended up with four fantastic examples of how to pitch a company and how to answer questions from investors. One of the best parts was that every single team finished their pitch in the 10 minutes they were given, and they covered everything that needed to be covered. Yes, it can be done!
And the winner is… The Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI). Tom Schumann and Patti DuBois told a story, explained the product, and got across the value to the investors of the product
You can watch the recording of the presentations in the video below. Take some time to watch the pitches and get a feel for barqk!, and how different organizations approach telling the story and more importantly, attracting investors. The audience noticed that each team had a unique take that represented their strengths.
Our judges were Jim Goulka from Arizona Technology Investors, Christie Kerner from ASU, Carine Dieude of Altima Business Solutions, and Linda Capcara with TechTHiNQ, and they did a fantastic job, especially with keeping a straight face when the contestants responded with some very inventive responses. Their contribution was important.
If you are interested in doing a similar event, here is some background information:
- Each team gets a copy of the angel group funding application and a logo.
- Each team gets 10 minutes to pitch
- The judges have up to 5 minutes to ask questions
- The other presenters can listen in
- PowerPoint slides are allowed
- Some variation from the company application is allowed for humor or to fill gaps, but everyone should stick to the same basic material
Here is their angel funding application, everything you need to know about them is in there: barqk-angel-application-1.pdf
We look forward to doing this again, hopefully as part of a larger startup event. Thank you to all who participated by pitching, judging, or being in the audience.
October is not just the long awaited end of high temperatures in Arizona, it is also Manufacturing Month. As we start to have lunch outside again, it is a good time for those of us involved in making stuff to reflect on our recent successes and on what we can do to make things even better. Find some interesting statistics and suggestions on next steps in “Manufacturing Month in Arizona – Looking Strong“
The Cloud, everyone talks about it but have you really taken the time to see where it fits in to physical product development, especially when dealing with the Internet of Things. I take a look from PADT’s perspective in: “The Cloud, the other enabler for what is next“
We are pleased to announce that PADT’s contribution to the technology community was recognized with the election of one of the owners to the Arizona Technology Council Board of Directors. Please read the press release below to learn more.
This honor will allow us to increase our involvement with the Arizona Technology Council and help where we can to add even more value to this great orginization. If you have any questions about the AZTC or how you can get more involved in the state’s dynamic technology community, contact us or come to our open house this Thursday (10/27/2016), Nerdtoberfest.
Rey Chu, one of PADT’s owners and our head of Manufacturing Technologies, is featured in the 2017 issue of AZ Business Leaders with his article “How 3D Printing is Changing Manufacturing” It is a great overview of 3D printing and how it is impacting the way we make things.
The teams are set, the judges have confirmed. Details on the fake company has been shared. It is time to see how the professionals pitch a tech startup. The area’s best startup incubators and accelerators are facing off in this head to head competition to take home the awesome Unicorn Cup and bragging rights.
The teams are:
Thomas Schumann and Patti DuBois from CEI
Nate Mortenson from Tallwave
Wiley Larson from ASU
Lauren McDannel and John Johnson from Seed Spot
Our distinguished panel of judges consists of
Rebel Brown of Cognoscenti
Carine Dieudé of Altima Business Solutions
Jim Goulka of ATI
Christie Kerner of ASU
David McCaleb of ATI
Perfect Pitch is a contest where teams present the same fictitious technology startup company. A group of expert judges will determine who gave the best pitch. The event is part of PADT’s Nerdtoberfest celebration of engineering and manufacturing in Arizona, and takes place from 4:30-6:00 on Thursday, October 27th at our Tempe offices.
Everyone is invited! We will have an overflow area set up if we get more than can fit in our seminar room where you can watch live. We will also be streaming the event live to the world (watch this blog and social media for the link).
At barqk!, we deploy the latest cloud based machine learning and big data algorithms to convert your dog’s barking into words on your mobile device so that you can understand your pet’s needs, if they are sick, and be made aware of danger.
Dog owners face significant problems communicating with their pets. Although you can train a dog to obey commands, the dog cannot tell it’s owners what it needs or wants. This leads to significant stress for the owner and may lead to death when the animal cannot communicate an obvious and present danger.
Barqk! has created a cloud connected wearable device for dogs that records their barking and uses machine learning and big data algorithms to convert dog-speak into human-speak. The translated words are sent via text or through our app to the owner’s phone. Initially the owners provide feedback to the network, and the responses of all owners to every dog’s bark are collected as big data then fed through our proprietary algorithms that use Bessel functions and advanced machine learning approximations to develop a consensus on what a given bark means. Over time a translation for each dog will be developed and we expect 87% accuracy.
What do you get when you combine a motivated student leader, enthusiastic classmates, a worldwide online community, and the latest 3D Printing technology from Stratasys? You give children around the world a cool way to hold things again. That is what happened when high school student Rahul Jayaraman of Basis Chandler decided to take part in a project called Enabling The Future. They describe themselves as “A global network of passionate volunteers using 3D Printing to give the world a ‘helping hand'” by designing a wide variety of prosthetic hands for kids that can be printed and assembled by volunteers.
Local news station, KSAZ FOX 10 Phoenix stopped by PADT while we were printing three hands in our Stratasys FORTUS 450 to interview Rahul and talk to us about the project. It gives a great summary:
And Channel 3, KTVK, came to the assembly event at Basis Chandler:>
As did Channel 12, KPNX:
3D Printing is a fantastic technology for one simple reason, it enables almost anyone to manufacture parts. All you need is a good design. And that is where the people at Enabling the Future come in. Check out their website to see some great examples of how their volunteer work changes so many lives. Have a box of tissue handy if you watch the videos…
This is how the project works. A leader like Rahul takes the initiative to sign up for the project. He then chooses which of the many designs he wants to make. For this first go around, he picked a general design from Thingiverse called the Raptor Reloaded. Next they needed the hardware you could not 3D Print – screws springs, velcro, and bits and pieces that hold the design together. For this they needed to raise $25 per hand so Rahul was given the opportunity to learn how to raise money, a very useful skill.
PADT’s Dhruv Bhate and the rest of our 3D Printing team worked with Rahul to get the design just right and then 3D Print the hands. That will be done this week and this weekend the next phase will take place. Rahul and a large number of his classmates from Basis Chandler will get together at the school this weekend to put thirty or so hands together. They will then box them up and another volunteer group, www.HandChallenge.com, will ship them to kids in the developing world that need them.
Here is a video from Tom Fergus from Fox10 showing a closeup of the hand in action:
— Tom Fergus (@TomFergusFox10) October 14, 2016
We at PADT love projects like this because it is win-win-win. The students get a chance to run a complicated project by themselves, learning the skills they will need later in life to organize, manage, and finish a project. PADT wins because we can contribute to our chosen area of charity, STEM education, in a way that benefits others beyond a given school. And the big winners are the kids around the world that receive a new and cool way to grab hold of life.
We will have sample hands at our open house next Thursday: Nerdtoberfest as well as an update when we get feedback from the distribution of the hands.
What if a group of tech startup experts all pitched the same company, the goal being to show the best way to do a pitch? That is what PADT’s Pitch Perfect is about. We are asking some of Arizona’s most talented investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors to volunteert where they can show the right way to pitch a technology startup. And the best presenters will receive the incredible “Unicorn Cup” award – a fine work of craftsmanship handcrafted in a foreign land.
This event is part of our Nerdtoberfest celebration on October 27th, 2016 and will be from 4:30-6:00, right before our open house. So far CEI has stepped up as a competitor, and we are looking for 3 more experienced people to take the challenge.
We will have four teams have 10 minutes each to present the company, followed by 5 minutes of questions from the judges. Each company gets the same Angel Funding application for the company: Barqk! – Let your dog speak.
Anyone can attend and we will be streaming the presentations live. Just register for our Nerdtoberfest, www.padtinc.com/nerdtoberfest, if you would like to attend.
We are still looking for Judges and presenters, so email Eric Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in volunteering for either.
If you work in tech you probably hear the phrase “The Cloud” almost every day. It is a useful buzzword because it shortly and concisely creates an image that represents a critical enabler for much of the breakthrough and disruptive technology that is headed our way. In “The Cloud, the other enabler for what is next” I take a look at what is going on and how it is impacting technology across the board.
The best party in town for engineering and manufacturing is PADT’s annual open house, and this year we are making it better with Nerdtoberfest. We are inviting more partners and customers to join us to celebrate all that the state has to offer for those of us who make our living making things. Take a tour, meet new people, learn about what is new. Just join us! We expect between 200 and 300 people.
Read on to learn more or register here.
The Basic Details
- October 27th, 2016
- Metal 3D Printing Seminar: 3:00 – 4:00 pm
- Perfect Pitch Competition – Watch some of the best tech startup mentors in town show how to pitch a company, and win the “Unicorn Cup”: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
- Open House: 6:00 – 9:00 pm
- 7755 S Research Dr, Suite 110, Tempe, AZ 85284
- Come see PADT’s new metal 3D Printer – it is very cool
- Attend a special pitch event where the valley’s best startup mentors pitch the same company to a group of judges
- Marvel at the latest structural, fluid, and electromagnetic simulation software
- See our lab and manufacturing areas
- There will be beer, there will be pizza. We will have water and soda as well.
- Stand in awe as you gaze upon our 1000+ core compute cluster
- Meet the who’s who of Arizona technology people
- Engineers, manufacturers, makers, teachers, innovators, inventors, suppliers
- Those who are interested in and of the above or just like being around smart people
- Our Sponsors include: the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI), Arizona Technology Council, RevAZ, Arizona Commerce Authority, Mesa Community College and AzAMI, and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC)
Enough info? Register here or keep reading.
What’s Going On?
If you have never been to one of our open houses before, they are simply a gathering of the local tech community to learn more about how things are designed and made. We have stations set up that show the software and hardware we use to improve product development. A big draw is our extensive 3D Printing capabilities as well as our leading edge virtual testing software. It is a great way to expose your family, friends, kids, and coworkers to what engineering and manufacturing are all about.
Something new, a Pre Show
Before the open house we will have a talk on metal 3D Printing from 3 to 4 pm. Dr. Dhruv Bhate will go over how metal 3D Printing works, talk about why it is such a breakthrough, and share some examples of how to use it effectively.
Then we have a new event from 4:30-6:00: Watch the Experts in our “Perfect Pitch” event. We have asked some of the area’s best mentors to startups to come and pitch the same company. See how a pitch should be done and share more than a few laughs along the way.
Meet others who make stuff
The best part of this event is getting to meet other people who work in engineering and manufacturing. You can go to events all year, but they tend to be focused on an industry, startups, or a certain part of the state. Everyone comes to PADT’s open houses and it is a great chance to meet and share ideas.
So, just come. It is fun and we promise two things: You will learn something and you will meet someone new. Bring the family, bring your neighbors.
Let’s celebrate what we do!
Register at bit.ly/nerdtoberfest so we know how much beer, water, soda, and pizza to get.