UW IMPACT 307 Incubator Business Acquired by Markforged
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Teton Simulation Software, an incubator business in IMPACT 307, a University of Wyoming program, was acquired by Markforged last month.
Founded in Wyoming in 2016, Teton Simulation develops software products that enhance the productivity of producing 3D printed parts. Its SmartSlice software technology makes it easy to validate and optimize print settings to produce better parts more quickly and with less materials.
“Our team believes in the potential of additive technologies to truly change how we manufacture things, and we have worked tenaciously to design a software offering that enables broader adoption of additive,” says Doug Kenik, CEO for Teton Simulation. “Joining Markforged integrates our technology into a state-of-the-art solution that will reach a broader customer base and offer resources to scale it. We love the cultural fit with the Markforged team.”
Markforged plans to integrate Teton’s technology with its own 3D printing software solution, known as Eiger, as a subscription add-on that will offer all manufacturing customers -- including small- and medium-sized businesses -- a streamlined workflow that spans part design, testing, optimization, validation and printing at the point of need, all on a single, cloud-based platform.
The acquisition, which took place April 5, enhances Markforged’s lead in distributed manufacturing by extending its end-to-end platform with fast, automated validation of the most demanding end-use parts and applications. Markforged created the Digital Forge, an integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform.
For Markforged, the acquisition adds strategic functionality to the Digital Forge to give the company’s thousands of users the confidence that printed parts will perform as intended, enabling them to replace even more end-use metal parts with validated continuous fiber reinforcement (CFR). This addition to Markforged’s software offerings will help customers take the guesswork out of configuring slicing parameters for end-use requirements, knowing they can estimate part performance without the wasteful and slow process of physical testing.
“Software is the core of Markforged’s solution and our competitive edge. The acquisition of Teton Simulation advances our industry leadership in using software to increase process automation and offers our customers an easy way to validate their parts on the same platform they use to print them,” says Shai Terem, president and CEO of Markforged. “Adding this functionality enables our customers to utilize the Digital Forge deeper into their manufacturing operations.”
“Teton’s integration and fit with Markforged’s tech stack provide the perfect home to develop the next level of additive manufacturing solutions,” says Brady Adams, chief technology officer for Teton Simulation. “So many elements of the Digital Forge, including CFR, are game changers, and I am so excited to get an opportunity to integrate our advanced simulation technology to help manufacturers all over the world take additive to the next level.”
Teton was started by a team of entrepreneurs that had previously spun out of UW within IDES and previous IMPACT 307 client Firehole Technologies, says Fred Schmechel, interim director of IMPACT 307. IDES was ultimately acquired by Underwriters Laboratories, which now has a division housed in Laramie. Firehole was acquired by Autodesk in 2013.
“Obviously, this is a big success for Teton, since it was their intellectual property and the hard work of all of their Wyoming-based employees that made this all possible,” Schmechel says. “Teton’s acquisition is naturally an IMPACT 307 success story, but it also is an example of how the ecosystem that we are collectively building here in Wyoming is starting to work faster.”
Teton Simulation benefited from improvements in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that UW has had a leading hand in creating since those early companies graduated from the program, Schmechel says.
“Teton used the Workforce Development Training Fund’s Internship Grant to hire a UW College of Engineering and Applied Science student, who then became a full employee when he graduated,” Schmechel says. “They received some Small Business Innovation Research grant matching dollars through the Wyoming Business Council’s Kickstart: Wyoming program. Teton also partnered with Wyoming-centric angel investment group Breakthrough 307, which led their investment round.”
The Teton Simulation Laramie team plans to stay with Markforged, Schmechel says. For the foreseeable future, the former Teton Simulation employees will continue to reside in the business incubator as Markforged employees.
“It’s not common that an incubator client has an acquisition while they are still in the incubator. In nearly every other case, they have graduated first,” Schmechel says. “In this circumstance, the opportunity felt right for everyone. IMPACT 307 is going to continue to house the company here in Laramie until they figure out the right path forward that keeps the employees here in Laramie.”
“I am excited to welcome the Teton team to Markforged, as we share the vision of leading the future of distributed manufacturing,” Terem says. “Together, we continue to strengthen our team and enable our customers to produce mission-critical, end-use parts.”
IMPACT 307, with locations in Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie and Sheridan, is a statewide network of innovation-driven business incubators committed to growing and strengthening Wyoming’s entrepreneurial community by providing resources and support for founders to thrive.
For more information on IMPACT 307′s services, call (307) 766-6395 or go to www.IMPACT307.org.
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