Global additive manufacturing authority Terry Wohlers to share industry insights in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 26, 2014) –Terry Wohlers, the world’s leading expert on the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry, will be the keynote speaker at The Company Lab’s annual GIGTANK Demo Day July 29.
The event marks the culmination of GIGTANK 2014, a national startup accelerator that helps launch next-generation businesses focused on 3D printing/additive manufacturing, smart grid development and healthcare. Wohlers’ keynote will be the second installment of the Chattanooga Spirit Series, a new string of speaking engagements that feature national voices on topics that highlight emerging innovation opportunities in the Chattanooga area.
Wohlers is widely recognized as the foremost authority on the global 3D printing market. For the last 19 consecutive years, he has authored the industry’s leading study on trends, data and market growth (the Wohlers Report). Wohlers’ research is frequently cited throughout the additive manufacturing industry and has also been featured in major media outlets such as CNBC, NPR, Fox Business, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, CBS Radio News, Australia’s Sky News and China’s CCTV.
“I’m very excited about participating in the event,” said Wohlers. “Interest in the subject of additive manufacturing and 3D printing has never been greater. The industry nearly tripled in size over the past four years, and growth reached 34.9 percent in 2013 alone. 3D printing presents unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurs and startup companies, as well as some of the largest corporations and brands worldwide. And we have only skimmed the surface of what’s possible.”
Wohlers also serves as the principal consultant and president of Wohlers Associates, Inc., an independent consulting firm that has worked with more than 240 organizations across 24 countries in the last 28 years. In 2007, TCT Magazine (UK) named Wohlers the No. 1 “most influential person in rapid product development and additive manufacturing.”
“Terry Wohlers is the most authoritative voice in the additive manufacturing industry today,” said Mike Bradshaw, director of GIGTANK and executive director of The Company Lab (CO.LAB). “We’re honored to bring his insights to Chattanooga as our community pursues its own foothold in this rapidly-developing space.”
Now completing its third program iteration, GIGTANK is widely recognized for becoming America’s first startup accelerator for the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry earlier this year. The summer-long program, which is also designed for innovative healthcare and smart grid companies, is most prominently known for being the only accelerator to offer bandwidth-intensive startups access to metro-wide gigabit Internet service. Participants in GIGTANK typically come from across the country and globe. Selectees must form teams and spend 10-12 weeks in Chattanooga collaborating as they prepare next-generation businesses to go to market.
The experience concludes with GIGTANK Demo Day, where startup teams pitch their business concepts to a select audience of investors, partners, media and community supporters. The event typically attracts high profile guests and visitors from across the country, functioning as a showcase for those interested in providing seed funding, pilot partnerships or additional resources to GIGTANK teams, as well as for industry leaders and media who have a vested interest in remaining abreast of emerging business innovations in the sectors they represent. In past years, national guests at Demo Day have included Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and GIGTANK’s keynote speaker in 2012, and leaders from Mozilla, Warner Brothers, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, IBM and US Ignite. In addition to featuring startup pitches from each GIGTANK team, Demo Day also addresses broader opportunities in entrepreneurship and industry through panel discussions and breakout sessions with special guests.
About GIGTANK 2014
GIGTANK 2014 is a national startup accelerator designed to connect seed stage companies in the 3D printing/additive manufacturing, healthcare and smart grid industries with the tools, capital and connections to go to market. The Company Lab (CO.LAB) hosts the accelerator with support from ProjectLift, the lead facilitator for the program’s healthcare track, and EPB, the program’s lead facilitator for the smart grid track.
About The Company Lab (CO.LAB)
The Company Lab (CO.LAB) exists to support the startup community and surrounding region through programs, events and services. Operating under the belief that entrepreneurial thinking is the foundation of our community’s future, CO.LAB has devised a system to foster the startup spirit, which can be used as a model for entrepreneurial communities across the nation. Visit http://colab.co to learn more.
About the Chattanooga Spirit Series
The Chattanooga Spirit Series is a new string of speaking engagements that features national voices on topics that highlight emerging innovation opportunities in the Chattanooga area. Sponsored by the Benwood Foundation, the series is meant to inspire a shared exploration into areas of growing potential for the community. Installments are hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB), The Enterprise Center, Lamp Post Group, SwiftWing Ventures and Chattanooga Technology Council.