How Coaching Empowers the Forward AM Innovation Award Finalists

It has been an exciting six months! What started in January with the Award application process is now heading towards its spectacular conclusion, with four shortlisted startups competing for the Forward AM Innovation Award.

Out of 145 promising applications from over 35 countries, there are now just four companies still in the race to become the 2021 Winner of the first Forward AM Innovation Award. In the Final, to be held on the 30th of June from 5 pm till 8 pm CEST, the four startup companies Cosm Medical, HILOS, SYOS and WYVE will each pitch their business plan to the Award Jury. Register on our Forward AM Innovation Award Website to join the live event.

The Innovation Award is driven by the principle of genuine innovation. In particular, startups in the Additive Manufacturing field are known to be extremely innovative, as their disruptive business models coupled with the dynamic potential of AM allows them to trigger paradigm changes that will lead to even greater innovation. However, a considerable share of startups struggle to identify and then implement these changes. For this reason, the sponsors AMPOWER, AMT, AUTODESK, HP, Photocentric, Sculpteo, and Ultimaker, as well as the supporters AMVENTURES, BASF Venture Capital, Deloitte, and Women in 3D Printing teamed up to bring the Forward AM Innovation Award to life.

Now with the four finalists identified, an intense coaching phase started for both finalists and sponsors, as they are now joining forces to share their expertise in different fields and helping the contestants reach their full potential. Ranging from Virtual Engineering & Simulation to scale-up consultancy and advice in material selection, the sponsors supporting all the Finalists in every aspect regarding their application.

There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to coaching startups. Every business is different, and it’s necessary to take a different angle for every startup. This is why the sponsors of the Innovation Award work closely with the finalists to provide tailored solutions that meet their specific needs. To illustrate how this is being applied in the coaching phase, let’s take a closer look at the coaching we are providing to the four Award Finalists:

Let’s start with Cosm Medical. This startup was founded in 2017 in Canada and specializes in the solution to pelvic floor issues – a common global health problem for women that can cause incontinence or even prolapse. Cosm Medical uses 3D printing to produce individual molds for pessaries. The molds are then used to create silicone-based pessaries, which show a higher treatment success rate than traditional ones thanks to the personalized design process which combines ultrasound, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Additive Manufacturing.

A 3D printed customized pessary by Cosm Medical (Source: Cosm Medical).

Cosm Medical wants to use the Forward AM Innovation Award coaching and service support to focus on the qualification of new production processes as well as their printing process. Together with our 3D printing service Sculpteo we are jointly identifying new manufacturing technologies for production accompanying parts.

The next Finalist is HILOS. This American startup was founded in 2019 with the goal of revolutionizing the footwear industry. The unique HILOS process not only combines Additive Manufacturing with expert handcraftsmanship, it also uses up to 80 percent less water than traditional production processes. Plus, every collection of HILOS heels is 100 percent recyclable. By developing new designs on demand, the company’s goal is to minimize the environmental impact of the shoe industry.

HILOS is using the sponsor’s coaching service not only to drive its production scaling but also to work on an optimal solution for post processing. Further improvements to that process can bring a new wealth of possibilities, not least enhanced product appeal. With the support of Forward AM, the aim is to identify and deliver the optimal end-product surface finish and performance.

SYOS, which means “Shape your own Sound”, is our third Finalist on June 30th. This French company was founded in 2016 and focuses on individually tailored saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. The outstanding feature of SYOS bespoke mouthpieces is that they can produce a uniquely customizable sound. SYOS is already supplying 500 professional musicians per month, including some world-famous artists. 3D printing is the core technology enabling the bespoke SYOS design process – and also comes in handy when creating mouthpieces in different colors.

In our coaching sessions with SYOS, the goal is to use our printing and post-processing services to identify alternative solutions for the high demands of the professional music industry. Drawing on immense material portfolio, our team of experts’ deep knowhow and the unique resources of our 3D printing partner Sculpteo, this coaching is opening up a new dimension to a world-first product already being manufactured.

The fourth and last Award Finalist is WYVE. This France-based startup was founded in 2019 and produces 3D printed surfboards. To reduce the environmental impact the surfboard core is made of recycled plastic, raising sustainability in a traditionally polluting process. An almost unlimited range of customizations is available thanks to the nature of the 3D printing process, and the boards can be individually tailored to maximize the surfer’s performance.

Currently there is only a limited amount of hard data available when it comes to surfboard performance. WYVE is working closely with our Virtual Engineering & Simulation Service to generate fresh and objectively representative performance data. The goal of this service is to optimize the performance of the printed component according to the optimal design properties for surfing. WYVE aims to use the generated knowledge to create surfboards that perform on an even higher level.

At Forward AM, our Virtual Engineering experts have deep experience in widely varying Additive Manufacturing processes such as Simulation, advanced material applications, and post processing. Every business in the 3D world is unique and faces different hurdles: Through our coaching offer we would like to support them, help them conquer those obstacles and become as innovative as they possibly can be.

If you are interested in a coaching meeting or would like to speak to one of our experienced team members, we encourage you to simply reach out and contact us here. We will be delighted to help you grow your business!

We hope that you are as excited about the Finals as we are – and if you want to watch the event please make sure to register right away on our Forward AM Innovation Award Website.

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