A Chattanooga 3-D printing venture was the runner- up Wednesday in one of the nation's top technology startup competitions.
Collider, which CEO Graham Bredemeyer and company president Cacky Calderon started in 2015, finished behind only RecordGram among startup businesses competing for the prestigious Disruptor Cup given for the business idea deemed most likely to disrupt an industry. From among hundreds of business ideas and 19 top startups that pitched their ideas this week at the TechCrunch Disruptor conference in New York City, Collider was picked as the runner-up for the Disruptor Cup battlefield competition, regarded as the Super Bowl of technology startups.
RecordGram, which won the top prize, was founded by Grammy-winning music producer Winston "DJ Blackout" Thomas and aims to be a mobile recording studio for aspiring artists.
Collider, which got its start through Chattanooga's GigTank, uses a unique mold-making 3-D printer known as the Orchid to make metal objects and equipment for companies needing limited numbers of specialized pieces of equipment.
The Orchid is still in a production-prototype stage, but is capable of making metal objects comparable to injection- molded objects that typically cost far more to produce in limited numbers. Bredemeyer said the Orchid is compact, safe and affordable enough for use in offices or labs.
"We're an automated system that looks like a 3-D printer but at the end of the day we are an injection- molding system," Bredemeyer said. "So this is a more familiar thing in terms of the design guidelines that manufacturers are already working with."
Collider didn't win the prize money, but as runner- up in the Startup Battlefield competition, Bredemeyer and Calderon were given a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and bragging rights that should help the company boost sales and investments in the future.
Collider will be among three dozen startup companies pitching their businesses and trying to land $50,000 in investment at Tennessee's biggest entrepreneurial conference, 36/86, scheduled in Nashville for June 4-7.
Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfree press.com or at 423-757-6340.