The recent burst of attention focused on 3D printing has resulted in some interesting investment schemes, but this can tell us something about investor views of the technology.
In this case we’re looking at a strange website called “Startup Hangar”. It’s a jumble of a website but there’s some insights if you look closely.
At the surface, apparently Canadian-based StartupHangar appears to be some kind of investment site where they say (in bold, capital letters), “WE WANT TO FINANCE INNOVATIVE 3D PRINTING PROJECTS”, and “WE ARE LOOKING TO FINANCE 3D DEALS”.
Sounds good so far, if you’re a 3D printing startup. But what else does this service do?
A deeper look indicates the site is attempting to capitalize on recent developments in the legalized drug industry by providing investment, payment services and other functions. Here’s a key quote:
. . . gold rush is raging on in both Canada and the US and investors are eager to back the next big opportunity.
Ok, this makes some sense, although it seems a bit opportunistic.
But why do they also include 3D and 3D printing in their portfolio? Do they see the two as a similar industries? Perhaps there are some commonalities, such as they are both emerging into the public eye, but we think the similarities end there.
Is 3D printing perceived as a weak technology, on the fringe of society that requires special attention? Attention that might not come from the usual sources, hence their service?
Our advice, for those considering a 3D printing startup, is to initially pursue crowdfunding mechanisms for support, such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter (or even better, both!) These platforms are easy to use and can very quickly validate whether your product or service is something people want to buy.
If you’ve proven through crowdfunding that your product works and is profitable, it will be much easier to obtain further funding from normal investment sources.
If you cannot prove your product viable through crowdfunding, then perhaps you should consider creating a different product.