Evolve STEPs Forward in the Finger Lakes
Evolve Additive Systems is expanding.
The Minnesota-based company spun off from Stratasys in 2017 as its own company and has been carrying forward with great momentum since. Its unique Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology was designed with focus squarely on manufacturing, and interest has been high. High enough to garner significant investment and high-profile partnerships, and now an expansion set to quintuple the personnel in its Brighton, New York materials technology center.
The office now houses a staff of 15, and will over the next five years create around 60 new jobs.
The footprint is also set to grow. Initial plans include a 7,000-square-foot expansion of the Brighton facility’s manufacturing space — and, in coming years, another 13,000 square feet.
Two things are immediately observable from these growth stats:
Evolve sees the need/demand to expand
Local support for growing operations is there
For the first of these, it’s clear — without personally having seen STEP in action, and without the company yet commercializing its offerings — there’s something very real backing Evolve’s claims.
Partners like Kodak and Stanley Black & Decker are big names, and they’re not just throwing money in, but their names as partners. Both these companies also have strong ties to the 3D printing industry these days, and their backing speaks highly indeed of what Evolve has cooking.
For the latter, regional support is necessary for any operations to grow.
There’s a reason we see hives of concentrated activity: talent pools and local support. 3D printing may not be one of the first businesses to come to mind when thinking about the Finger Lakes (I know I think wineries first), but New York state is looking to evolve itself as a high-tech center.
Empire State Development (ESD) is supporting the expansion and hoping to draw more tech companies to the Finger Lakes. ESD is offering up to $1 million in tax credits, through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program, for commitments to job creation. Evolve itself is investing $1.2 million in the growth plans, which are also seeing assistance from Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise. The focus on high-tech industries is part of the $6.1 billion Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan launched in 2012.
“Our Brighton facility is key to our success and having a first-class facility to attract the best talent possible for materials and process development is essential,” said Steve Chillscyzn, CEO of Evolve Additive Solutions. “We are extremely pleased that Empire State Development recognizes the opportunity our technology can offer to our future customers but also to our current and future employee base in the area.”
Just as the workforce in well-known 3D printing big city Boston draws talent from local educational institutes, the Finger Lakes is home to a strong educational base. The University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Monroe Community College are all nearby, Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle pointed out.
“The Finger Lakes region is home to some of the most talent-rich tech companies in the industry,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Supporting businesses like Evolve Additive Solutions will further support our efforts to grow the 21st century economy while creating good-paying jobs and generating new opportunities in the region.”
As ever, Evolve remains a company to keep an eye on.