Tips on building an investor-worthy prototype
You’ve got an idea, you’ve found a need, you’re solving a problem and now you want to build a prototype. What most startups don’t realize is the amount of time and funding needed to build out an MVP.
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies (PADT) is known as the leading prototype engineering company in Arizona and have built everything from medical devices to high-tech Christmas lights with their 3D printing technology. Eric Miller, Principle, PADT, shared his advice for startups and founders who are considering building a 3D printed prototype to present to investors and their respective markets.
Watch his interview here…
Miller said that medical devices are one of the hot areas for developing prototypes with 3D printing. One of his clients, Syncardia, a total artificial heart development, manufacturing and commercializing company who filed for IPO in 2015, uses their services to prototype their iterations.
Miler said thatthe main challenges startup face when building a prototype include, understanding the cost associated with building a prototype, and depending on the complexity, the process could become even more costly and longer to complete.
“At times they learn more about their product and have to start over-sometimes it’s ‘oops we need to start over again,'” Miller said.
Back to funding, Miller said that startups need to make sure they have funding to do the whole process and consider doing an MVP. “Don’t try an solve all of your customers problems. [Focus on] the minimum amount of features, and that will get you going a lot faster,” Miller said.
PADT also partnered with CEI Gateway to service their startups as well as help them understand the process, look at their design with a fresh set eyes, build it, test it, and send them away with a product to show investors.
“CEI has been a great partnership and we base a lot of our startup efforts [there]. It keeps us fresh.”
While PADT has all the latest 3D printing machines, there is one type that Miller hopes to add to the collection – a food printer.
“We’ve not done food, but the goal is to find a way to get a chocolate printer, so I can print chocolate. That is the pinnacle of technology – printing chocolate on-demand,” Miller said.