As I wrote back in August, Staples and Fundable joined together to launch a contest for up-and-coming startups to put forth their best products for consideration. The small businesses presented their innovative products to the public for voting in this Crowd2Shelf competition. The winning product(s) will be later sold in Staples stores.
Today, the top 25 contestants have been announced. The companies presented will now be judged by representatives from Fundable and Staples in three areas:
According to Entrepreneur, the top three companies will be chosen in the categories of “Crowdfunding Hero,” “Judges’ Favorite” and “People’s Product.” One or more of these top entrants will be allowed to pitch their products to the merchandising team at Staples for a chance to sell them in stores.
MCADCafe is plugging one other company, NVBOTS, whose completely automated 3D printer has intrigued many 3D printing analysts and supporters of the STEM campaign in education. NVBOTS has announced an additional Fundable Rewards initiative where those who contribute receive discounts on an NVPrinter and can donate another 3D printer to the school of their choosing.
AJ Perez, CEO of NVBOTS, explained the motivation to MCADCafe:
“In order to truly leverage the power of 3D printing, we must train the next generation of scientists, engineers, designers and inventors on design for 3D printing. By providing the skills and simple fabrication tools, such as the NVPrinter, I believe we will see a radical shift in the innovation cycle. Limited access to capital equipment can restrict the potential of a creative mind. We hope to eliminate this obstacle through the Fundable rewards campaign.”
The NVPrinter allows the designer to print “unlimited parts without ever having to fully engage the printer.” The 3D printer can be operated from any device via a cloud-based interface and it includes its own curriculum that promotes learning by doing.