Stanley Black & Decker and Techstars announced the opening of applications for the second year of the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator at Stanley Black & Decker's new Manufactory 4.0 Center in Hartford, CT.
Following a successful inaugural year in which 10 startups from around the world were selected to accelerate their businesses via funding and mentorship in the program, the STANLEY+Techstars 2019 accelerator is well positioned to draw world-class applicants again. For 2019, the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator will consider startups working on additive manufacturing or sustainable packaging.
"We are working to identify the most promising companies developing solutions related to additive manufacturing or sustainable packaging that can help move the manufacturing sector forward," said Claudia Reuter, Managing Director of the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator. "We are confident that we will continue to attract world-class additive manufacturing companies and Stanley Black & Decker's commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by their recent pledge to make all of their plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, will strengthen our search for companies working on sustainable packaging solutions."
In 2018, the STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator focused solely on additive manufacturing or 3D printing companies. "Additive manufacturing is one of the most important areas of technological transformation today and has the potential to influence the future direction of the industries in which our businesses operate," said Marty Guay, Vice President, Business Development at Stanley Black & Decker. "We developed this accelerator program with Techstars to help empower these start-ups to continue challenging the status quo and look forward to providing them with the guidance and support they need to thrive and bring their ideas and technologies to fruition. We're also proud to do this in Hartford, CT, and are confident that programs like this will create a robust entrepreneurial community right here in our capital city."
In 2018, Stanley Black & Decker joined with leading businesses and governments to sign The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and United Nations Environment Programme. The Global Commitment represents a plan to eradicate waste and pollution driven by plastic packaging, and includes 250 signatories that represent approximately 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally. As part of its efforts, Stanley Black & Decker intends to make all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. In addition, the company will aim to make all of its non-plastic packaging and packaging components reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
"We believe it is our responsibility as a company to help build a more sustainable world," said Stanley Black & Decker's Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety and Corporate Social Responsibility Deb Geyer. "We believe that a world without plastic pollution is possible, and we are committing to taking action to ensure we are part of that solution."
The STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator aims to accelerate the growth of companies in both of these advanced manufacturing areas.
Stanley Black & Decker currently operates more than 100 manufacturing facilities globally, including approximately 35 in the U.S. and three in Connecticut. Three of the company's locations are designated as "Lighthouse Factories" that have partially implemented Industry 4.0 across their facilities from manufacturing execution systems (MES), to 3-D printing, virtual reality, robotics and artificial intelligence. Its Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Hartford is aimed at identifying technologies and processes that will form the core of the next industrial revolution and deploying those methods across the company's manufacturing landscape.
The STANLEY+Techstars Accelerator is focused on additive manufacturing and eco-friendly sustainable packaging solutions, with interest in companies developing innovative solutions in either of those two areas, and they may have software, hardware or material solutions. Some specific areas of interest include 3D printing, rapid prototyping, generative design, tooling, direct digital manufacturing, layered manufacturing, additive fabrication, sustainable materials and improved consumer packaging solutions.