AMPED 2016 Competition Winners Ready to Advance

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Benjamin Becker and Jessica Whittaker are one step farther down the road to achieving their entrepreneurial dreams. Their company, HotEnd Works LLC, of Elyria was awarded $40,000 — the largest prize given the winners of the 2016 AMPED startup competition.

“We’re creating a piece of equipment that manufacturers components using advanced materials,” Becker said Thursday. “It’s a great start and a great opportunity. And we’re vey thankful.”

The Youngstown Business Incubator and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation announced the winners of the 2016 AMPED startup competition at the incubator.

“We modeled this program after a program that MIT hosts every year,” said Barb Ewing, YBI chief operating officer. “So we are toe-to-toe with what MIT is doing in the state of Massachusetts with our $100,000 prize package.”

The other companies receiving awards:

  • Strangpresse of Youngstown, $25,000.
  • MedaSync of Youngstown, $20,000.
  • Case.MD of Kent, $20,000.

AMPED, in its second year, is open to any tech-based startup, but companies aligned with the America Makes Technology Roadmap are eligible for additional points in the judging. The roadmap targets five technical areas: design, materials, process, value chain and additive manufacturing genome.

“This is just not a prize package. It’s an investment in these young companies and these young technologies,” Ewing said. “They don’t just get a check for whatever their stated amount is. Our entrepreneurs-in-residence will set milestones for them, and as they hit those milestones, the money will be released.”

She also stressed that YBI owns equity in the companies, which she called “part of our long-term plan for sustainability.”

HotEnd Works also received a $25,000 award from the Great Lakes Innovation & Development Enterprise in 2016.

As these companies are working with advanced materials used in the military, nuclear industry and alternative energies, and they see their companies as part of a new wave in additive manufacturing.

“The future of additive manufacturing comes down to going beyond typical plastic materials that are available in the market now and doing something different,” Whittaker said, “We’re building upon advanced materials, like what HotEnd Works is working with, and really expanding into those types of markets.”

Pictured: Benjamin Becker and Jessica Whittaker, co-founders HotEnd Works; Ariella Yager, Samuel Graska and Justin Gleason, Case. MD; Chuck George, CEO, Strangpresse, and Ryan Edgerly, MedaSync.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.