Mosaic Manufacturing, With Support From the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network, Go Where No 3D Printer Has Gone Before…
At one time, you would have to go to a brick-and-mortar store to purchase hard goods. Then came the Internet to help facilitate the transaction. Now, as we approach a new era, producing goods from the comfort of your home has moved from concept to reality.
3D printing, in its most ideal form, will allow for the production of hard goods in a variety of materials, shapes, and colours. As it stands now, these printers are only able to make single colour, single material, hard plastic objects, but, with an innovative proprietary technology by Mosaic Manufacturing, this is about to change.
“We started to develop our 3D printing technology two years ago when we saw a gap in the market between what 3D printers are supposed to do for us and what they actually do today,” says Mosaic’s Co-Founder, Mitchell Debora. “To have an appliance in our home that can deliver products to us, without the requirement of shipping, without the requirement of unethical labour practices, without carbon emissions, and in other areas like the medical and educational fields, we truly believe that 3D printing can have a profound impact.”
Debora explains that, rather than developing a 3D printer themselves, his team decided early on that they would develop a 3D printing technology that would allow printers to print in up to four colours at once. “Our vision is to develop the industry standard technology that will be used by the 3D printers of the future. We’ve started with colour, but we’re working with other high impact elements that will make a difference in the long term,” notes Debora. “TVs going from black and white to colour is the parallel of what we’re doing in the 3D printing space.”
Looking to build a company and not just a one-off product, Debora turned to Angel investors for financial support and mentorship. “To build a company, you need resources and capital. At a base level, we went to the Angels to raise this capital,” he says.
The Angel pitch was one of the first “real world” opportunities for Debora and his team to externally demonstrate their capabilities, and that they had a vision and a plan in place to execute on.
The vision and plan held by Debora and his team did not go unnoticed by the Angel investors from Southeastern Ontario Angel Network (“SOAN”). As one Angel put it, “The team was very demonstrative in terms of their product knowledge and plans for the product. They came across as sincere and knowledgeable guys.” What was more, “there was good traction, the product was good, it had good sales potential, and there was good social buzz.” For this Angel, Mosaic had investment written all over it. “I saw this is as a convertible debenture with potential for a decent financial return.”
In addition to the funds, the Angel states that he has also assumed a small advisory role. “Since investing in Mosaic in autumn 2015, I’ve been able to offer some early product development and sales and marketing ideas.” Primarily acting as an outside mentorship source, the Angel notes that, “while the financial return is nice, I invest to support the growth of young entrepreneurs, innovation, and our country, on whole, in a market area that’s sustainable, moving humanity ahead, and mindful of global resources.”
Angel investment has significantly contributed to Mosaic’s operations. “We’ve developed a technological accessory so that anyone with a 3D printer can buy our accessory, tack it onto their computer and, all of the sudden, they can now print in multiple colours,” says Debora.
And, like any good entrepreneur, Debora is looking towards the future and what’s up next for Mosaic. “We’ve done really well with this first product, but our goal is to move from B2B to B2C,” he advises. “We’ll be going from a product you buy separately to an integrated solution as we start to sell the technology directly to 3D printing companies to incorporate into their printers. Our vision is that the 3D printers bought in the next few years will have Mosaic Manufacturing colour technology powering them.”
The value provided by the Angels is two-fold for Debora, who notes that, “as a hardware company, you need to be doing constant research and development, getting to the point where you can start generating revenue. The Angel investment has allowed us to do just that, while building a strong patent portfolio so that we can protect our technology.” He adds that, “it also opens you up to a network of people whose values and incentives are aligned with yours. The first external member of our Board of Directors is one of our Angels while our first formal advisor is a relationship we were only able to harness though the ecosystem. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our Angel investors.”