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3D printing startup Makers Empire to tap into the American education market

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 | By Broede Carmody
South Australian startup Makers Empire has struck a deal to sell its 3D printing software to the American education market.


The partnership with American company Afinia 3D will see Makers Empire’s technology rolled out in elementary and middle schools throughout the United States.


The aim is to teach local students about 3D printing and give teachers access to appropriate lesson plans and resources.


Earlier this year the Adelaide startup unveiled a distribution deal with South Korea with up to 6000 schools as potential customers.


Now the young company is focusing its efforts on the United States, snapping up a spot in the four-month MassChallenge accelerator.


Chief executive of Makers Empire, Jon Soong, told StartupSmart this means the team will be dividing its time between Australia and North America.


“A couple of us will be rotating in and out of Boston to do this accelerator program and get started in the States,” he says.


“Boston’s good because it’s close to New York and it’s a big education city. The technology is maturing so quickly that we think that students who have some experience with it will definitely get a headstart.”


Soong says the opportunity to take part in the accelerator was too good to turn down, as it means the startup will be able to focus on how to best adapt their technology to the US education market.


“We wanted to go to the US anyway and then this came along and it was a good fit,” he says.


“It gives us a base and people to start networking with. So it was good timing. We feel like if we don’t try to make a mark in the States, another company will come along and do it – so we want to try to get our name out there as soon as possible.”


Makers Empire does have education partnerships in Australia; however, Joong says talking to government departments is “slow progress”.


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