Porsche Meets Star Wars

January 21, 2020

Happy New Year all,

It’s 2020 and Tesla’s are so yesterday. Have you ordered your Porsche Starfighter yet?

Star Wars and Porsche teamed up to create the new Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter featured in “The Rise of Skywalker”.

Transportation 2020 style.

(Source: Autoweek)Porsche Starfighter yet?

Star Wars and Porsche teamed up to create the new Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter featured in “The Rise of Skywalker”.

Transportation 2020 style.
(Source: Autoweek)


Most hardware startups love Contract Manufacturers (CM) and only want to engage with the biggest names in the industry.

To better illustrate this desire we created an overview of the Top 20 CM’s (USI (#7) recently merged with Asteelflash (#21) adding ~$1B to their sales below).

See the Value this startup represents at each CM. Even if you make the startup spend 10x or 50x the example below, the overall % Revenue it represents at many CM is still quite small .

Clearly this is just one consideration, but you want your CM committed to your company given the significant time and money you spend developing this relationship. The worst thing we have seen (many times) is the CM walking away at your launch when volumes are less than expected.

If you want to know how to select the “best” CM for your Company, start clicking away.

Chinese New Year Frenzy has started.
For anyone procuring or shipping product out of Asia, specifically China, this time of year is probably aware that Spring Festival is less than three weeks away, starting on January 24th through February 8th and most factories will shut down for 7-10 days.

The rush to get everything produced and shipped before 1/24 is staggering and sometimes planned products don’t get assembled (i.e. see CM economic issues above) or have quality issues upon arrival.

Did you know that the Spring Festival is considered the equal to Christmas? Also you should not wash your hair or your clothes on the actual holiday (1/25) as it washes away your good fortunes. That will be an awkward hair day for me, again.

(Source: Giphy)

Latest Commodity pricing status (Dec 2019) for our Purchasing Subscribers.

Commodities Up in Price
Aluminum Products; Copper Products; Scrap Metals; Steel — Hot Rolled (2); Steel — Stainless (3); Steel Products; and Valves.

Commodities Down in Price
Caustic Soda (3); Corrugate; High-Density Polyethylene; Freight (3); Natural Gas; Nickel; Polypropylene (2); and Steel (6).

Commodities in Short Supply
Aluminum Products; Machined Parts; and Titanium.

(Source: ISM)

NPA’s favorite Startup Accelerator Programs are ramping up to select their 2020 Cohorts . All these organizations operate globally but let’s focus on the greater Boston area programs. Application submissions have already started.

CleanTech Open Northeast – This specific program covers startups that drive environmental improvements and pulls from Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Eastern half of Canada. Find more info about this program here .

MassChallenge Boston – we love the Boston program and their fantastic space in the seaport. The Mass Challenge programs are strongly supported and take zero equity. In fact, they are giving away up to $1M in cash prizes and $20K in scholarships. If y ou’d like to learn more, go here.

STANLEY and Techstars – this program runs out of Hartford, CT and focuses on additive manufacturing and eco-friendly sustainable packaging solutions, such as 3D printing, rapid prototyping, generative design, tooling, direct digital manufacturing, layered manufacturing, additive fabrication, sustainable materials, improved consumer packaging solutions and more. To check it out, go here.

Techstars Boston – sorry, you are too late, application deadline closed last year but keep your eyes open in the July/August timeframe for the 2021 programs. Their Air Force Program, also out of Boston, has had some fantastic bleeding edge hardware startups. For the Boston program check here and for the Air Force program, go here .

Alphalab Gear Hardware Cup – this is not an accelerator but it might be interesting to win some money. Applications end late February.

If you think we missed a really great accelerator/incubator let us know.

Several of NPA’s Boston Hardware Startups to watch in 2020 didn’t waste any time to kick-off 2020 with a bang.

Cambrian Innovation closed on $21.9M in new funding. Find out more here.
(Source: PRNewswire)

Fortify partnered meanwhile with Henkel to develop 3D printing for Injection molding. See more details here. (Source: 3D Printing Industry)

Locus Robotics says it’s robots helped to fill 13M in orders. More about this here. (Source: RBR)

NextShift Robotics developed a new interface to SVT’s robotics software platform to make integration easier. Find out how here . (Source: Robotics and Automation)

Perch helped LSU to return to the biggest stage of college football. See how it was done here.
( Source: Forbes)

Rise Robotics moved to a new HQ location at Union Square in Somerville, MA.

Rize announced partnering with Dassault Systems to accelerate adoption of additive manufacturing. More about this here . (Source: BusinessWire)

Soft Robotics announced partnering with FANUC. More details about it here. (Source: MMH)

Voxel8 has a new CEO. Read up on the change s here . (Source: 3D Print)


Headless cats and kittens are all the rage at CES. Wagging tails . (Source: The Verge)

Finally, Alexa can join you in the shower (they are working on Jarvis) . Where is my towel? (Source: Engadget)

Oobleck – MIT thinks this might just be a solution for New England’s pot holes and possibly protective clothing. Weird Goo (Source:Live Science)

Don’t want to schlep your ski’s and gear when going to the mountain? No worries, Uber’s got you covered with it’s latest feature “Uber Ski” starting on December 17th in Boston and 23 other cities. (Source: bizjournals)

Until February!


P.S. We love skiing at NPA!
Tell us your favorite ski area and we will raffle off a FREE SKI PASS at your favorite Resort for the February update. SIGN-UP HERE
P.S.S. Contact us if you you want to join our team and have strong Purchasing, ME / EE / Manufacturing engineering background or are great in general/other operational areas. We’d love to talk to you.

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