Tiny robots and lots of exciting new startups

July 6, 2023

Tiny robots and lots of exciting new startups
Hi all!
I hope all my American friends are enjoying their Independence Day Holiday. We are off to a great barbeque with friends.

Barbeque and beer aside for a moment, this is pretty exciting. A group of MIT engineers are developing new Soft Robots made of fiber-based actuators and magnetic elastomer composite helical structures that move when exposed to unidirectional magnetic fields. I can think of some pretty interesting applications. Check out the video.
Credit: Youngbin Lee et al, Magnetically Actuated Fiber‐Based Soft Robots, Advanced Materials (2023). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202301916
This Operations Update is provided with support from:
The State of Manufacturing

The Manufacturing PMI Index keeps contracting with June registering at 46%. Only four of the thirteen manufacturing industries reported growth in the past month.

New Orders and Supplier Deliveries saw a small uptick in June, while the Production Index slipped from the positive trend in May.

historic drought has been emptying The Panama Canal. The lack of rainfall has forced the canal operator to lower the maximum depth of ships allowed through, and the restriction could slow traffic through the busy connector of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which services 3.5% of global trade.

40% of all U.S. container traffic travels through the Panama Canal every year, moving roughly $270 billion in cargo annually.
This Startup Update is provided with support from:
So, your Contract Manufacturer (CM) has a personality according to the insights from IMS. We couldn't agree more. Make sure you and your CM are well aligned.
Sure, when you talk to Program Managers, Account Managers, and Salespeople, they all have their own individual personalities. Some are type A, while some are type B, and you instinctively know how to speak with them. The question is, what is the personality of their company? Is it to grow and be responsive (type A) or content and complacent (Type B)?

Sometimes it’s hard to know because sales, program, and account managers do such a good job up front. But unbeknownst to you, they may be fighting an uphill battle to get things done internally. Most times, you won’t figure that out until something bad happens, and the project is late.

If your project is a proof of concept, prototype, or first-time build, you absolutely need a type A company with type A employees. They must be responsive, and they must be able to deal with all disciplines internally with ease.

Before you choose a CM, do yourself a favor and visit your contract manufacturer, tour the manufacturing floor, and see what’s going on. Are they busy not even noticing you walk by, or are they paying more attention to you than what they are working on?

In a type A company, people are focused, account management is focused on you and your requirements in sourcing the components on your BOM and getting parts in as soon as possible, and manufacturing is focused on getting the process right so the quality is perfect.

Make sure your contract manufacturer has the personality that fits your project.
We at NPA see many startups miss a crucial item in the CM selection process. Address the tough to agree/negotiate items early. This will tell you quickly how real the 'personality/relationship' is and if this fits your specific business case. As always, our staff does this for a living, so let us know if you need help or have a question.
Now off to what's happening in $$ land and local organizations that can help:
Realtime Robotics drums up another $9.5 million.

Our friends at Boston Materials were selected as a 2023 Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum. Congrats!

MatrixSpace Inc. raised $18.6 million in equity from 29 investors. The Burlington-based startup is developing what it pitches as the "smallest radar system" to provide outdoor surveillance in 4D.

The Boston Impact Initiative is raising money for a $20 million fund for smaller investments. The fund will go to startups and projects owned by entrepreneurs of color and community-governed real estate projects.
Our friends at Massachusetts Innovation Network announced the 2023 Eddies Finalists! The competition is open to small and medium-sized NE-based startups with ground-breaking products or technologies. See the finalists here and reserve a seat at The Eddies!
The best CleanTech Accelerator Cleantech Open announced the 2023 Cohort with 100 startups dedicated and eager to solve our world's most significant environmental challenges.
See the full announcement here.
NPA's 2023 Boston Hardware Startup Spotlight!
The best Startups in New England.
For 2023, we decided to switch up our process and provide Startup Spotlights each month on the best Startups with Hardware content in Boston.

If you know an exciting Startup that deserves a Spotlight, please send a brief message to Hello@newpageassociates.com, and we will consider them.
Ground Positioning Radar™ (GPR) is an exciting startup that specializes in advanced radar technology for precise positioning and tracking.

The core technology behind GPR's radar systems is their Ground Positioning Radar™, which uses advanced signal processing algorithms to provide highly accurate and real-time position data for autonomous vehicle safety.
This radar technology operates in various frequencies and is capable of penetrating different materials, such as concrete, enabling it to detect and track objects with exceptional precision.

With its expertise in radar technology and a commitment to continuous innovation, GPR offers high performance, reliability, and adaptability.

Their technology made them finalists of the 2022 Automotive News PACE Awards, and they recently announced their Series A financing round led by Rhapsody Venture Partners.

Click here to learn more about GPR.
Our monthly survey
In our June survey, we asked how your startup deals with transitioning design files/drawing to production. The majority, 25.9%, answered that they contract with a local Engineering company to create full-up production drawings (let us know if we can help!). Meanwhile, 20.4% answered that they have their CM create the production drawings/documentation.
With increased global legislative proposals on modern slavery prevention in supply chains, it's important to adopt practices that detect and identify potential suppliers violating these legislations.

So we'd like to know:
Which additional steps has your company taken to detect potential violations?
Write or update a modern slavery statement.
Train employees and managers.
Carry out a risk assessment on existing contracts and suppliers.
Conduct audits of supply chain operations .
Implement written policies for suppliers.
Other (let us know).

See how many days have passed since the last 25k ton asteroid impact, 100m Megatsunami & more natural disasters.
(Source: Neal Fun)

Humans moved so much groundwater over two decades that it actually shifted the tilt of the Earth. From 1993-2010, the earth's rotational pole shifted 31 inches eastward.
WeCanMoveHeavenAndEarth (Source: Live Science)

Your iPhone will soon help you decipher the mysterious symbols on your car dashboard.
NoExcuseToIgnoreTheSymbols (Source: Lifewire)
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