Stephanie Burns, March 29th, 2019
Discover the entrepreneurial talent that is being developed at Texas A&M University at Aggie PITCH on Tuesday, April 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center. Aggie PITCH is hosted by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship and brings together the top entrepreneurial talent from across Texas A&M in a unique and engaging competition environment.
The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship isn’t focused on launching a certain number of student startups or churning out the most student entrepreneurs in higher education. Rather, the staff behind the “hub for entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University” is focused on providing opportunities that enable student entrepreneurs to succeed.
From its inception, Essentium was poised to be a lucrative venture. Their innovative and disruptive technology in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing space quickly set them on a pathway for success. They combined the grit of Aggie entrepreneurs with the resources of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.
Blake Teipel ’16, co-founder of Essentium and TriFusion devices, became an “unexpected entrepreneur” during his time as a Ph.D. student at Texas A&M and got involved with the McFerrin Center as he was launching his startup. “When I encountered the McFerrin Center I encountered excellence. I encountered integrity. I encountered leaders who cared about the students at every level,” said Teipel.
Teipel and co-founder Brandon Sweeney ’18 quickly took advantage of every asset that the McFerrin Center offered. “We were able to learn how to start a company. I was able to learn how to pitch an idea and cast an idea in ways that would be accessible and understandable to a wide audience.” Their hard-work and tireless efforts quickly paid off and during their time as students Essentium won multiple business plan competitions, including 1st place at the Rice Business Plan Competition, where they were awarded almost $500,000.
Three years after launching their business, Essentium closed $22.2 million in Series A funding, one of the highest in the history of additive manufacturing. “If I had not been able to participate in the McFerrin Center in a multi-faceted way I think it’s really unlikely that we would have been able to have the success we’ve had,” Teipel said.
“Blake, Brandon, and their entire Essentium team are shining examples of the impact McFerrin Center aims to have on Aggie entrepreneurs. Watching them mature from raw concept in our Raymond Ideas Challenge all the way through Startup Aggieland, and now making such a huge splash in today’s marketplace…we couldn’t be prouder of their success, and their testament to the power of the Aggie Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,” commented Blake Petty, Director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.