Entries with tag start ups.

US Start-up Supplies the Emerging Consumer 3D-Printing Market

Consumers and hobbyists are increasingly interested in 3D printing, but one barrier to wider adoption has been the lack of accessible, affordable materials. Now, a company called Proto-pasta is stepping in to fill the void. The firm, a spin-off of the engineering consultancy ProtoPlant, is making specialty, high-performance 3D printer filaments—the “ink” used in 3D printers—that customers can color and customize to meet their specific needs.  One of Proto-pasta’s products, for example, mixes polylactic acid with carbon fiber. The resulting material can be used easily with 3D printers and is strong and light among its other desirable properties. Industry observers say the emergence of companies like Proto-pasta could help 3D printing become mainstream. (GeekWire)(ZD Net)

Silicon Valley Shows Interest in Health Start-Ups

Tech companies and investors are increasingly putting their money into health-technology start-ups. And this trend is likely to continue, Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley incubator that provides seed money and mentorship to fledging technology companies in exchange for equity, told Reuters. In fact, Y Combinator is one of the firms investing money in young health-technology companies. These types of firms received $1.9 billion in investments in 2013, a 39 percent increase over 2012, according to Rock Health, which provides start-ups with funding and support. Recently, major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung have expressed interest in investing in healthcare technologies. (re/Code)(Upstart Business Journal)(Reuters)

Transportation Technologies Duking It Out in San Francisco

There are numerous transportation options in the San Francisco area, but taxi services and ride sharing providers are now entrenched in a fight for business. Uber X, for example, is a digital ride sharing service that features options less expensive than hailing a cab. It is competing with ride sharing services such as Lyft and Sidecar, which give people rides with regular folks who use their personal cars as taxis. Professional cab drivers tell ABC affiliate KGO that their pay has decreased by roughly 25 percent since these start-ups launched, which has prompted some drivers to start using the Flywheel smartphone application. The creators of Flywheel are upping the ante by giving away free taxi fare to potential new users. Uber, the service that summons luxury car service for smartphone users, is now adding a fare splitting feature for its iPhone and Android users to remain competitive. (KGO)(CNET)(The New York Times)

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