Austin’s Samantha Snabes of re:3D Wins WeWork’s $1 Million Creator Award

Samantha Snabes, founder of re:3D, photo by John Davidson.

In the first WeWork Creator Awards Finals, Samantha Snabes, founder of re:3D, took home the top prize of $1 million in the for-profit company category.

The Austin-based company makes Gigabot, a large 3D printer. It is also developing a new 3D printer that uses recycled materials.

In addition, WeWork announced a $1 million prize to J. Kevin White of Global Vision 20/20, a nonprofit organization that provides prescription eyewear to people in underdeveloped countries.

Adam Neumann, co-founder, and CEO of WeWork announced the WeWork Creator Award winners with Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week and Tribe of Mentors.

“We’re just trying to take it all in, and really appreciate what this opportunity is going to mean for us,” Snabes, founder of re:3D, said in a news statement. “We couldn’t be more honored to have WeWork as a partner. There have been very few people since the beginning that have really bet on this concept we had in 2012: to make a toilet-sized 3D printer powered by trash. To know now that this is going to become a commercial reality in 12 to 18 months, it’s just mind-blowing.”

Last June, Snabes won $180,000 at the South Regional Final competition at Austin’s ACL Live at Moody Theater. The WeWork Creator Awards, launched in the Spring of 2017, gave funding to more than 150 companies and nonprofit organizations at regional events held in seven cities worldwide. Snabes was one of eight regional winners selected to compete in the final event in New York City. All finalists took home a total of $4.2 million in funding.

“These organizations were selected for their impact on communities, how they plan to scale their business and their sustainability in-market, according to WeWork.

$500,000 Winners

Sebastian Jünemann of CADUS, based in Berlin, which develops and runs mobile hospitals.

Naveed R. Parvez of Andiamo, based in London, that uses 3D scanning and printing to create medical braces for patients.

Or Retzkin of EyeControl, based in Tel Aviv, creator of a wearable, screen-free and easy to use communication device for individuals with full cognitive function who are unable to speak or move their limbs.

$360,000 Winners

Elizabeth Lindsey of Byte Back, based in Washington, D.C., which provides free training for unemployed adults to enter the growing tech industry; most students are people of color, women, and unemployed/underemployed.

$180,000 Winners

Manal Kahi of Eat Offbeat, based in New York, which is a fresh take on catering, employing only refugees for their talented staff of chefs who specialize in the cuisine of their respective countries.

Becca Keaty of Bunker Labs, based in Chicago, which is a national nonprofit that provides educational programming, mentors, events, and thriving local networks to help veterans start and grow businesses.

Silicon Hills News has closely followed re:3D since its launch. Reporter Susan Lahey did this profile of Snabes and the company in 2015. Last March, at SXSW, Reporter Hojun Choi wrote this story on Snabes’ panel discussion. And Snabes was featured in Silicon Hills News’ 2017 Austin Tech Calendar.

To date, re:3D has raised very little money. It raised seed-stage funding from Start-up Chile in 2013 and most of its other funding has come from two successful Kickstarter campaigns, raising another $300,000. It has also won other prizes in pitch competitions.

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