Venture Capital Strategies for Additive Manufacturing (Part 1)

Despite all the media hype that has been associated with 3D printing, news stories alone do not create good venture capital opportunities and although the area can boast a few notable exits, it ranks far behind the VC bread-and-butter investment areas, such as software and social networks.  As part of my MBA at London Business School, I investigated the venture capital opportunity associated with additive manufacturing and I believe there are four themes with significant VC/startup promise that will emerge from additive manufacturing in the coming years.

In the coming series of posts, I’ll overview each strategy, starting with going after Chris Dixon’s full stack:

The term “disruptive technology” is frequently (over) used when describing any new gadget or invention and the popular press’s description of additive manufacturing is no different. With a number of printer manufacturers targeting the consumer market, 3D printing has been hyped as a game changing technology, however, very little rigorous analysis has been undertaken in order to determine whether or not additive manufacturing can be accurately described as a disruptive technology. Rather than deferring to popular media hype, it is useful to refer to Clayton Christensen’s (who coined “disruptive technologies”) definition from “The Innovator’s Dilemma”: