Whether it’s a 1979 Honda sedan or a 1969 Indian motorcycle, project cars and bikes need hard-to-find parts.
Effingo founder Caleb King developed a process using a 3D metallurgic printer to produce these hard-to-find parts on demand — cutting the price and the time associated with restoration projects. His business earned the top prize and $2,500 at the UGA Entrepreneurship Idea Accelerator Demo Day on April 10 in Studio 225.
“As the parts get older, they become increasingly rare and more difficult to track down,” King, a UGA student studying psychology, told judges at UGA Entrepreneurship’s latest pitch contest. “The question is how desperate are auto repair shops to fix this problem, and the answer is extremely … We can offer a far quicker and cheaper alternative compared to traditional parts suppliers.”
He plans to use the $2,500 to buy 3-D object scanners, allowing him to scan parts for printing without driving to an Atlanta lab.
With 3-D printing, King can supply trim and other auto parts that don’t need structural integrity testing. The Demo Day judges thought that should be his next step.
“Next, we feel you should focus on developing industrial grade materials and making sure the parts that are coming out can be tested for safety and quality,” said judge and Terry economics student Christian Dyer, a nonprofit founder and proud owner of a 1979 Honda.
The UGA Idea Accelerator is a four-week, intensive business workshop pairing UGA student startups with entrepreneurs who coach them in customer discovery, financial literacy and investor readiness. The UGA Entrepreneurship Program works with two cohorts of entrepreneurs each semester.
The program has granted more than $87,500 in startup funding and helped 748 budding entrepreneurs refine their business ideas.
While judges decided Effingo could benefit most immediately from the prize money, they also recognized UGA philosophy student Nathan Brown and his app-based fitness coaching service NB Coaching. NB Coaching, which helps people using weight loss drugs to develop healthy habits and keep from regaining weight, won second place. Embark, a car-pooling app for college students presented by management information systems student Venusha Buwaneka, took third place.
The mission of the UGA Entrepreneurship Program is to help develop the mindset of future entrepreneurs and prepare students for business leadership roles. UGA Entrepreneurship Program accelerators are open to UGA students and Athens community members.