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‘Shark tank’ keeps aerospace dreams afloat

MatterFab 3-D printer
Seattle-based MatterFab is working on a 3-D printer that looks like a walk-in freezer but can use laser microwelding to make metal components out of powder. (Credit: MatterFab)

Some aerospace ventures came to Starburst Accelerator’s shark tank in Seattle today to find investors. Others were looking for customers. But unlike the TV version of “Shark Tank,” none of them was sent away in defeat.

“There are no winners or losers,” Van Espahbodi, Starburst’s co-founder and chief operating officer, told GeekWire at the end of the all-day pitch session.

Instead, a dozen entrepreneurs got the chance to pitch their ideas at the Museum of Flight, in front of venture capitalists, aerospace executives and other industry types (plus a couple of journalists).

Today’s gathering marked the first Starburst event conducted in Seattle, which has been gaining more visibility as an aerospace industry hub – thanks to the likes of such stalwarts as the Boeing Co. as well as more recent entrants such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture. Both of those companies had representatives in the audience today.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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