A new partnership between the Northwest Innovation Resource Center and Bellingham Technical College’s Precision Machining Program will enable local entrepreneurs to make small batches of new products for customer testing.
Test materials are a critical step for product development. They allow companies to get feedback from users and refine products before starting larger, more expensive manufacturing runs.
Diane Kamionka, interim executive director for the NWIRC, said the partnership is a great example of the community working together to remove barriers to business success.
“It is often difficult for an entrepreneur to access resources to create a small number of products for these critical tests,” Kamionka said, in a press release.
Joel Townsan, owner of Flipout Screwdrivers, is the first entrepreneur to work with the new program.
“This partnership will give us the opportunity to transform our concept prototype into a rugged, industrial-grade power tool made out of actual production materials,” Townsan said. “It will give us the opportunity to put the product in people’s hands so they can try it out, see how it works and really get a feel for what we’re about as a company. It will also give us an opportunity to launch our beta-testing program and make necessary changes before we move into mass-production.”
The program also teaches students at BTC technical skills needed to design and manufacture products.