AFFOA Partners With MIT-Venture Mentoring Service (MIT-VMS) To Launch A Program For Entrepreneurs With A Passion For Advanced Fabrics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 13th, 2018

Contact: Leigh Drori, AFFOA
LEIGH@AFFOA.ORG; 617.817.1522

AFFOA Partners With MIT-Venture Mentoring Service (MIT-VMS) To Launch A Program For Entrepreneurs With A Passion For Advanced Fabrics

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, April 10, 2018 – Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) announced today that it has partnered with MIT-Venture Mentoring Service (MIT-VMS) to launch the Advanced Fabric Entrepreneurship Program (AFEP). The first 24 venture teams have been selected to join the program, with the goal of starting innovative advanced fabric businesses in the US.

AFFOA’s mission is to catalyze a domestic manufacturing-based revolution, converting traditional fibers, yarns, and textiles into highly sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems, facilitating the transformation of the textile industry into a value-added, high-tech industry. Recognizing that entrepreneurs and start-ups are a crucial part of any technology revolution and growing economy, AFFOA has partnered with MIT-VMS to launch this year-long program aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and providing them with the foundation necessary for commercial launch of an innovative fabric-based venture.

The program aims to lower the barrier to innovation and commercialization in the advanced functional fabric space. The training and support offered to the fabric entrepreneurs builds on 17 years of experience that MIT-VMS has had supporting hundreds of ventures and start-ups. The program seeks to develop fabric entrepreneurs by combining IP, knowledge and entrepreneurship from universities, rapid prototyping through AFFOA’s Fabric Innovation Network (FIN), consumer insights, and funding from industry and resources from public and private sectors in order to accelerate product and business model innovation in MA and across the country.

About AFFOA
AFFOA is a non-profit with over 110 members from industry, academia and non-profits dedicated to enabling a domestic manufacturing-based revolution by transforming traditional fibers, yarns, and fabrics into highly sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems. To enable rapid transition from idea to product, AFFOA has assembled a high-tech national product prototyping ecosystem called the Fabric Innovation Network (FIN). The FIN is made up of small, medium, and large manufacturers and academic centers that have production capabilities allocated to AFFOA projects.  Through AFFOA and the FIN, members can rapidly execute prototypes and pilot manufacturing of advanced fabric products, decreasing time to market and accelerating product innovation. AFFOA leads the convergence of advanced technology into fibers (“Moore’s Law for fibers”) resulting in fabric products that deliver value-added services to the user (“Fabrics as a service”). Through AFFOA’s activities, fabrics that see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health and change color will soon be possible to benefit the consumer and warfighter. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, AFFOA is a public/private partnership and a member of the Manufacturing USA network. For more information visit www.AFFOA.ORG  or tweet @AFFOA_RFT