STATE COLLEGE – Business is exploding for Xact Metal, a start-up company that is thriving with the assets and partnerships that the local ecosystem offers.
Juan Mario Gomez, Xact Metal CEO, loves breaking barriers to entry. He and his partner, Matt Woods, turned previously too-pricey metal 3D printers into an affordable, usable product for businesses, forming Xact Metal in March 2017 with the launch of their successful printers.
“We call this our Robin Hood of business stories: make 3D metal printers affordable for more businesses,” Gomez said.
Located at 200 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 257, Xact Metal’s high-performance powder-bed metal 3D printers can be used for company prototyping and tooling. Because their prototypes and tools are printed in metal instead of plastic, the actual parts can be used after they are printed.
As a start-up company, Xact Metal wanted to expand via business plans and international distributors and export.
SEDA-Council of Governments’ (SEDA-COG) Export Development program and Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) met jointly with Xact Metal to address the company’s needs.
Thanks to a six-country sales trip facilitated by SEDA-COG’s Export program, Xact Metal has signed four companies as distributors.
“Noelle provided a lot of pre-trip guidance; it was terrific, and it really accelerated us signing up distributors in Europe,” said Dave Jankowski, Xact Metal’s commercial operations leader. “Our international efforts are starting to pick up significantly. This is going to be a huge success story for us and we are thankful to SEDA-COG and the state of Pennsylvania for all the support we’ve received.”
The trip was partially funded by a $2,000 state Global Access Program (GAP) grant.
SEDA-COG also helped the company secure a $3,000 GAP grant for website globalization efforts that closely aligned with their European distribution strategy.
Xact Metal also overcame barriers to exporting their first printer to Mexico with SEDA-COG’s partnership. They have now exported printers to Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada with other countries in the backlog.
Gomez thanked Noelle Long, SEDA-COG’s Export Development program director.
“With her innovative, out-of-the-box thinking, Noelle’s been nothing but fantastic as a partner in this journey,” Gomez said. “With SEDA-COG’s help, we were able to execute that export. Otherwise, it would’ve been very difficult.”
Year to date, Xact Metal has already exceeded last year’s orders.
The Penn State SBDC is also helping lay the foundation for Xact Metal’s success. They are providing the company with information for lending products for expansion such as SEDA-COG’s loan assistance, preliminary assessment for an SBA application support for 8(A) that are available to the business as they expand.
Additionally, the SBDC is helping with tools for operational efficiencies (lean manufacturing practices) by sharing leader standard management practices and daily performance-tracking boards that show key metrics for company growth and efficiencies.
John Peterson, SBDC interim director, said the meeting he and Long had with Xact Metal has blossomed into exponential growth.
“I’m excited to see the growth and positive outcomes through our efforts with the company and with our partnership with SEDA-COG’s Export Development program,” Peterson said.
Gomez said the Xact Metal’s three-fold strategy is helping drive its success. “We’re setting up the infrastructure that allows us to scale the business up by having a good and affordable product that is delivered quickly, and sold and supported locally by a regional team,” he said.
Xact Metal’s plans include continuing to expand in southern Europe and enter the Asian market in 2020.
For more information, visit https://xactmetal.com/.