CES wrap-up: Spartan Yoyo Works

Katie Wieser, Executive Editor

The Spartan Yoyo Works team wasn’t sure what to expect heading into the International Consumer Electronics Show in early January. As a company who uses a 3D printer to create hi-tech toys, Zach Lerner and Vincent Cozza were just happy to be along for the ride.

But the show ended up being an incredible opportunity for both the company and the entrepreneurs as they return to Case Western Reserve University as undergraduate students this spring.

The most concrete take-away from the show was some new material the team will be working with. On the first day of CES, the team went to meet with the creators of a carbon fiber 3D printer filament and was shocked to come away with a free sample. Lerner and Cozza got right to work making a full carbon yoyo and a mixed material yoyo. By the end of the show, they’d learned a lot about how to deal with the challenges of the new filament. They’re looking to keep adjusting the process of this product and get it available for sale as soon as possible.

The team also came away with something that will be much more valuable to them as they go through their lives as entrepreneurs and creators.

“The best thing you can get from an opportunity like this is the experience of talking to people. Making network connections is priceless, but also standing up to the criticism of experts,” said Lerner.

Lerner and Cozza came into the show just looking to hold their own during this epic event, but they came out knowing that they had something of value to add. Their confidence in their product and company grew over the course of the week and the team is ready to move forward.

None of this would have happened without the help of Blackstone LaunchPad and think[box]. They use the think[box] lab’s printers and resources to create their product, and they have gained valuable connections through their association with the organizations.

“Having access to the resources was imperative. We couldn’t have done it without think[box] and Blackstone helped us get our provisional patent,” said Lerner.

Going forward, Lerner and Cozza are looking to bigger and better things. With the knowledge of how to grow a product and business from nothing, the team is looking to keep developing new ideas and hopefully return to Vegas with something exciting next year.

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