Melbourne Startup Tomahawk Robotics Wins $25,000 at Florida Early Stage Venture Conference
By Space Coast Daily // May 25, 2018
Groundswell anniversary party set Saturday, June 2
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Tomahawk Robotics, a Melbourne, Florida, company that designs and builds robots, was among the winners at the Florida Venture Forum Early Stage Capital Conference held in Tampa May 18.
The Florida Early Stage Angel Capital Conference is one of the largest gatherings of angel and early-stage investors in the state and features some of Florida’s fastest-growing private companies.
Tomahawk Robotics, which was founded earlier this year, was chosen by a panel of judges from a field of 20 companies and won $25,000 from Space Florida.
The company, which consists of a team that worked together for more than five years at Harris Corp., designs and builds underwater/tracked/wheeled mobile robots, as well as walking robots, snake robots and dual arm manipulation systems for U.S. government and commercial customers.
Tomahawk Robotics has benefited from its association with Groundswell Startups, a business incubator and co-working space dedicated to innovation on the Space Coast of Florida.
Groundswell Startups CEO Micah Widen says Tomahawk Robotics’ win is a sign of big things to come for the Space Coast and is part of a trend of Melbourne-based engineers-turned-entrepreneurs taking advantage of the growing startup ecosystem.
“Talent is the most important ingredient to a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem and we have a ton as you are witnessing with Tomahawk Robotics,” said Widen.
Tomahawk Robotics co-founder Brad Truesdell said the local support made all of the difference.
“Groundswell has been an amazing resource for us,” said Truesdell.
“We’ve been able to focus on the key elements of our business vs noncore activities like outfitting an office. The rapid growth the company has seen is thanks in part to such a strong support system. We would not have been able to mature our technology or customer activities to this point if we had gone a different route. Our ability to achieve profitability quickly is a direct result of Groundswell’s support.”
Truesdell said Groundswell co-founders John Vecchio and Bud Deffebach were instrumental in the early stages of founding Tomahawk.
“John and Bud have been phenomenal supporters,” Truesdell said. “They have provided direct feedback on many elements of our business from pricing to hiring. This feedback has helped us accelerate our business efforts and avoid a number of pitfalls.”
To celebrate Groundswell Startup’s first year in its headquarters building, and three years of supporting Space Coast technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs, Groundswell announced an anniversary party set for Saturday, June 2 to highlight community milestones and discuss upcoming ones.
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