Press release 29th November 2017: over one million in financing for 3DBear

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Miljoonasijoitus suomalaiseen koulutusteknologiaan – Esko Aho neuvonantajaksi

- 3D-teknologiaan erikoistunut 3DBear-startup kerää vauhtia kansainvälistymiseen

Tiedotusvälineille 29.11.2017

Helsinkiläinen koulutusteknologian startup 3DBear on kerännyt yli miljoonan euron rahoituksen. Samalla 3DBear teki suomalaista koulutusteknologiahistoriaa olemalla ensimmäinen kotimainen kouluille palveluita myyvä edtech-yritys, joka on saanut yli miljoonan euron rahoituksen ja venture capital -sijoituksen Yhdysvalloista.

Startupiin sijoittivat Venture Capital -rahasto Rethink Education VC New Yorkista, Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj, Baswaren hallituksen puheenjohtaja Hannu Vaajoensuu sijoitusyhtiönsä kautta, yksityissijoittaja Tero Lehtonen ja yhdysvaltalainen koulutusteknologian huippuosaaja Mitch Weisburgh. Yhtiön nykyisistä sijoittajista rahoituskierroksella olivat mukana Spinverse Group, brittiläinen enkelisijoittaja Glyn Eggar, SSH:n toimitusjohtaja Kaisa Olkkonen sekä Tekesin entinen pääjohtaja Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara.

”Tämä rahoitus mahdollistaa meille tuotekehityksen skaalaamisen sekä kansainvälistymisen isommilla resursseilla. On ollut huikeaa huomata, miten hyvin suomalaisten opettajien kanssa kehitetty koulutusteknologia ja pedagogiset ratkaisut toimivat esimerkiksi Yhdysvalloissa”, toteaa 3DBearin toimitusjohtaja Kristo Lehtonen.

Rahoituskierroksen yhteydessä 3DBearin uutena neuvonantajana aloittaa entinen pääministeri ja Nokian entinen johtokunnan jäsen Esko Aho. Hän tulee auttamaan 3DBearia kansainvälistymisessä.

”Sijoitimme 3DBeariin, koska näemme, että tarve markkinoilla on ilmeinen ja kasassa on huipputiimi, joilla on hyvät näytöt”, sanoo toimitusjohtaja Vesa Pihlajamaa Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj:stä.

3DBear on ohjelmisto ja verkkoalusta 3D-tulostuksen ja lisätyn todellisuuden (AR) hyödyntämiseksi opetuksessa.  Se on saatavilla kaikkialla Yhdysvalloissa Junior Library Guildin kautta. Suomessa 3DBearin ohjelmistoa käyttää yli 100 koulua ja kirjastoa.

3DBear on käynyt läpi opetusteknologian alan parhaan eurooppalaisen yrityskiihdyttämön xEdun. Yrityksen kasvun ovat mahdollistaneet Tekesin, Finnveran ja Teknologiateollisuuden 100-vuotissäätiön rahoitukset. 3Bear on kehittänyt tuotteitaan yhdessä lukuisten koulujen kanssa Suomessa ja Yhdysvalloissa sekä muun muassa Espoon kaupungin KYKY-yhteiskehitysprosessissa ja Opetushallituksen innovaatiohankkeissa.

3DBear on tavattavissa Slushissa torstaina 30.11. osastolla C1.

Lisätietoa:

Kristo Lehtonen, toimitusjohtaja, 3DBear Oy
+358 40 8032638
kristo(at)3dbear.fi

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Press release 29th November 2017: 3DBear raises over one million US venture capital -backed financing – former Prime Minister of Finland as Advisor

Helsinki-based edtech software company 3DBear Ltd has raised over one million euros of seed funding. Investors are New York -based Rethink Education VC, a publicly listed media and publishing company Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj, chairman of the Board of Directors of Basware Hannu Vaajoensuu through his investment company, angel investor Tero Lehtonen and an edtech investor and founder Mitch Weisburgh. From current investors Spinverse Group, Glyn Eggar, Kaisa Olkkonen and Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara made additional investments.

“This investment enables the scaling up of our R&D and implementation of our internationalization strategy. It has been incredible to see how well educational technology and pedagogy developed in Finland has worked in the US for example”, says Kristo Lehtonen, CEO of 3DBear.

Former Prime Minister of Finland and former Member of the Executive Board of Nokia, Mr. Esko Aho has started as an Advisor for 3DBear. He will help in expanding business abroad.

”We invested in 3DBear because we recognized the demand for its product, the strength of the team and their execution ability”, says Vesa Pihlajamaa, CEO of Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj.

3DBear is an online learning tool and platform for 3D printing and augmented reality (AR). It is available all over the US via Junior Library Guild.

3DBear has been incubated from the best education technology accelerator in Europe, xEdu. The growth of the company has been enabled by funding from Tekes, Finnvera, and Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation. 3DBear has been co-developing its products in schools around Finland and US, as well as in KYKY-process by the city of Espoo, Finland and in national innovation initiatives funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

3DBear has a booth at Slush on Thursday 30th of November in area C1.

For more information:

Kristo Lehtonen, CEO, 3DBear Oy

+358 40 8032638

kristo(at)3dbear.fi

www.3dbear.fi

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Press release 29th November 2017: 3DBear raises over one million US venture capital -backed financing – former Prime Minister of Finland as Advisor

Helsinki-based edtech software company 3DBear Ltd has raised over one million euros of seed funding. Investors are New York -based Rethink Education VC, a publicly listed media and publishing company Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj, chairman of the Board of Directors of Basware Hannu Vaajoensuu through his investment company, angel investor Tero Lehtonen and an edtech investor and founder Mitch Weisburgh. From current investors Spinverse Group, Glyn Eggar, Kaisa Olkkonen and Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara made additional investments.

“This investment enables the scaling up of our R&D and implementation of our internationalization strategy. It has been incredible to see how well educational technology and pedagogy developed in Finland has worked in the US for example”, says Kristo Lehtonen, CEO of 3DBear.

Former Prime Minister of Finland and former Member of the Executive Board of Nokia, Mr. Esko Aho has started as an Advisor for 3DBear. He will help in expanding business abroad.

”We invested in 3DBear because we recognized the demand for its product, the strength of the team and their execution ability”, says Vesa Pihlajamaa, CEO of Keski-Pohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oyj.

3DBear is an online learning tool and platform for 3D printing and augmented reality (AR). It is available all over the US via Junior Library Guild.

3DBear has been incubated from the best education technology accelerator in Europe, xEdu. The growth of the company has been enabled by funding from Tekes, Finnvera, and Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation. 3DBear has been co-developing its products in schools around Finland and US, as well as in KYKY-process by the city of Espoo, Finland and in national innovation initiatives funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

3DBear has a booth at Slush on Thursday 30th of November in area C1.

For more information:

Kristo Lehtonen, CEO, 3DBear Oy

+358 40 8032638

kristo(at)3dbear.fi

www.3dbear.fi

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Press Release: Recycler

3DBear and Arcada University built a revolutionary innovation that recycles plastic into 3D-printable filament

- Now anyone can make this open source device themselves, and they can make old plastic toys new again

 

Press release 28th November 2017

 

3DBear, a startup in Helsinki, has created a plastic recycler that produces 3D-printable filament, in cooperation with Arcada University of applied sciences. The complete design is open source and is available to all consumers, libraries or educational institutions around the world free of cost.

Global accumulation of plastic waste is a big environmental problem. It is estimated that around 8 million tons of plastic waste will end up in the ocean every year. 3D printing has the potential to change the situation and improve the availability of raw materials.

Now with modern recycling technology, household waste plastics or unused toys can be converted into 3D-printed dolls, building blocks, or useful items.

"From the very beginning, our vision has been that plastic is not a waste but a valuable raw material. We decided to open up our technology globally for anyone so that everyone has the chance to benefit from this innovation." says Kristo Lehtonen, 3DBear CEO.

3DBear's recycler is part of the overall move toward the digitalisation of objects that has the potential to disrupt key sectors of current markets.

"Few people buy their music from the store on a physical disk anymore. We want to offer a similar, creative channel for children and give them the tools to design and make their own toys. It also saves parents money in the long run, when there is no need to buy overpriced brand name toys." continues Lehtonen.

Combining different types of plastics in recycling is technically challenging. For this reason, the recycling of small batches of plastic is rarely technically possible or commercially sensible. In addition, the decline in oil prices has led many recycling companies to financial difficulties.

"With our recycler, small amounts of plastic material can be efficiently recycled and made into new 3D prints. Now all the information needed to make the recycler is assembled in an easy-to-use package. Hopefully, this will generate more interest from industry, too." says Mirja Andersson, principal lecturer at Arcada.

In an interesting twist, 3D printing itself also becomes cheaper and more attractive. Currently a new roll of 3D printer plastic can cost tens of euros per kilogram, raw material is one hundredth of this cost. Consequently, the recycling of 3D plastic and local production save money for consumers. At the same time, consumers no longer have to worry about old or failed prints as they can be reprocessed.

How does the recycler work in practice?

The shredded waste plastic is guided into a metal extruder where it is heated. The plastic diameter is measured with an optical sensor to ensure quality. Often, the recycled plastic is indistinguishable from the quality of virgin material.

Watch the video at www.3dbear.io/recycler

How can a recycler be made?

The file package and design instructions are freely downloadable at: www.3dbear.io/recycler

Parts are mostly standard parts and cost-effective, many parts are 3D printable. In this way anyone can build their own recycler. The prototype recycler was manufactured as a student project, and is located on the Arcada campus, in Arabianranta, Helsinki.

For more information:
Kristo Lehtonen, Managing Director, 3DBear Oy
040 8032638
kristo(at)3dbear.fi

Mirja Andersson, Principal Lecturer/ Department of Energy and Materials, AMK Arcada
020 7699570
mirja.andersson(at)arcada.fi
 

Recycler can be found at Slush on 30th November at demo booth location C.1.


3DBear
3DBear is an educational technology startup, founded in Helsinki in 2016, to help teachers and library staff use the latest technology in teaching. Their primary goal is to provide pedagogic learning modules and an online learning platform for teachers for 3D-printing and Augmented Reality (AR). 3DBear has over a hundred customer schools and libraries in Finland and the United States. www.3dbear.io



Working with the professionals: the students

We at 3DBear love to work with the professionals, and during the development of our newest app 3DBear AR we were lucky to work again with the best of the best: the students.

We have been collaborating with Kaisaniemi elementary school and few weeks back we visited with the 4th graders for few lessons.

The lesson was build up with few parts: first we went through what the augmented reality is (almost everyone knows the Pokemon Go-game). After this the students were split to pairs, and they got tablets or smartphones. The assignment was to improve the school surroundings, making it more pleasant.

When we asked the students what they like the most in their school yard, the answer was something like the swings and the climbing frames. We wanted them to think by themselves without any influence by the teacher or other authority.

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Later we gathered again in the classroom where students were able to show their products to others. They had created places to sit, a climbing track and even a classroom with a bed for the courtyard. Also the passing bicycle path got a disincentive to slow down fast bikers.

Innovative and creative students also developed the assignment forward: one student made a cartoon-like story where the hero ventured in augmented reality.

Same time when the kids had a good time, they learned to use their mobile devices and social participation, working in pairs and increased their creativity.

Feedback from the students is very valuable to us and it is really fun to work with them and see how they use their ingenuity.

 

Written Anna Mäki

Think Big and Achieve Bigger, a Wonderful Journey with Eight Schools

One of our greatest enthusiasm is to work with professionals who are passionate about bringing new technologies to schools. From the start of September 2016, we have been working with Hanna Niemelä, an innovative teacher from Espoo Christian School. At the moment, Hanna is leading the Pänttäyksestä Printtaukseen Project, a project co-funded by the Finnish National Agency of Education aiming at opening up new learning paths for children who will need new technologies such as 3D modeling, AR or VR skills in their adulthood.

In total, eight schools between Oulu and Espoo are on board, they represent both private and public education sectors. Different learning modules are developed to teach the new skills and they are carried out in all of the schools by the local teachers. In a bigger picture, the project intends to set an example for schools in Finland and around the world on the applicable methods that can be adopted in teaching latest technologies to the future generation.

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On September 5th, we went on a trip to Oulu Christian School with Hanna. There the local teacher Samuel Halonen was giving a course themed create your favorite board game piece. In the class, students formed groups and learned to use Tinkercad modeling program to execute their ideas and inspirations. During the design process, the students exhibited great enthusiasm and engagement, and were even more excited about presenting their final works in front of the class.

While gathering course feedback, Samuel Halonen commented: “It was not just my students that got excited about the topic, so did my co-workers who got involved. I believe everybody has obtained a share of encouragement. The lesson was clear instructed; and of course 3D modeling and printing can be simple, useful and fun.”

From the start of 3DBear’s journey, we have been working hard to help our teachers in taking the terror out of teaching new technologies. We believe that many students will take on jobs that do not exist at the moment but will emerge in the future. We are very thrilled to be an accelerator in achieving this great task.

Written by Junyi Sun
3DBear Pedagogy Specialist

Teacher: Save time with 3DBear!

“This formula is really important, write it down before I erase, for sure it will appear in your next exam”, I guess this ‘kind’ reminder rings a bell for people who have experienced cramming type of teaching. Back when I was a student, I cannot even recall how many times I had to blindly copy down things without knowing why. However, can we really blame our teachers for not being innovative and explanatory enough?

Many countries have started to reform education in order to get ready for the future. Finland, as a pioneer in education has already announced a new curriculum for K-12 education last year. The new curriculum attaches a lot of attention to phenomenon-based learning and multidisciplinary subjects. As the propellers of the new education, the Finnish teachers will have to learn new skills such as coding or 3D modeling, then plan a proper course to teach their students. Even for experienced teachers, the task is never easy considering the constrain in time and their knowledge towards the field of engineering and technology. Take teaching 3D printing as an example, for primary school kids, to learn the definition of 3D printing is boring yet to 3D design an object is fascinating, but will they be able to maintain their interests once the design process becomes complicated and patience-consuming? Would it be possible to teach 3D print a fidget spinner rather than a dull husky figurine? Or how to balance between engaging learning content and standardized curriculum? Good lesson planning indeed takes a lot of time and effort, especially when teachers have to organized classes that are new to them.

In this sense, wouldn’t it be awesome to have verified and ready-to-use learning modules at your disposal? And this is what 3DBear is developing at the moment. Despite there are plenty of educational apps that teach advanced technologies, but what makes 3DBear standout lays in our well-orchestrated learning modules. Because we believe in the power of technology-enhanced learning, we are aware of the struggles in teaching new technologies and we would like to make our teachers’ job easier and enjoyable.

Don’t you want to become a test user of our products? Please contact for free trail!

 

7 Reasons Why

“Hey, it's 3DBear, 3DBear from Finland. That's right. Don't adjust your, whatever device you're reading this on. It's me, live and on screen. No return engagements, no encore, and this time, absolutely no requests. Get a snack. Settle in. Because I'm about to tell you the story of an awesome app. More specifically, why you should use it.”

The hot summer days open up various opportunities for outdoor playing-based learning. Sadly, many youngsters seem to be more interested in snapchats or video games than outdoor activities nowadays. Instead of nagging them to give up on the smart devices, why not take advantage of those gadgets? All you need is a game application that encourages them to create meaningful content while exploring their neighborhoods. Think of playing SimCity in a Pokémon Go setting, yes, that’s what 3DBear is offering.

With a belief in mankind’s curiosity and our natural desire to create, we developed 3DBear AR. A gamified learning application that allows users to (re)design their physical surroundings in an augmented reality (AR) environment. By exploiting the hottest technologies, 3DBear AR creates a complete experience in interior design, 3D printing as well as artwork creation. In addition to learning-by-doing type of education, it adds numerous other skills to users’ outdoor experience, besides enhance the other subjects that can be taught using their surroundings.

Here are 7 reasons why you should use it:

Social Skills. In a school setting, the application accelerates the growth of social skills by teaching the students how to work together in groups and how to accomplish tasks with communicating and planning.

Confidence. Having the freedom and ability to explore, and be open to new surroundings beyond a classroom, 3DBear AR helps to boost users’ confidence to develop their own ideas and theories.

Visual recognition. Users can develop a strong sense of visual recognition, with the understanding of 3D models and geometric shape elements.

Personal character. 3DBear AR is a good toolkit to enhance a person’s characters with outdoor exploration components, and gain a sense of self-awareness.

Physical abilities. The increased amount of physical activities that a user experiences from moving around and creating objects helps to strengthen physical stamina as well as improve motor skills.

Creative thinking. With no limits in art design, users can go by their aesthetics and portrait whatever their minds are telling them.

Sensory Fun. Learning everything from cause and effect, from draft to implement. Users also have possibilities to import their own 3D models to aid their creativity flourish.

Got interested? Stay tuned for our next blogpost on how to use 3DBear AR to beautify your environment.

 

Written by Junyi Sun, Educational Trainee at 3DBear
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