Usine IO, the Product Prototyping and Innovation Platform, Opens Its Capital to “French Tech Accélération” and Prodways Entrepreneurs, Subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé

Usine IO is a technological innovation facility located in Paris' 13th district, which provides hardware resources and a technical expertise and networking department to assist inventors, entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger corporations with the design and prototyping of objects and their preparation for manufacture.

PARIS--Today, Usine IO welcomes French Tech Accélération, the venture capital fund operated by Caisse des Dépôts and managed by Bpifrance as part of the Investment for the Future program, and Prodways Entrepreneurs, a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé, which provides dedicated support and financing for European businesses in the 3D Printing sector. An initial funding round took place in June 2014 with Kima Ventures, OCP Finance, Time for growth, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Arnaud de Ménibus, Henri Seydoux and Hugues Souparis.

Usine IO is a technological innovation facility located in Paris' 13th district, which provides hardware resources and a technical expertise and networking department to assist inventors, entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger corporations with the design and prototyping of objects and their preparation for manufacture.

In its 1,500 m2 facility, Usine IO combines design space and workshops in wood, sheet metal, electronics, chemistry, textiles and 3D printing, with office space and a dedicated team of professional experts (CAD methods, electronics, etc.).
This second funding round with French Tech Accélération and Prodways Entrepreneurs will enable Usine IO to strengthen its design and manufacturing support services, consolidate its team of experts and launch its development on a European scale.

Just nine months following its opening, Usine IO already has an enviable position in the French hardware landscape, accommodating more than 130 subscribed clients (designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, employees of large corporations, students) each month, and hosting events of national and international stature. During the first few months of business, its team of technical experts supported more than 150 projects, from the upstream stage of prototyping to preparation for manufacture.

Usine IO, which positions itself as the leading rapid prototyping facility dedicated to startups in the hardware world, has a one-of-a-kind business model in Europe, which allows innovators and product creators to ramp up their development and facilitates their transition into industrial production.

Gilles Schang, Director of Investments at Bpifrance, explains: "Becoming a privileged partner of Usine IO was very important for French Tech Accélération. Usine IO forms an essential building block in the French ecosystem to accelerate the development of object-oriented startups. This project's high caliber and its positioning make Usine IO a remarkable accelerator in its segment, with strong growth potential in France and internationally."

Raphaël Gorgé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Gorgé, states: "With its unique concept, Usine IO is revolutionizing the way in which European startups, SMEs and large industrial groups innovate by supporting them from idea through to product. Groupe Gorgé is delighted to participate in the development of Usine IO which fits within the 3D printing field of excellence that Prodways Entrepreneurs seeks to facilitate."

Ideally positioned in technologies of the future (robotics, drones, 3D printing, etc.), Groupe Gorgé intends to play an important role in the development of new design and manufacturing methods. Through Prodways Entrepreneurs, Groupe Gorgé strives to encourage and support the creation of a 3D Printing field of excellence in Europe.

The French Tech Accélération fund, launched at the beginning of December 2014 under the French Tech initiative with 200 million euros of funding provided by the Investment for the Future program, promotes the expansion of "startup accelerators" in France. In general terms, the French Tech initiative aims to support French startup ecosystems by financing startup accelerators, but also by structuring and promoting startup ecosystems in France and internationally. With this transaction, the French Tech Accélération fund undertakes its second investment.

About Groupe Gorgé:
Established in 1990, Group Gorgé is an industrial group operating in different areas of expertise: Smart Safety Systems, Protection in Nuclear Environments, Industrial Projects & Services and 3D Printing

In 2014, the Group reported revenue of €223.3 million. It is backed by 1,370 employees and operations in over ten countries. Groupe Gorgé is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (ISIN: FR0000062671; Ticker code: GOE) and on the US OTC market (ISIN: US3994511034; OTC Pink: GGRGY / GGRGF) in the form of ADR.

More information available on www.groupe-gorge.com

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