Franklinton is quite the hot spot these days in Columbus, with all of the artist studios, co-working space, craft breweries, and collaborations happening at the Columbus Idea Foundry and FABRIC. Knockout Concepts has also located their office in the area, planting roots for a technology based center to begin to flourish.
“There is a great dynamic vibe for growth and entrepreneurial momentum here,” says co-founder and CEO Brooks Myers. “It is both old and new with great potential. Being the first tech company to locate its headquarters in Franklinton we hope more companies will consider making this the tech-capital of Ohio.”
Myers and Dr. Jacob A. Kuttothara co-founded Knockout Concepts in 2012 with a vision for 3D. The company builds mobile 3D scanning systems with an eye on mass customization and its vast possibilities.
The two met in Los Angeles (even though they had grown up close to each other in Wooster, Ohio). Myers had left Wooster to study at the Columbus College of Art and Design to turn his love for 3D graphics and tech hardware into a degree focused on Industrial Design and Time Based Media Studies. After graduation he lived in Los Angeles and worked in television production for multiple companies and major networks.
Kuttothara was working with his own medical device company and immediately saw the potential for customization in Myers’ ideas for a mobile 3D scanner.
At the end of Q4 2013, they partnered with financial expert, Randi Wright, and together acquired seed funding by pitching to local angel investors.
“We were able to make our pitch in style in Christian Deuber’s amazing office loft, Launch Farm in the Short North,” says Myers. Deuber also serves as Director of Marketing for Knockout Concepts.
To transform the 4,000-square-foot space that had not seen a tenant for years, the team worked closely with the building owners, Steve Arend and Jim Boggs of Arccon Construction.
“We wanted to maintain the original look and feel of the space,” says Myers. “It has some amazing features such as a mezzanine and 25-foot ceilings with exposed beams. The concrete floor still has the original painted lines used to assist in loading and unloading hydraulic pumps from the mezzanine. Trucks used to drive all the way through the building before it was renovated.”
An enclosed conference room was added on the rear wall to allow for private meetings. The open feel of the space was retained. Bathrooms and a kitchen area were added, which also allowed for a section of space to be created in the back corner for some down time.
“The space really was was a perfect fit,” says Myers. “We had searched Columbus high and wide for two months straight. One day, when weaving our way back to the city, we found ourselves at the intersection of Rich and Gift. I peered in through the windows and knew we had found our office. All we had to do was bring our own culture.”
Most of the furnishings in our office were either built, reclaimed, or recycled.
“We love seeking deals at OSU surplus, Craigslist, and Stargate Metals,” he says. “Our most cherished item, and one we couldn’t work witout, is our Joola indoor table tennis table. Getting away from code, solder, or email for a quick game of pong is invaluable to our physical and mental health as well as our productivity.”
They also have some large 4’x8′ and 8’x8′ art from Urban Scrawl that provide a great pop of color.
To assemble their team, the co-founders turned to some life-long friends; Noah Myers, Christian Deuber, and Matt Swendiman.
“Each is a discipline expert in their respective field and committed to the growth and success of Knockout Concepts,” says Myers.”Top talent often gets sucked out of Ohio but we think this trend will be reversed as more unique companies choose to build next generation technologies in our state.”
They also became a part of any event they identified as having an active group that understood their vision and the potential for mobile 3D scanning technology.
“That led us to discover awesome meetups such as the 3D Printer Meetup (Cormug) hosted monthly at Columbus Idea Foundry,” says Myers. “It was there that we met John Wathen who would eventualy become our Chief Technology Officer. John introduced us to Steve Paddock and we quickly had a strong base upon which to build an outstanding tech company. We didn’t stop searching for unique talents as our goals were not simple in scope. Through networking at various Columbus code jams and developer groups we were able to connect with Dr. Andrew Slatton who took us to the next level.”
The company has also gotten involved with teen initiatives happening at COSI on Saturdays.
“For awhile we’ve wanted to get connected to COSI,” says Myers. “Tech scanning technology at a younger age is important, and we are right here.”
“There is tremendous enthusiasm for what our product does and its possibilities in schools,” says Kuttothara.
While Myers loves being an entrepreneur and writing his own story, he admits you can not do it alone.
“The sooner you are able to find a partner who can bring the missing parts and is willing to go the extra mile, the faster you will find success,” he says.
To learn more about Knockout Concepts, visit knockoutconcepts.com.
Do you know of, have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.