Comstock's magazine 0219 - February 2019 - Page 86

n SEED ROUND: MEET THE FOUNDER ERIC SWEET ROBOTICS EVOLUTION Eric Sweet used to be a pilot, hauling cargo and flying corporate jets. Then he tried his hand at real estate. His new startup, Robotics Evolution, combines his interests in machines and build- ing. The Folsom-based business is a makerspace where kids can build robots, high school and college students can compete in robot competitions, and anybody can learn about robotics. “Robotics today is a complex blend of programming, electrical engineering and mechan- ical engineering,” Sweet says. “Schools, camps and classes tend to be laser-focused where Robotics Evolution is striving to provide opportunity to explore multiple aspects of robotics.” In December 2015, Sweet bought a 3D printer and built a programmable walking robot. There were no instructions provided, but through videos and online examples, he figured out how to assemble it. After that he began to shape ideas for a potential business. The startup was a finalist in the 2018 Making Your Mark competition put on by the Power Inn Alliance. The business now operates out of a 700-square-foot atrium on Folsom Boulevard. After starting online sales in October, he says, the business had earned more than $21,000 in sales in two months. Playground My backup name for the startup was. . ...................................... open a swim school If I could have any other job, I’d.................................................. The movie that best represents my approach to business would be.................... Real Steel ................................................................................................................ not knowing enough My biggest fear about launching was ................................................................. game I believe life is a............................................................................................. HOW DOES YOUR STARTUP PROMOTE TECHNICAL EDUCATION? “We are a mak- erspace focused on robotics. The 3D printers, laser cutter, break press and other tools provide the means to design custom parts for your robot. Our goal is to provide a space that people can come to on a drop-in basis to learn about robotics and participate in com- petitions that evolves along with cutting-edge developments in the robotics industry.” WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES EXIST IN THE SACRAMENTO REGION? “Siemens Mo- bility, Schillings Robotics, Tri Tool, J.L. Haley and Harris Bruno are a few of the manufacturers in Sacramento working to create pathways in edu- cation to ensure that students are well equipped for the technical jobs of tomorrow. We are working with educators to make sure that wherever students exit the education system that they can earn a livable wage.” For more on Sweet and Robotics Evolution, read Russell Nichols’ “Startup of the Month” column at comstocksmag.com. 86 comstocksmag.com | February 2019