Vara Safety is a Troy-based technology company engaged in the development of an innovative handgun safe that uses biometrics — a fingerprint scan — to unlock quickly and securely. The company’s mission is to bring improved gun safety to millions of homes in the U.S.
Timmy Oh, founder of Vara, needed support in the design-for-manufacturing process, including prototyping and testing his invention.
The Center for Economic Growth in Albany applied for a 2018 FuzeHub Manufacturing Grant to support Vara’s efforts and received $50,000. The funding enabled VARA to work on prototyping its holster, including creating manufacturing molds, devising the assembly process, and establishing quality control measures. CEG played an advisory role, managing the project and helping to keep the company on track.
Outcomes / The Impact
The FuzeHub funding helped Vara Safety get through the pre-production phase and into manufacturing and product launch. With support for prototype development and testing, the company was able to devote resources to other things, including the purchase of a four-axis CNC machine and 3D printing for rapid prototyping, speeding their time to market. The company also was able to invest in marketing, including trade show materials and an internet presence.
“From CEG’s perspective, the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund and FuzeHub have been great assets. Traditionally in our region the only real product development grants were coming from NYSERDA in the clean energy space. The Manufacturing Grants have enabled CEG to offer some of our startup clients an avenue for investment in the early development that needs to be done, oftentimes before an investor will even seriously look at them.” – Michael Lobsinger