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McCarter & English
McCarter & English, LLP is a firm of approximately 400 lawyers with offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York, Newark, East Brunswick, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Washington, DC. In continuous business for more than 170 years, we are among the oldest and largest law firms in America.

Vet-Tech is America's Veteran Startup Accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley. With over 100 veteran led startups in its community, Vet-Tech's top 20 portfolio companies have raised over $10 Million in funding and have been accepted into world class programs like Tech Stars and Founder Institute.



The CONNECTPreneur Fellowship is awarded to the most extraordinary applicant from the  CONNECTPreneur Community, giving them the opportunity to enroll in the Washington DC Founder Institute for free. The recipient will be recognized as somebody with the utmost potential to become a successful technology entrepreneur.

The Washington DC Founder Institute is excited to partner with an organization that shares our goal of fostering a strong local startup ecosystem: CONNECTPreneur, a quarterly forum of 350+ top IT entrepreneurs and investors in greater Washington DC region. Through the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship, everyone from the CONNECTPreneur community is invited to apply to the Washington DC Founder Institute for free, and the best overall applicant from the community will receive a Fellowship to participate in the program for free as well ($1,650 value).

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship for the Washington DC Winter 2018 Semester, you must complete your application and admissions test by April 3, 2016, using this link.

Grant: The recipient of the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship will be awarded within 5 days after the deadline.

Click here to apply for the CONNECTPreneur Fellowship.

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In 2013, after managing a team of over 70 people as a Director at Zynga, Lucy Beard quit her job to take a break from the outside world. Along with her beloved dog and husband, Beard embarked on a 6-month trek throughout Alaska, wearing down several pairs of her favorite shoes while traversing some of the world's most beautiful landscapes.

Upon her return, Beard searched for a new pair of shoes, but became frustrated when she couldn't find a pair perfectly fit for her. Around the same time, she also stopped by a coffee shop and noticed how the coffee machine could spew out dozens of drink varieties, all tailored to each customer’s needs. In this moment, Beard had an epiphany:

How could three machines make 87,000 types of coffee and I couldn’t get a pair of shoes?

Beard realized that while there were available technologies to aid consumers in finding shoes that fit, there were less technologies allow personal design. Doing some research, she developed the idea of employing emerging 3D printing technology to create customizable shoes. With this basic framework for a business idea in mind, she joined the San Diego Founder Institute to further develop the idea and kickstart her progress.

“Every week they teach you things like how to do a marketing plan, how to do a business plan and you have to practice pitching every single time. Four months later, I had pitched at least a hundred times, got tons of feedback and actually tested things with customers. Therefore, I was very far ahead.

Beard graduated the program as the Founder of Feetz, a company that 3D prints custom shoes, with a mission to "offer 7 billion sizes: 1 for everyone in the world". Through a simple smartphone app, customers can take pictures of their feet from multiple angles, and then order a pair of shoes to be custom printed from a Feetz factory, where all manufacturing takes place in the United States.


The ability for 3D printers in controlling every layer and hence creating material mimicry by printing techniques means we can disrupt the current method of shoe manufacturing.

Since graduating from the Founder Institute, Feetz has gone on to raise several million dollars in funding (including an investment from the former CEO of Reebok), won multiple pitch competitions, set up offices in Nashville Tennessee and New York City, and gained features on major media channels like the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and more.

In addition, Feetz signed a partnership with DSW Inc., America's leading footwear and accessories retailer, to provide custom 3D-printed shoes at their stores. 

If Lucy Beard keeps up this fast-pace of progress, then your next pair of shoes may be perfectly fitted to you from Feetz, in a one of 7 billion designs.

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