2023 Manufacturing Mash-Up: “A real home run”

Nothing beats a sunny day at the ballpark…except a sunny day at the ballpark with Massachusetts’ manufacturing ecosystem. FORGE returned to the state’s third annual Manufacturing Mash-Up for a fun day of networking, grant announcements and more. Students, legislators and startups mingled in Worcester’s Polar Park with some of our favorite manufacturers and suppliers. 

Massachusetts Manufacturing Awards

The day started with recorded and in-person greetings celebrating the growth, resilience, economic contributions and community leadership of Mass. manufacturers. Mass. legislators and manufacturing ecosystem leaders spoke, including: 

  • Center for Advanced Manufacturing Director and Mash-Up lead organizer Christine Nolan 
  • Executive Office of Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao
  • AIM President Brooke Thomson 
  • MassMEP President/CEO Kathie Mahoney 
  • Mass. Representative Jeff Roy, House Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus
  • Mass. Senator Paul Feeney, Senate Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus 
  • Mass. Senate President Karen Spilka 
Rep. Roy, Sen. Feeney, Dan White, and Christine Roddy in front of a Mash-Up stand and repeat backdrop
Dan White (co-founder and CEO) and Christine Roddy (VP, strategy and operations) of Clean Crop accepting a manufacturing award from Rep. Roy and Sen. Feeney

“Nine years ago we formed the Manufacturing Caucus to focus on the renaissance of manufacturing in this state,” Rep. Roy said. “Manufacturing output here is at its highest in history!” 

Rep. Roy and Sen. Feeney, co-chairs of the Mass. Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, took turns announcing the 70+ recipients of the 8th annual Massachusetts Manufacturing Awards. 

One awardee was Clean Crop Technologies, an agtech startup that’s worked with FORGE! Clean Crop makes a cold plasma device to boost crop yields, reduce food waste and improve food safety. The startup got involved with us to learn about hardware manufacturing and connect to the manufacturing ecosystem

A supportive crowd filled the DCU Club above the stadium, applauding as teams from each manufacturing company accepted their award.

FORGE Showcase and more

Downstairs, 300 high schoolers from across the state tried design and engineering challenges. Fifty Mass-Bridge community college students joined an advanced manufacturing speed networking event. 

The concourse featured an innovation station, “Got Talent?” area, Manufacturers’ Row and a FORGE Showcase. The Showcase was an amazing opportunity for FORGE partners and startups to deepen their connections in the Mass. manufacturing ecosystem and share their stories, products and services with attendees.

Our Showcase included: 

  • AMI, New England’s best resource for your electronic contract manufacturing needs. 
  • Bayard Design, a full-service product design and mechanical engineering firm. 
  • Burt Processing Equipment, a leader striving to create a better environment through the innovative and responsible use of water and natural resources. 
  • Cambridge Polymer Group, a contract research laboratory specializing in materials and products.
  • Empire Group, a full-service product development and prototyping company. 
  • Kalow Technologies, a contract manufacturer specializing in electro-mechanical “turnkey” manufacturing services. 
  • Enterprise Bank, a community bank. 
  • FLX Solutions, a disruptive company making miniaturized robots that operate in difficult-to-access spaces. 
  • ICSN Group, an international trade and development company.
  • New Page Associates, an engineering and operational support consulting firm. 
  • Pearse Bertram, an end-to-end provider of innovative automation and process control solutions. 
  • PEKO Precision Products, a full-service contract manufacturer of complex machinery, equipment & electromechanical assemblies. 
  • Plastics Manufacturing Resources, a firm of experienced plastics manufacturing professionals who connect OEMs with manufacturing solutions. 
  • Product Resources, a product design, engineering and manufacturing company with expertise in designing and building complex scientific, medical and industrial equipment. 
  • Samtec, a worldwide manufacturer of a broad line of electronic interconnects. 

“Mash-Up went great,” Product Resources President and CEO John Erickson said. “We met quite a few people – good networking!” 

MassMEP, a FORGE Steel partner and partner of Mash-Up that provides grants, training, and support for Massachusetts manufacturing, had its own booth on the concourse. 

MMAP Grants

The final event of Mash-Up was the announcement of the 2023 Mass. Manufacturing Accelerate Program (MMAP) Grant recipients, who collectively won $2.2 million in funding. 

Nolan, Mass. Sec. Sarah Stanton, and Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative co-chair Mike Tamasi spoke to an eager crowd. Then, Nolan announced the recipients. 

“Our organization is proud to support, help scale and celebrate the Massachusetts manufacturing ecosystem at this incredible event. We’re humbled by the growth over the last three years,” Nolan said. 

Recipients of the MMAP grants at Manufacturing Mash-Up 2023.
Recipients of the MMAP grants.

One grant winner, Sinicon Plastics, is a member of the FORGE supply chain network. Sinicon, a leader in custom injection molding, in-house tooling and machining, earned a $137,500 grant. The company will use the grant to add a 4+ axis vertical and horizontal machining center to its facility in Dalton. Sinicon partnered with wire management startup United Aircraft Technologies via FORGE in 2019. Their relationship was a major factor in UAT’s choice to move its headquarters to Pittsfield, Mass. 

Pearse Bertram Sales and Marketing Manager Joshua Baptiste said the event was “a real home run.”  

His colleague, Sales Engineer Steph Eymard, joining in the puns, said “FORGE knocked it out of the park.” 

The FORGE team loved seeing the connections in Massachusetts’ manufacturing ecosystem grow – and we can’t deny we had fun meeting the WooSox mascot Smiley Ball, too. We love local manufacturing!

Hayden, David, Anya, and Sophie pose with Smiley Ball (center) while Sofia works the table at Manufacturing Mash-Up.
Hayden, David, Anya, and Sophie pose with Smiley Ball (center) while Sofia works the table.

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