About Us

A startup founder loads a CO2 cartridge into an innovative physical product - a growler keg.

Our Mission

FORGE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit on a mission to help innovators navigate the journey from physical prototype through to commercialization and impact at scale.

Sparks during manufacturing

The Problem

Startups and innovative companies making physical products are solving some of the world’s toughest problems, but they face more obstacles to scale than digital companies. High early production costs and burn rate mean the right choices in design, supply, and manufacturing are crucial for success, yet many innovators lack the expertise and connections to make those choices.

Our Solution

Samtec Field Application Engineer Christian Rodriguez and FORGE Vice President Adam Rodrigues pose with a 'Made in Connecticut' tote bag.

FORGE accelerates the path to market for physical innovations through product development, manufacturing, and supply chain-focused education and connections.

We help startups and innovative companies prepare to scale their manufacturing, and source their supply chains locally from initial prototyping and design to full-scale production, connecting them with right-fit suppliers to establish mutually beneficial business relationships. Our programming and resources prepare innovators and suppliers to scale production and work together effectively.


Why Manufacturing Innovation Locally Matters

Innovators abound in the US, where the innovation ecosystem has long supported those inventing new products locally. But when they reach the production stage, far too many innovators assume they have to leave their region to manufacture their products. FORGE wants to change that.

FORGE has a simple message: if you can invent it here, you can manufacture it here, too. Scaling production of innovative products locally makes sense for innovators and domestic manufacturers alike. And there are almost 250,000 manufacturers in the US, whose capabilities meet and exceed innovators’ varied needs.

FORGE serves a wide-ranging community of physical-product startups and innovators, helping them bridge the gap from prototype or small batch production to full commercial scale. We connect startups in the medical device, robotics, advanced materials, and consumer products industries to relevant suppliers, manufacturers, and business consultants.

Our network of regional innovation support organizations, startup ecosystem collaborators, and partners works to improve the manufacturing space and move more startups along the path to production and scale.

Meet the Team

Our talented team is what makes FORGE such a powerful force for connection and innovation.

Board of Directors

Our board of directors brings deep experience to support FORGE’s mission delivery and sustainable growth.

A headshot of Onyeka Obiocha
Onyeka Obiocha
Executive Director, CTNext
Nina Birger
VP of Climate Solutions at CHOOOSE
Julie Chen
Chancellor of UMass Lowell
Ben Downing
Vice President of Public Affairs, The Engine
Rodney Dowell
Bar Counsel at Office of Bar Counsel, Board of Bar Overseers, Board Chair, FORGE Board of Directors
SJ Maxted
Climate Change & Sustainability, Deloitte Treasurer, FORGE Board of Directors
Raj Melville
Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation
Arthur Trapotsis
President and Chief Executive Officer, Consolidated Sterilizer Systems