Springfield plumbing products maker 3D&L won this year’s efactory Pitch Contest, taking home the $10,000 top prize.
Doug Harris and his son, Logan, are plumbers by trade and have developed 3D-printed parts to simplify the installation of drainage systems for bathrooms, sinks and water fountains. The company makes a part to hold water lines into place, securing them to surrounding PVC pipes.
“What is on the market today just is not acceptable to us, so we set out to create our new parts,” Harris said in his pitch video for the contest, which was held online Thursday.
The efactory, an entrepreneurial support organization affiliated with Missouri State University, gave five entrepreneurs five minutes apiece to pitch their businesses in competition for the $10,000 prize. A panel of judges asked questions of the entrepreneurs and ultimately determined the winner.
Other startups participating in the contest were Hiperion, Aero Documents, Purpose Connect and Incent Local.
3D&L’s flagship product, known as the Frog, is patented and sells on the company’s website for $3.85, as well as in some stores in Springfield.
The company has developed two additional products. The midstream bracket secures to PVC piping, which typically runs adjacent to the water lines, and the tub block secures improperly mounted tub faucets.
Harris said the recent boom in home sales and increase in home improvement projects presents an opportunity for the sales of his products to flourish.
“Currently the United States is projecting 1 million new home sales,” Harris said. “That doesn’t include multifamily or commercial, which our products can be used in. We hope to capture 10% of that market.”
Harris plans to use the funds from the competition to pay for legal fees, as well as additional patents and inventory expenses that will be incurred as he increases awareness of his product nationwide.