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November 01, 2016 | Tom Ballard

“Vol Court” winner in 2014 has launched his latest start-up

fractal-hardware-designBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Once you get bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, there’s usually not a vaccination that reverses the symptoms.

That is certainly the case with Dave Seeman, a University of Tennessee (UT) graduate who has just started a new company in Nashville with two former work colleagues. It’s his third endeavor as a start-up entrepreneur.

We first met the Franklin native in 2014 when his start-up named Willow List took top honors in the “Spring Vol Court Pitch Competition” coordinated by UT’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The company, which we profiled in this article, was focused on using the then emerging interest in crowdsourcing to help share the funding of more expensive bridal gifts than individual wedding guests might be able to afford.

After several months of effort and with a wedding in his future, Seeman decided to shut down the effort and take a full-time job. We posted his moving message for our readers in June 2014.

Now, after a couple of stints in corporate America over the past two years, Seeman is standing-up the latest company named Fractal Hardware Design. This time he has two colleagues – coworkers from his most recent employment.

“We have great respect for each other,” Seeman says. All three have technical backgrounds. Seeman graduated from UT in mechanical engineering; the other team members – non-UT graduates – include an electrical engineer and an industrial designer.

“We do product design,” Seeman says of Fractal. “We design, prototype and engineer it, then give them (customers) the final design to take to a manufacturer.” Since modifications might be needed before full production begins, Fractal stays engaged with its clients.

“We can work with a wide range of products,” Seeman says, but cites three areas of particular interest. “Consumer electronics is the biggest . . . toys to wearables . . . anything that has a battery except computers.”

Fractal’s other specialty areas are in medical devices and industrial products.

When we did the interview, Seeman was working from the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Fractal plans to secure more permanent office space soon but, as you might expect, has a particular soft spot for entrepreneurs needing prototypes, so the location has its advantages.

“This is fulfilling work,” he says. “It’s fun to be in it at this stage.”

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