Having received correspondence from Filabot and Davidson’s Venture Pitch Fund, this
was quite an eventful week. The good news first: I received a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement
from Filabot. Not just this, but through LinkedIn, I was able to contact and speak with Tyler
McNaney, the CEO of Filabot and a Forbes 30 under 30! I was able to introduce myself in the
3D Printing with Invasive Species
Dear Mr. McNaney,
My name is Lorena James, and I am the founder of Z Spools. My early stage
startup manufactures 3D printing filament out of invasive species found in the
This startup arose out of a senior thesis project completed at my high school in
Buffalo, NY. This project involved competing in Erie Hack, a pitch competition in
Cleveland, OH centered around the theme, “innovation around Lake Erie.” As a
native of Buffalo NY, I have grown up around this body of water and have
experienced both its beauty and its negative qualities, many of which involve
At Erie Hack, I pitched a business plan that would lessen the detrimental affects
of zebra and quagga mussels (two of the most prominent invasive species in Lake
Erie) and provide a new type of biodegradable 3D printing filament. I won this
competition with Z Spools and, as a result, gained financial support and
mentorship from the Cleveland Water Alliance, Ohio State University, the
University at Buffalo, 43 North, and Davidson College.
I would not have been able to accomplish much of this work without the services
and materials provided by Filabot. I have experience working with your PLA
pellets, EX2 Extruder, Spooler, and Airpath; I have nothing but good things to say.
I look forward to continuing this relationship with Filabot as I continue with my
3D printing, environmental, and business endeavors; by the end of the month, I
will send some Z Spools materials to Filabot as to take advantage of your Plastic
Extrusion Testing Services.
Thank you for such exceptional and supportive services; I anticipate what is to
come with Filabot and Z Spools!
Davidson College 2021
Z Spools, Founder
In response, Mr. McNaney expressed interest in writing a Filabot blog post about Z Spools! In
the upcoming weeks, I will move forward with this relationship along with filament testing with
In other news, unfortunately, I was not chosen as a Finalist for the Venture Fund Pitch
Competition. While this competition was worked into my syllabus, as always, I must change and
adapt. So, I now plan to organize a final presentation in May as to showcase my work with Z
Spools at Davidson. This presentation will allow me to not just provide a business pitch, but a
more cumulative view of Z Spools and my work thus far.