Historic day for UIUC as professor's startup goes public on Nasdaq
Fast Radius Inc., a cloud manufacturing and digital supply chain company that has grown out of UIUC Professor William King’s laboratory, went public today. Its shares will begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FSRD.
The company’s rapid growth since starting up in 2017, culminating in this public offering first announced in July 2021, stands as a rare feat in academia. It is a first for a current faculty member of The Grainger College of Engineering, one of the world’s top engineering schools.
“The Grainger Engineering entrepreneurial ecosystem is a breeding ground for top tech talent, a catalyst for translational startups, and a world leader in contributing to the growth and development of our economy and social well-being,” Dean Rashid Bashir said. “Congratulations to Professor King and his business partners for reaching this incredible professional milestone, inspiring the next generation of Grainger engineers, and representing the excellence that is The Grainger College of Engineering.”
The basic ideas inside Fast Radius came out of research in King’s laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and through collaborations with students and colleagues. King said he can trace the technology development back to the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, where he was the Chief Technology Officer and the NSF-funded Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems, where he was a participating faculty and then Director. He said he also dedicated a sabbatical to examining where the manufacturing industry was headed and how his burgeoning research could make a real impact.
“I am grateful for the professional environment at Illinois, which provides such warm and encouraging support for both fundamental research and translation to practice,” King said. “And at every step along the way, I have been encouraged to pursue projects that have real impact. The Illinois environment and inspiring colleagues here are key reasons that this company came to exist.”
The company “makes new things possible” with its first-of-its-kind cloud manufacturing platform, according to company CEO and co-founder Lou Rassey. Its software is used to design, make, and move physical products in the digital age, combining proprietary software with a distributed network of company-owned, world-recognized micro-factories and third-party suppliers.
Fast Radius management will participate in a closing bell ceremony at Nasdaq on February 16, 2022, to celebrate the public listing.