Startups from Robotics

Having been around FIRST for a while, there are so many products and companies heavily involved in the space.

Off the top of my head: West Coast Products, Limelight, Andy Mark, CTRE, REV etc.

I would be curious if any of these companies started strictly from FIRST, or if they were prexisting.

Also would be curious to learn about any other FIRST related startups. Have any of you started your own companies related to robotics? Think that ALSO might be some of our dreams here… take robotics and go pro in that!

I’m pretty sure all of the above. (I know for sure AM and LL, pretty sure WCP, CTRE, and REV)

interesting. Kinda tells you how big robotics is now that you can sustain companies with products!


ThriftyBot, 221, Armabot. Who else?


Swerve Drive Specialties


IFI can be traced back to the very earliest days of 148. JVN broke the story down nicely on his blog: A Brief History of the IFI/148 Partnership — JVN Blog


Plummer industries had some cool bumper mounts at champs as well as other drive train parts.

I don’t know if it was started purely for frc since they also sell some marine related parts but it looks like frc is a main focus.


If I’m remembering events correctly, WCP was started from seed money gained when RC patented and sold his zip tie chain tensioner through AndyMark. I’m sure there’s more nuance to the complete story.

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Find Robot Parts has a well organized list of vendors


I’m interested if there are any robotics startups that were born from FRC that don’t directly cater to the program. After 30 years I’m sure there have been, but it’s not something we hear much about.

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not sure if you mean started out targeting frc and that’s no longer the main motive or robotics startups from frc alums but either way I can think of some examples.

For the first one I know the vast majority of what if does isnt focused on first, even within the robotics sub sect of their company there’s the various vex competitions and hex

as for the second, one of our alums was the founder of this company which makes power line inspection drones

Some of these drone spaces are really cool

Not a robotics/FRC vendor, but COR Robotics was definitely inspired by my involvement with FRC.

Starting a company is insanely fulfilling, and also a lot of work!

FIRST Updates Now also did a video on this topic.


FUN itself is a company that has roots in FIRST. It’s been a dedicated hobby project for a few years but it DBAs under a LLC I own since 2017 and is now my full time job (and possibly others in the future too).


Deepwater Exploration is a recent startup that optimizes cameras for underwater ROVs. At least 2 of the 4 founders are FRC alumni from the San Diego area.

(Disclaimer, one of those founders is my best friend who graduated 6995 a few years ago.)

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AFT while not directly related to FIRST, has a lot of FIRST ties. Myself, Mike, and Matt all mentor 1678, we have a couple of engineers who are alumni from the team, and there are a bunch of other employees who have various ties to a bunch of other teams within FIRST.

I always get a kick out of it when I show up for a work meeting and everyone in the room is wearing a different FRC team shirt!


Copperforge has gone that route from what I understand. I do not think they have any FRC products purchasable anymore.


One of the other DWE founders is an alumni from 687’s school, and I think one or two other 687 students/alumni are involved with DWE in some way. They’re great people, work on some cool stuff. I hadn’t realized anyone from 6995 was there.

Yeah, Ben Stirling, who joined as CFO last December, was a founding member of 6995 back in 2018. CAD lead, team captain.

Hit that Patreon goal, huh?