WAZER was co-founded by Nisan Lerea (me) and Matt Nowicki.
Matt and I met at Penn Engineering in 2008. The food was great, the people friendly, and the engineering department had all the best digital fabrication tools, except a waterjet, which made it difficult to precisely cut hard materials for projects we were working on.
As my senior design project, I led a team to try and tackle this problem, and we successfully created a sub-$10k prototype. It was really exciting, and the response from the maker community was extremely enthusiastic.
In the spring of 2015 Matt and I quit our jobs to work on the waterjet full-time. We worked out of my parents’ basement, and modified and tested the prototype in the backyard. After 6 months of working on our own, we got accepted to HAX, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator, so we relocated to Shenzhen, China aka the “Silicon Valley of Hardware”. It was an incredible experience. We built a completely new prototype, and HAX provided us with mentoring, business development support, and access to an amazing manufacturing ecosystem.
At the end of our batch we got the opportunity to pitch WAZER to investors. It went really well!