Aether Inc. IDTechEx analyst Nadia Tsao interviewed Aether CEO Ryan Franks on March 2, 2017. Aether is currently shipping in beta, and aims to provide a highly versatile 3D bioprinter for an affordable price. History Aether was started in 2014 by CEO Ryan Franks and CTO Eric Bennett with the main goal of providing a low-cost bioprinter, a niche in the market that was unfilled at the time. Franks was inspired to embark on this project after a long bout of illness that had given him a deep interest in the medical field. Without any background in engineering, biology or technology, Franks started the project by bringing in Bennett, a UCSF researcher, using his own personal funds. As of March 2017, the company is still personally funded by Franks.
Development of the Aether 1 was conducted by the 2 founders in secret for 2 years until March 2016, when the company issued a press release announcing the features of their product. For the first 2.5 years of development the company only consisted of its founders. As of March 2017, Aether has a total of 7 employees, with plans for 4 more to join in the near future.
As of our interview on March 2, 2017, Aether had only shipped its first beta unit to the University of Cambridge at the end of February 2017. IDTechEx were told that the company is in the process of building 8 more beta units and plan on shipping them to their academic collaborators before the end of March 2017. Aether Inc.