Born out of collaborative class projects and fine-tuned during entrepreneurship and product competitions, industrial design seniors Adam Hecht and Alex Tholl’s company DiveDesign propels the work of the business ecosystem.
“We both have a shared passion for design, entrepreneurship and helping others in any way we can to achieve their goals,” said Tholl, noting their firm’s expertise lies in product ideation and development, prototyping, graphic design and visualization, engineering, photography, and patent search and advisement.
After partnering on industry projects and the JeffSolves program and taking several industrial design classes together at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Hecht and Tholl formally joined in 2017 to create DiveDesign.
With the help of the University’s Blackstone LaunchPad office, Hecht and Tholl developed their business model and strategy, built out a team structure, and connected with professionals and mentors. The pair also pitched their company as finalists during last year’s Top Ram business model competition, which further validated the business opportunity at hand.
“Throughout this process, we not only realized how incredible the people behind all the local startups are, but they’re also underserved when it comes to quality and affordable design services,” Hecht said. “We realized we could bridge this gap, whether that’s a prototype to show investors, final specs for mass manufacture or better graphics to attract customers. This was our opportunity, so we began tailoring our services to startups, along with inventors, makers and larger companies.”
To date, Hecht and Tholl—along with their team of six employees (including three fellow Jefferson students)—have worked with Philadelphia-area companies EasyPoint, Innovation Factory and Performance Brands; New York’s Long Drink Company; Minnesota-based Nifty Home Goods; Boston’s SparkCharge; and California-based T2 Design and Prototype. DiveDesign will continue to grow its client base and plans to open a new Philadelphia office next summer, with offices in New York and California to follow, Tholl said.
“It’s amazing how being part of the Blackstone LaunchPad community at Jefferson has led both students to great opportunities,” said Abena Nyarko, program manager for Blackstone LaunchPad. “Some of our event speakers have since become their clients, and resources shared in our newsletter have led them to events and opportunities that have connected them with local inventors, businesses and startups who have now become clients.”