Apparel brand uses llama fur | Vans for the work-from-anywhere folks

Apparel brand uses llama fur

KANSAS CITY, MO–Did you know that alpaca fur is hypoallergenic? Well, you do now. KC siblings Glynis, Giancarlo, and Stephen Castaneda started saving the fiber from their pet llama’s regular shearing to turn it into sweaters, socks, footwear, baby clothes and plush teddy bears. Now they’ve created an apparel brand called GG’s Alpaca Farm. The family has close ties to Peru — although they’re not native to the country — from where they’ve been sourcing top-tier alpaca fiber to use for their products.

WorkShift plans for soft launch of employment app

MILWAUKEE, WI—The Gig Economy calls for a modernized talent and recruiting model. WorkShift, founded in 2018 by Bekki Yang and Manny La, is a technology platform that is designed to connect talent with open shifts in the restaurant industry. The company was recently won the Business Services division of the 2023 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest and are poised for the soft launch of its employment app.

Vans engineered for the work-from-anywhere folks

CINCINNATI, OH—COVID accelerated the trend of allowing the workforce to work from home—or anywhere. Cincinnati startup Remote Vans is helping its customers find the perfect balance of this new normal, with special vans for the work, play, and travel lifestyle. The vans include more connectivity, more comfort, and more power than you would see in a traditional class B vehicle. The company was founded by Tony Alexander and Daryn Hillhouse. Alexander previously ran the nationally-recognized accelerator The Brandery, now under the umbrella of Main Street Ventures, a partner of Ohio Third Frontier.

Maker of 3D-printed medical devices gets $1.8 million grant

CORNELIUS, NC—Engineering and hardware startup Phase Inc. has landed a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Phase 3D-prints medical devices for microfluidics, a science based on systems that manipulate small amounts of fluid, with channels typically having the same diameter as a hair. The company will be working with Georgia Tech, Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital and Virginia Tech to build on that work.