KPU alumnus kicks concept onto global startup stage

Thu, Nov 27, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – After winning the Google-sponsored Startup Weekend Vancouver this November, entrepreneur and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) business alumnus Denny Hollick is taking his startup to the international level as his team competes in the world's largest business startup competition: Global Startup Battle.

In 54 hours, Hollick’s team designed and built a platform that allows artists to transform their 2D character concept art into 3D printed figures. By turning a normally costly and complicated process on its head, ConceptKicker empowers artists to transform their work into real-life models to sell to fans on a crowdfunding platform.

“We hope that we can revolutionize the art world the same way that Airbnb and Uber are revolutionizing the hotel and taxi industry,” said Hollick, co-founder of ConceptKicker. “We want to connect artists directly with their customers.”

A 2D artist without 3D printing or modelling means, Hollick’s co-founder Tony Yang saw the idea as an opportunity to ease his own pain, and help other artists navigate an extremely difficult, time-consuming and risky process.

“My vision for ConceptKicker is a service that can fully satisfy my needs as an artist,” said Yang. “It’s a place where we share artwork, see it come to life and get it directly into the hands of our fans.”

With their first-place win at Startup Weekend Vancouver, the team earned free incorporation and legal fees, $3,000 in accounting services, a three-month team membership to the Launch Academy, complimentary courses and seminars from Small Business BC, and many more key startup tools.

The startup has already garnered the support of several famous concept artists and gaming companies, who have agreed to start producing 3D models of their characters through the project.

With a clear market demand for their service, ConceptKicker’s next challenge is competing in the Global Startup Battle, which is being judged by world-renowned entrepreneurs including Shark Tank's Daymond John, recording artist Nas and award-winning Canadian entrepreneur Dan Martell.

Finalists are selected through a 50-50 combo of voting by judges and the public. Online public voting began Nov. 26 and closes Dec. 3.

“We’re hoping to make Vancouver the central 3D printing hub of the world,” said Jonathan Zhou, co-founder of ConceptKicker and partner of Corbel 3D Technology. “Already we have 3D printing companies popping up in Vancouver, and this brings us one step closer.”

“A Forbes article I read spells it out perfectly: 'just like the Industrial Revolution, the assembly line, the advent of the internet and the social media phenomenon, 3D printing will be a game changer,'” quotes Zhou. “This is the opportunity for Vancouver to be on the leading edge of a revolution for both printing and the art industry.”

The startup will soon be launched at For more information, follow the project on Twitter and on Facebook

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at


Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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