FESPA Cologne, STAFIX®GRIP Toner and UV-inkjet product launches, Reaching New Surfaces- Blog started and first eBooks published,
Stafix was as an exhibitor at FESPA for the first time, with great excitement. The year also brought new additions to the STAFIX®GRIP product group, as first the Toner printable sheets were launched at FESPA Cologne and then secondly, UV-Inkjet printable rolls were added later in the Autumn. The year also meant a lot of new available content as Stafix launched the “Reaching New Surfaces Blog” and published the first three eBooks.
Brand Renewal and Stafix®GRIP launched
Reacting to the market feedback, we went through major changes during the year, as with the introduction of the new silicone based product for Eco-Solvent printers, we formed two product groups: the existing static products were grouped as STAFIX®STATIC and the new products as STAFIX®GRIP. Together with the launch we also renewed our logo and website.
EDP awards and distributor in France
Stafix continued working with developing partnerships with new distributors, this year in France. Stafix also got an EDP (European Digital Press) award nomination at FESPA London, in the category of best environmental Substrate. Eventually the winner was 3M, but we were pretty happy for second place also. Market was showing increasing interest also towards stronger and longer adhesion removable products for large-format printing, which gave us the signal to expand our product portfolio.
Product offering expanded and new distributors
With the improved development capabilities Stafix was able to launch two new products to the market: StafixDIGITAL for HP Indigo and UV inkjet. The expansion to digital printing techniques was something very new to the team and made the help from our distribution partners even more valuable. The new digitally printable products were awarded in the ThinkInk competition in Finland. Stafix continued to expand distribution in Spain, UK and in Italy.
Year of the Gorilla
With the production fully in-house Stafix was able to shorten delivery times and increase capacity. Furthermore, it enabled faster product development and the introduction of new products for further printing techniques. Existing products were improved and feedback form the market continued to be encouraging. Having the gorilla as the company mascot, pretty much from the start, Stafix adopted a gorilla through WWF.. Stafix was featured at printweek.com, raising new interest among the printing industry professionals.
Production line marks a new phase in the company’s history
After international expansion and growth in volume we had started the planning of a production line capable of producing our static materials from start to finish in one process. Having an investment the size of exceeding our annual revenue, we had 2nd investment round with our investors. In summer 2010 we finally had our production line installed and continued developing the production process. Stafix entrepreneurs José Ayala and Aleksi Rastela were selected as Finalists in the national young entrepreneur competition.
Following the product launch and after an early proof-of-concept, the company was eager to expand its operations internationally in Europe. Distribution was expanded in the Nordics with Antalis and in Germany with Igepa. New Country Managers were recruited to enforce local presence and customer service. Stafix Ltd. was awarded with the InnoFinland prize. It started to be clear that our decision to focus in the material manufacturing itself was the right choice. As volumes were growing we needed to start planning for investment and moving all the production phases in-house, to a single production line.
1st version of the printable material: Stafix®
R&D for a new product requires resources that a young start-up company rarely has. After several rounds of business presentations and negotiations with a Venture Capital Investor, they decided to join the company and back-up the development process financially. Autumn 2008 we launched our 1st version of the printable material Stafix® (statically fixed sticker material) for the offset printers. Stafix was soon recognized and awarded with the National Innovation Award in the Graphic Industry.
“The Story Begins”
Stafix started as a producer of statically charged stickers for window manufacturers. After early success domestically, it was soon realized, that internationally the concept of offering ready-printed materials would have limitations; Major challenge being offering ready-printed materials locally within a reasonable lead-time. Furthermore, designing and printing weren’t the core competencies of the company. The offering added value because of the innovative glue-free, self-adhesive material. The idea of a change towards being a material manufacturer for the printing industry was planted.