Austin Entrepreneur wins $1 Million Grand Prize

Austin Entrepreneur Samantha Snabes Of RE:3D announced as $1 Million Grand Prize Winner A WEWORK Creator Awards Global Finals


New York – January 18, 2018 –  Last night WeWork hosted the first Creator Awards Global Finals, a major global initiative established to recognize and reward the creators of the world. Initially planning to award $1 million to one global winner, Adam Neumann, co-founder, and CEO of WeWork, took the stage with Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, to announce that two organizations would be awarded $1 million each, one for-profit company and one nonprofit.

The $1 million prizes went to Austin entrepreneur Samantha Snabes of re:3D who produces accessible 3D printers that use recycled materials and J. Kevin White of Global Vision 20/20, whose non-profit concept provides prescription eyewear to underdeveloped nations.

“We’re just trying to take it all in, and really appreciate what this opportunity is going to mean for us,” said Samantha Snabes, founder and Catalyst for re:3D. “We couldn’t be more honored to have WeWork as a partner. There’s been very few people since the beginning that have really bet on this concept we had in 2012: to make a toilet-sized 3D printer powered by trash. To know now that this is going to become a commercial reality in 12 to 18 months, it’s just mind-blowing.”

Snabes first appeared on the Creator Awards stage when she competed and won $180,000 at the South Regional Final competition at Austin’s ACL Live at Moody Theater on June 28, 2017.

In addition to walking away from the regional event with funding, Snabes developed a partnership with a fellow Creator Awards winner.

“One the most valuable and unexpected outcomes of this experience was meeting the other companies and forming deep relationships,” said Snabes. “We’ve been looking for assistance developing 3D printing education in schools and for minorities for awhile now, so partnering with Kwaddle to give our first formal workshop to female Latinas was a perfect partnership.”

The awards ceremony was open to the public and hosted by Adi Neumann, former supermodel and sister of WeWork Co-Founder & CEO, Adam Neumann and Justin Baldoni, star of the CW’s Jane the Virgin. In addition to Neumann and Ferriss, judges for the competition included Joy Mangano, HSN, inventor and entrepreneur; Lisa Price, President and Founder of Carol’s Daughter; and Tamara Steffens, GM of Business Development at Microsoft. The evening included incredible performances by Macklemore, Soren Bryce and surprise guest DRAM.

“If you let intention and impact lead you, the rest will follow,” said Neumann.

In Spring 2017, WeWork first launched the Creator Awards, a global competition to recognize and reward creators of all stages, types and sizes including entrepreneurs, small businesses, growing companies, non-profits, and artists across the globe. Throughout the year, WeWork gave away funding to more than 150 creators at regional events held in seven cities across the globe.

From this pool of winners, Snabes was one of eight regional winners to advance  and compete at the Final event in New York City.

All eight finalists took home funding: a grand total of $4.22 MM was given away in a single night. These organizations were selected for their impact in communities, how they plan to scale their business and their sustainability in-market.


$1,000,000 Winners

  • J. Kevin White (Maryland) of Global Vision 20/20

Global Vision 20/20 is a non-profit that provides prescription eyeglasses to the 2.5 billion visually impaired in the developing world that have no access.

  • Samantha Snabes (Austin) of re:3D

At re:3D, former NASA employees have created accessible 3D printing that will decimate the cost & scale barriers in additive manufacturing.

$500,000 Winners

  • Sebastian Jünemann (Berlin) of CADUS

CADUS is dedicated to developing and running mobile hospitals, that are cheap to build and easy to implement, suited specifically for changing war zones.

  • Naveed R. Parvez (London) of Andiamo

Using 3D scanning, 3D printing and an advanced clinical service, Andiamo delivers a medically effective orthosis to families in only two weeks.

  • Or Retzkin (Tel Aviv) of EyeControl

EyeFree Assistive Communication has developed EyeControl, a wearable, screen-free and easy to use communication device for individuals with full cognitive function who are unable to speak or move their limbs.

$360,000 Winners

  • Elizabeth Lindsey (Washington DC) of Byte Back

Byte Back provides free training for unemployed adults to enter the growing tech industry; most students are people of color, women, and unemployed/ underemployed.

$180,000 Winners

  • Manal Kahi (NYC) of Eat Offbeat

Eat Offbeat is a fresh take on catering, employing only refugees for their talented staff of chefs who specialize in the cuisine of their respective countries.

  • Becca Keaty (Chicago) of Bunker Labs

Bunker Labs is a national nonprofit that provides educational programming, mentors, events, and thriving local networks to help veterans start and grow businesses.

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