Downtown tech manufacturing startup ceases operations

Jen McCabe, McCabe sees 3-D printing as a wide-open frontier and wants to bring the new technology to everyday Las Vegans.

A Downtown Project-backed company aimed at creating a mini consumer electronics manufacturing hub in downtown Las Vegas has been shuttered before beginning production.

Factorli was a $10 million startup that sought to be a mid-level tech manufacturer. Its goal was creating small electronics and plastic items, somewhere between those churned out by 3-D printers and factories in China.

Its chief executive officer was Jen McCabe. Her profile says she ran a portfolio for VegasTechFund, a branch of Downtown Project, the $350 million private redevelopment initiative led by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

A statement on the company’s website says Factorli ceased operations Monday.

After assessing Factorli’s progress and future capital needs, “it has been determined that it would be best to reallocate those resources to other Downtown investments,” according to the statement.

McCabe will also no longer manage hardware investments for VegasTechFund, the statement said.

“Jen’s vision for removing complexity from the hardware development industry was ambitious and we look forward to seeing her achieve great things in the future,” the statement said.

McCabe did not respond to email and text-message requests for comment.

Asked via a text message what happened to the business, Hsieh said he is not on the company’s board and wasn’t involved. He referred questions to a lawyer, public relations firm and others who have not yet responded to requests for comment.

McCabe became a well-known and well-liked figure downtown after moving here in late 2011 and becoming involved with Romotive, a smartphone robotic startup partially funded by VegasTechFund. After Romotive moved to San Francisco, McCabe stayed here and last summer took on hardware development with VegasTechFund.

“She led seed and early stage investments in 24 companies building robotics, drones, hardware-as-a-service, connected devices, health peripherals, internet of things, interactive play, and smart home companies,” her LinkedIn profile says.

In June, McCabe was invited to the White House to demonstrate 3D printers and other manufacturing technology. President Barack Obama said Las Vegas could become the center for “a American manufacturing.”

As recently as a few weeks ago, Factorli had sent out invitations to a grand-opening celebration.