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Tundra Labs moves to new 7,500-square-foot building in De Pere

Potential for scalability prompted the need for more space

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November 29, 2023

DE PERE – From less than 2,000 square feet across two locations to a 7,500-square-foot location, complete with offices, a loading dock and more than 4,500 square feet of manufacturing/warehouse space – Owner Luke Beno said moving Tundra Labs into a larger space earlier this fall was long overdue.

Beno said the new space – located at 1006 Orlando Drive in De Pere – unlocks opportunities to consolidate the different facets of his business in virtual reality, product creation and factory liquidation sales.

“Moving to the new facility allowed us enough space that we can not only store equipment, but also work on it,” he said. “We’ve already utilized the desperately needed loading dock to receive a huge shipment of new product.”

What is Tundra Labs?
Tundra Labs is a design consulting company that provides engineering solutions to companies designing consumer electronics in the virtual reality market.

Beno has been working on SteamVR Tracking since 2015 – working as a field applications engineer at a semiconductor device manufacturer before launching Tundra Labs in 2018.

In early 2020, Tundra Labs released the first fully integrated VR System in Package (SIP), which Beno said reduced the cost, complexity and size of the electronics needed to create a SteamVR-tracked product.

In 2021, the Green Bay-based VR startup did a Kickstarter to create a virtual reality system, the Tundra Tracker.

“People can attach it to their feet, waist, (knees and arms), and it allows for a full-bodied avatar in a Metaverse-style setting, (which can be utilized when people enter the Metaverse to socialize, go to virtual bars, drink together, have conversations and more),” he said.

Tundra Labs recently relocated to a 7,500-square-foot building at 1006 Orlando Drive in De Pere. Submitted Photo

Beno said it was a simple concept in mind, but a challenge to create.

“My background is in electrical engineering, specifically building difficult-to-manufacture things at scale,” he said. “Tundra Tracker was a challenging thing to manufacture – we had to invent a whole bunch of new manufacturing processes.”

The popularity of the Tundra Tracker, Beno said, prompted the business to go to market with it, and continue to sell it today.

So far, Tundra Labs has manufactured about 70,000 trackers.

Beno said the virtual reality market remains the company’s primary focus and is where the majority of his revenue comes from – continuing to develop and expand the capabilities of their products.

Manufacturing and diversifying
However, adjacent to the VR business, Beno said, is Tundra Labs’ factory liquidation sales sector wherein the business refurbishes old and decommissioned manufacturing equipment, such as robots, and resells them at significantly less than the original cost – which he said is gaining momentum.

Beno said the new space increases this sector’s capabilities to work and diversify.

“We haven’t been able to focus on it until the move and the building and equipment was acquired (because) we didn’t have enough space to process it,” he said.

Not all of the equipment Tundra Labs purchases, Beno said, will be for sale.

Some of it, he said, will be sourced for their own needs within the new space to make in-house manufacturing easier going forward.

Beno said Tundra Labs is in the process of developing an e-commerce store that integrates all refurbished inventory available.

Finding the property
Finding the “right” space, Beno said, was a challenge – noting there were not a lot of options available for what Tundra Labs needed.

The new space, Luke Beno said, greatly increases Tundra Labs’ capabilities. Submitted Photo

He said the real estate market for industrial spaces is tight and competitive in the Greater Green Bay Metro area, especially on the west and southwest sides.

“We looked at a lot of places to lease, and there’s not a lot of places available,” he said. “Even less that go up for sale. It was just dumb luck this one came about for sale, and we were able to purchase it. This particular location is nice because it’s close to where (I) live, and it minimizes travel time.”

Before the move, Tundra Labs was housed in an office space on Holmgren Way in Ashwaubenon and a 1,000-square-foot industrial space at the Startup Hub located on the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus.

Beno said bringing all operations together under one roof made sense.

With the expanded space, Beno said he hopes the growth the business has already seen continues.

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