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Grypmat is a Veteran-founded company founded by former Air Force F-16 Mechanic, Tom Burden. Grypmat premiered on Season 9 of SharkTank when Burden landed a combo deal with Mark Cuban, Lori Grenier, and Richard Branson. Grypmat has since been named as a TIME 50 Best Inventions of 2018 and has received other awards such as the Edison award and a Core77 Design award.  

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Meet Founder & Inventor, Tom Burden



Tom Burden is from the small town of Celina, Ohio and is a former F16 Mechanic in the Air National Guard. When Tom became frustrated by his tools sliding off the aircraft he was servicing and the time wasted searching for lost hardware, he began looking for a solution.  With the skills gained as a mechanical engineering student at the University of Toledo, Tom began prototyping a non-slip rubberized tool tray in his basement.

Three years later, the Grypmat was born.  A non-slip, flexible tool mat that solves the problem of inefficient tool accessibility for mechanics and tinkerers alike

To raise money for the Grypmat, Tom launched a wildly-popular Kickstarter campaign that was fully funded in only 10 hours, resulting in over $700k in funding. Not only, did thousands of mechanics fall in love with the Grypmat through this successful Kickstarter, but so did producers from ABC’s Shark Tank. In November of 2017, Tom appeared on the hit show and pitched the Grypmat to four Sharks, walking away with a $360,000 combo deal between Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Richard Branson.

Since premiering on SharkTank, Grypmat has doubled its team and sales, has landed partnerships with leaders in the tool truck industry, and recently, has been named one of TIME magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year. Tom has also recently made it on to Forbes 30under30 list.

What started as an idea in his basement has now turned into an invention that is changing the workforce and world at large.

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Press coverage
"With troughs like a kitchen utensil organizer, the bright orange silicon-polymer mat conforms to almost any surface."
TIME 50 Best Inventions of the Year 2018
"Tom Burden, a former Air Force F-16 weapons mechanic, founded Grypmat to sell a flexible, non-slip rubber mat he invented to hold tools, and raised funds for the idea on Shark Tank from Richard Branson and others."
30 Under 30 Manufacturing 2019: Meet This Year's Standout Young Makers And Industrial Innovators
"Tom Burden, founder of Grypmat, shares his experience of coming face to face with Richard Branson"
"Meeting a Hero on Shark Tank"
"With troughs like a kitchen utensil organizer, the bright orange silicon-polymer mat conforms to almost any surface. "
Grypshon Expands Line of Tool Holders
Aviation International New - April 10, 2017
"It’s a product with both rotary- fixed-wing applications and said to go where others don’t, holding tools at angles as high as 70 degrees. "
Getting A Gryp
Vertical Magazine - November 17, 2016
"the Grypmat, a malleable form-fitting nonslip tool tray that stays close at-hand without marring an aircraft’s surface."
F-16 Mechanic Invents Better Tool Tray
AOPA - January 18, 2017
"Grypmat is a sticky mat that holds tools, screws, nuts and bolts in place so that you always know where they are."
Grypmat Keeps Tools In Place
Flying Magazine - January 19, 2017
Our Team
Tom Burden
Founder, Inventor, CEO
Ian Hoyt
Marketing Director
Akhil Aniff
Business Development Manager
Startup Programs
Grypmat is an Ideadvance Alumni. The mentorship, capital and guidance provided by Ideadvance has helped accelerate the Grypmat from a prototype to a globally distributed product.
The biggest value AeroInnovate and Airventure has brought to Grypmat is their networking capabilities, with their help we were able to secure have pre-orders, manufacturers, and distributors.
Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans as leaders in innovation.
Customer Testimonials
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"The mats are super helpful working on top of the wings. My tools as well as the fasteners stayed in place, and I’m able to avoid any unwanted scratching in the bare aluminum."
Greg H.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"It is terrifically designed and made. I particularly like the fact that parts don't slide around on it."
Steve D.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"We have found the large Grypmat to be an excellent tool caddy/platform when performing maintenance on helicopters. It helps prevent damage to painted fairings and cowlings."
James M.
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