Tom Burden is Founder and CEO of Grypmat, a company that produces a non-slip tool tray that provides mechanics with a safe, handy location to keep their tools when working on surfaces that are not flat. He invented Grypmat in his basement in 2013 after competing in Toledo Startup Weekend with knowledge gained from the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo.
In 2017, Burden raised 6 figures on Kickstarter, the top 1% of all Kickstarters; won best new product at SEMA, the world’s largest Auto Show, and aired on Shark Tank getting a deal with three sharks. In 2018, Burden made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and Grypmat was placed on the cover of Time Magazine as Invention of the Year. In 2019, Grypmat placed first to earn the Thomas Edison Gold Invention Award and won the Innovation Award from the Unted States Air Force. In 2021, Gryp mat was ranked 718th in “Inc.” magazine’s 5000 fastest growing companies in the USA. In 2022, it was ranked 58th in Vet 100’s fastest growing veteran owned companies; and Burden received the Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alumni Award (given to one Alum under 40) from the University of Toledo Alumni Association
The success of Grypmat grew with interest from NASA, American Airlines, NASCAR, and Disney. Covid forced the company to be totally remote which allows Burden to travel the world addressing needs abroad. In Brazil he helped raise over $20,000 to support a man that teaches Jujitsu self-defense in the slums to keep kids away from the local cartels. He is currently volunteering with “Legacy of War” in Laos to clean up the 80 million bombs that were dropped and did not explode during the Vietnam War. In Ohio, he works with the Veteran Entrepreneurial Program that mentors Veterans transitioning out of the military.
Burden is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Engineering and Community College of the Air Force.