The Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the first Veale Startup Week on the business of 3D printing is Rich Wetzel. Rich works for Youngstown Business Incubator, where he oversees 3D printing startup companies in addition to a number of projects aimed at accelerating the use of additive manufacturing and 3D printing in industry.
Join our sit-down with Rich.
Rich: In high school! I used to purchase my friends’ used iPhones and resell them on eBay. Once in college, I was able to take entrepreneurship classes and participate in business plan competitions where I really learned what it took to go from an early stage idea to a viable business.
Rich: Freshmade 3D was founded in January 2016. We specialize in using digital manufacturing to produce rare and custom parts for the restoration industry.
Rich: Creating a life-size 3D printed bobblehead of Donald Trump for the RNC.
Rich: You have to believe in yourself as much as you believe in your business. Market validation is key; smart money won’t invest in just an idea. Diversifying yourself to create a strong team is critical to the success of the business. You must be coachable.
Rich: Don’t be afraid to take risks at this point in your life. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take advantage of the people around you. They want to help you and see you succeed. Learn how to identify problems and how to understand whether or not they represent business opportunities.