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From chalk to print: Bre Pettis and his 604-million-dollar venture
A successful company needs only one thing; his creator must dare to live the dream. There is no defined way, just a mixture of passion and some risk. This is the story of a passionate high school teacher who managed to sell his company for 640 million dollars.
Do you remember your school times? Did you ever imagine your teacher as a millionaire owner of a successful company?
Neither did Bre Pettis students, he was not a greedy teacher nor a fortune chaser but a dreamer.
As a kid, he was interested on fixing objects and he wanted to become a technician. He studied history, education, ethnomusicology (the study of music in its cultural context, no worries I didn’t know either), psychology, mythology and scenic arts.
Pettis became a high school teacher of arts and he taught for almost six years. He didn’t quit his job to build his own company. He noticed that his students paid more attention to his lessons when he recorded himself in a video. So he decided to upload his videos, and more people started watching him. That’s where he decided to quit his job and dedicate his full time to record videos.
With no job to tie him up he decided to travel to New York to find interesting people to create new inventions. Here is where the magic begins.
He and his friends began the New York City Resistor, a club of Hardware and gadget nerds that 4 years later, in 2009, created MarketBot. The startup raised 75.000 dollars from donations of family and friends.
MarketBot was a company that flourished with the ideal of providing makers the capacity of printing whatever they needed with low budget. Soon they created a low cost personal 3D printer sold for only 1.500 dollars, 98.500 dollars cheaper than the actual 3D printers in the market.
Pettis realized that this invention could be used by anyone, from architects to cloth manufacturers. Because of its small design, low cost and efficient work every creative process could be improved by it. Now people could be able to materialize their ideas and create their own designs at home without paying large amounts of money.
Bre Pettis and his team gave way to a new production era. He sold his company for 604 million dollars to Stratasys.
Today this personal 3D printer is being used even at space, where NASA uses it to print and replace broken parts of spaceships. But this is only the beginning. It could be used in medicine, improving the process of creating prosthesis or replacements, it could be used in the fashion industry, making more efficient the production of clothes and shoes.
It can be used by all of the other dreamers out there. if you can design it, you can do it. The radical change is that today companies can invest more in their designing process rather than investing in the production process.
Now that you have the tool to create whatever you need, it is your turn. It is a matter of creativity and imagination, it is your turn to change the world.