1:26 - Spending many years at university
7:36 - Meeting your co-founder at university
10:18 - A very technical founder team
32:05 - Finding promising partners
41:30 - Communicating your vision
Martin Eichenhofer is the co-founder and CEO at 9T Labs, a startup making 3D printed carbon composites for high volume production. He has an impressive academic background, with one BA, one MA, one MBA and one PhD under his belt.
His university path is actually deeply tied to his entrepreneurial career, since the idea for 9T labs occurred to him during his masters, his MBA was motivated by his desire to build 9T labs, and he got his PhD after realizing he didn't have enough of a scientific foundation for it yet. Martin also met one of his co-founders, Chester, during his PhD.
When commercializing an idea which originated in academic research, the 9T labs team relied heavily on market insights and treated the transition as a very gradual process. They also opted to sell to different industries/application fields, instead of hunkering down on a single one. In their book, it's better to partner up with the champion companies of each industry than to pursue every single company in a given industry.
"US companies get a lot more funding than us, but the fineprint of those deals often shapes the exit negatively."
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