Manuela Pipino is the co-founder of the Lumi Industries project, whose main aim is the development and production of 3D printers accessible to all publics. Within Lumi Industries, Pipino is responsible for marketing and administrating. Her partner, engineer Davide Marin, is in charge of the technical areas such as developing and researching both hardware and software.
Birth of a project
Both Pipino and Marin made 3D printers as a hobby. The launch of their first printer, which was first introduced on the Idiegogo platform, was a huge success and that’s when they decided to leave their jobs to start their own ICT company, Lumi Industries. Currently they are working on their second 3D printer which they are launching on Kickstarter.
Despite the fact that those closest to them didn’t fully support the venture as it meant leaving their current jobs and they had no guarantees of success, they were not at all discouraged. They continued to move forward, it was now or never. "You need to take risks if you want your dreams to come true.”
Training and versatility as keys to starting a company
Pipino highlights that although her company is relatively small, there is still a lot of work to do, which is why most of the tasks are taken on by herself and her partner; at the moment their earnings don’t allow them to hire more personal. This situation requires them to be versatile and acquire various skills quickly and on the fly, which has been one of the greatest challenges they’ve faced as they convert a hobby into their profession.
Therefore, they contacted the incubator H-FarmVentures, where they received marketing and management lessons, which allowed them to properly market their product. However, for the technical aspects they had to rely on being self-taught, so Davide Marin took to the internet and made the most of its ability to connect people and knowledge to solve the technical problems that arose every day.
Pipino asserts that it is essential to choose a good team. Each of the members must commit themselves to the project; know when to offer help and how to work as part of a team. In her own words, Pipino states that “sometimes it’s difficult to get your own business off the ground since it means working at least 10 hour days and having little free time, but it’s something that you have to go through to get the results you want.”