Buffalo-based SmartPrint3D is an innovative start-up utilizing cutting-edge 3d printing technology for rapid prototyping as well as product development and design.
Vince LoTempio recently had the opportunity to interview SmartPrint3D founder Brian Bischoff. Brian has an impressive background – he has worked as a product developer and engineer for several of Western New York’s most prominent technology companies. He decided to leave the safety of his engineering position in favor of venturing out on his own and pursuing his passions as an entrepreneur in Buffalo’s bustling start-up community.
Brian has graciously set up a discount code for SmartPrint3D‘s store for our blog readers to use when our readers work with him. Use discount code “inventingbuffalo” for a 5% discount on prints, product design, and more!
Below is Mr. LoTempio’s interview with Brian of SmartPrint3D:
What is your background and how long have you been involved with this industry?
My name is Brian Bischoff and my company is SmartPrint3D. I have worked as a manufacturing engineer for Sumitomo Rubber, Integer / Greatbatch Medical, and K-Technologies. I started 3D printing and developing products about 4 years ago. You can see some of my work on my Instagram.
Where are you located?
4090 Jeffrey Blvd, Buffalo NY 14219
What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
To help others design and create, as well as develop my own products that make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. I am trying to grow my company with my business partner to a large size.
How did your idea come about?
How did you get started in your business? It started when I came up with my own invention idea and did not know of a way to prototype it. I bought a 3D printer and learned how to use it to make the prototypes. I fell in love with the process and now I am growing a 3D printing and product development company with my partner.
How did you organize your team?
I teamed up with my business partner 6 years ago on a couple of projects and we had a great work chemistry together. We never fight and have learned to divide and conquer. We are looking to hire our first interns.
What were some of your concerns as a start up?
Our biggest concern was and still is how to scale and when is the right time to take investment money.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Having the ability to help people in the way I feel is best, it is very rewarding at the end of the day to be able to make an impact how you feel is right.
As a startup entrepreneur what type of lessons could you give to inventors and people with new ideas as to how to bring their ideas to fruition?
Think unconventionally. Solve people’s problems. Do what others aren’t willing to do. Do the homework before you waste money on things that you don’t need to, even if you are not broke, pretend you are and be resourceful.
What are the top 3 skills you believe are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Creativity, hard work, confidence.
Are you familiar with any of the laws regarding patent, trademark law or licensing and how they affect your business?
Yes, I studied to take the patent bar to be a patent agent but did not have time to finish studying or take the exam. I am very familiar with the licensing process, I am working on licensing a few of my own products currently.
What is one of your favorite books that inspired you the most?
I don’t read often. I listen to a lot of podcasts since I am usually on the go and can multitask. The MFCEO project with Andy Frisella has changed my entire thought process.
As a fair warning, he is extremely vulgar but very helpful for both new and experienced entrepreneurs.
What is your favorite quote?
There are no secrets to success, it is a result of hard work, dedication, and learning from failure.
What was the best advice/wisdom you were ever given?
Embrace failure, that’s the only way you will learn the wrong way to do things.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I rarely see my family now but they understand why I am doing what I am. I would love to be able to retire my father, it keeps me motivated more than anything.