Q: Whats your elevator pitch?
AJ Perez, Founder and CEO: NVBOTS has developed a fully automated end-to-end solution for 3D printing. They offer commercial and educational enterprise solutions, meaning one or more administrators can share their automated 3D-printing capacity with large groups of people.
Q: Where and why did you have that a-ha! moment envisioning NVBOTS?
Perez: My A-ha! moment had to be when we demoed our first automated printer at the MIT Tech Fair in February of 2013. There were nerds (for lack of a better term) who had built their own printers coming up to us and saying this is an amazing solution I dont want to wake up at 3am to run my printer! When these people were impressed, I knew we were on to something.
Q: What is the pain point you are hoping to solve?
Perez: There are two pain points that NVBOTS is solving. The first is the pain of an administrator who needs to constantly operate non-automated 3D printers and decide who to share the functionality with and when. The second is the user himself; instead of needing the entire world of software optimization with 150 variables to print something successfully, weve reduced it to three variables, and the printer controls them all. In plain english, weve made it as easy as possible for someone who owns one of our printers to use and share it however theyd like and the interface is so easy a six year old could operate it.
Q: Whats your greatest strength as an entrepreneur? Your greatest weakness?
Perez: My greatest strength as an entrepreneur is also one of my biggest weaknesses, that being my leadership and interpersonal skills in managing my team. Im easy to deal with and am in control when things are going according to plan, but in stressful times I may come across as overly authoritative.
Q: What do you do to blow off steam when you take a break from changing the world?
Perez: I love to play golf. Im actually on the golf team at MIT, and we have a fun time playing local courses when the weather cooperates. Its a little difficult this time of year, obviously.
Q: Whats one quality you think entrepreneurs need to have, and why?
Perez: I truly believe that any good entrepreneur needs to have a self-aware leadership style. Being conscious of every move you take as a leader and how it impacts the organization as a whole is imperative. I used to teach a leadership course at MIT and I believe its one of the things that set me apart as a CEO; its my job to lead through good times and bad, and if you arent self-aware you wont know how your actions translate in others.
Q: What does entrepreneurship mean to you? Why did you become one?
Perez: My definition of entrepreneurship is doing what means something to you and thats going to improve the world.
I first got involved in this crazy world when I started a neighborhood car-washing business as a 10 year old. I dont think I paid taxes, but I get my first taste of what its like to run my own business. And its sort of in my blood my grandfather started a successful construction business that my dad then took over.
I also want people to know that the Facebook definition of entrepreneurship starting a company in the basement with your frat buddies is most of the time not the reality. These days, there are amazing people starting great companies in many different ways. There are a lot of ways to solve the worlds problems.