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Founder of the Month November: INDMATEC GmbH

INDMATEC GmbH has specialized in 3D printing for high-performance polymers and the relevant materials. With their patented technology, they are pioneers in 3D manufacturing technology according to the principle of “fused filament fabrication” (FFF) in combination with the high-performance polymer polyether ether ketone, abbreviated PEEK. The material is especially appealing for the automotive, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and semiconductor industries. In an interview, we asked the team of INDMATEC about the idea, the startup time, and the future prospects.



What does your company stand for?

INDMATEC develops and sells 3D printers for high-performance polymers as well as the relevant innovative materials for use in industrial manufacturing. We consider ourselves a technology supplier in the area of fused filament fabrication (FFF). Our PEEK filament, a high-performance plastic that is characterized by high temperature resistance as well as mechanical and chemical stability, is particularly significant. We are currently the only company that can successfully process PEEK using FFF 3D printing. As service providers, we also offer the possibility of printing samples and test objects.

Where and how did you get this brilliant idea?

During a conversation, we started speaking about a research project by Brando Okolo in the areas of 3D printing and materials science. It was clear to both of us that there lay potential in the technology and so we decided to start something together. This ultimately turned into INDMATEC.

How did your founding team come together?

The team of founders already knew each other before the startup. I, Tony Tran-Mai, had already been friends with Brando Okolo for many years and had business relations with Lars Pfotzer. After Brando Okolo and Lars Pfotzer got to know each other, we were able to win Lars Pfotzer over for our team, as he, too, was thrilled by the business idea. Thus, the founding team of INDMATEC was complete. The three of us complement one another well with our competencies.

What would you say are the benefits of being your own boss?

As your own boss, it is definitely easier to make decisions as you are more flexible and can react more quickly to situations. It is a good feeling to be working on your own mission and vision. On the one hand, it is motivating, on the other hand, it builds pressure to succeed since the business is after all ours and we want to raise it successfully.

What do you think are the properties that one should have to be a successful entrepreneur?

Prospective founders should be full of ideas and visions. But especially, they should be disciplined in order to discover themselves in all challenges during the process of founding.

What would you term as the hurdles on the way to a successful business? Where did you get support?

Limited financial means and self-discipline are challenges founders must overcome. All founders face these challenges some time or another. We get support from our partners and employees, as well as from interns who help us in overcoming the challenges.

How did you deal with the large workloads during start-up?

We didn’t think much about time but simply worked. We advanced further and further, which was motivating.

Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?

Believe in your vision, be disciplined, and think about how to finance your project and how to make a living without secured income.

Quick overview:

  • Founders: Tony Tran-Mai, Prof. Dr. Brando Okolo, Lars Pfotzer
  • Founded in: Startup: April 2014, operating since September 2014
  • Homepage: www.indmatec.com
  • Contact: info@indmatec.com
  • Fields: Electronics & optomechanics

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