Supporting Innovation in the Private Sector

The video describes new innovatie start-ups and how USAID is helping them through small grants.

Video Transcript 
You always think about your company. That’s the difference between entrepreneurship and 9:00-5:00 jobs. Technology is an ever-growing industry. It’s indifferent to the way you work. Not only me, everyone else in the company understands this and everybody brings their best. They bring more than 100%. My name is Rron Cena. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Formon. Formon is a desktop 3D printer manufacturing company and we’re located in Pristina, Kosovo. My background is in architecture. I saw a lot of interesting things that can be done or could be done with 3D printers. Especially in design fields: in architecture, engineering… in design fields, a device like that is priceless. We had this concept of what we thought a 3D printer should look like: an affordable and easy-to-use device made for architects, engineers, and designers. Initially, when you tell people you’re going to start something like this - not most of them - all of them think you’re crazy. There’s this social dogma that you just don’t start stuff like this from Kosovo. But we knew we could do it. We bought a printer and studied it, but we also knew we needed to bring on some new engineers in order to make it work. And that was one of the most important processes we had in our company, was the team building. The way the team works together, the synergy they have, that’s completely reflected in the product. 3D printing is that kind of technology that will democratize manufacturing, production… much in a similar way to how the Internet democratized publishing. In the beginning we had pre-orders from unexpected people. We got pre-orders from fairs we went to, from people we got introduced to, or we met at different networking events… and we were like - yeah, this might work. Because we got pre-orders before we got the funding. That made me feel great because there’s always this fear of how it’s going to be perceived, whatever you make. Currently we are assembling our first units. We already delivered to a couple of first clients. After you go out to clients, there are all these new things that you have to solve. All these new issues that just come up. This is a whole other dynamic for us now. We’ve been fortunate to be recognized by some major design competitions in the region… and we’ve gotten a lot of media attention from that. But the best part of all this attention has been reaching Kosovo’s young people… and showing them that hard work and dedication will pay off. A startup is this company that has no politics in it. There’s just no office politics. All the guys involved in starting up the company are aiming at one goal. Everybody is on the same page. Everybody’s going after something. So that’s the benefit you get. That’s the mindset that we’re really trying to spread. We want to become that story that, even though you’re from Kosovo you can make it anywhere. You don’t have borders anymore. You can break through with whatever you do.

Last updated: April 21, 2017

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