Joyce recently joined VELO3D as a Marketing Director responsible for bringing their value proposition to life. She is responsible for establishing VELO3D as a thought leader in Additive Manufacturing and oversees relationships with key influencers ranging from press, analysts, and industry leaders. Prior to joining VELO3D, Joyce was Director of Marketing at GE Additive and Concept Laser where she held a variety of roles across Product Marketing, Sales Enablement, and Content Marketing.
Joyce, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
It seems like the common answer to this question is that Additive Manufacturing has limitless potential and is helping to change lives with custom orthopedic implants and piloting space shuttles. While I agree with that sentiment, I joined this industry because I was drawn to the possibility of building a business. In 2016, the then CEO of Concept Laser Inc invited me to join the team in Dallas, TX. Concept Laser was a German-based metal AM machine manufacturer and the US was new territory for them; their largest competitor was also moving to a city close-by and building a state-of-the-art showroom. No pressure, right? I knew that by joining Concept Laser, I was going to get exposed to all facets of entrepreneurship so I joined as their US Marketing Director.
You went from joining a team of 10 at Concept Laser Inc, to joining GE after Concept Laser’s acquisition, back to the startup world as the Marketing Director for Velo3D. What can you tell us about those various experiences in the industry, working for companies of various sizes?
I feel incredibly fortunate to have been part of the GE Additive acquisition because I got a front row seat to witnessing how the largest end user of AM in the world operates; their perspective on design, materials, and industrialization definitely matured my knowledge in Additive. But there were just so many things that I missed about working for a small business; I missed the ability to connect the dots between my work product to business impact. I also missed the flexibility to do things differently – you will never hear someone say at Velo3d, “This is the way we’ve always done it”. I think the coolest part about working for a smaller business in the Bay Area is that they take advantage of their beautiful weather! There is a lake near VELO3D’s office where it’s common practice to go for walks with your team to brainstorm ideas or do a 1:1 with someone. Imagine holding your meetings outside instead of on Skype – what a crazy thought.
Can you tell us a bit more about VELO3D and the products you are providing?
VELO3D has such a unique approach with metal AM, both from a manufacturing and business model perspective. The fact that SmarTech recently recognized Velo3d for having the most number of patents in metal AM supports the fact that Velo3d is leading with innovation. Our value proposition is focused on breaking down barriers to serial manufacturing by tackling issues related to dependability, quality assurance, and supply chain. It starts with the ability to manufacture any design, which is enabled by the SupportFree process. Remember those designs that you’ve steered clear of because of large overhangs or complex internal pathways? Anyone scared of the Big Tall Build? Bring them to VELO3D! Our technology can handle the highest complexity and we have the quality assurance capabilities to eliminate variations from part-to-part, build-to-build, and machine-to-machine. I am currently working with a customer on a case study for a turbine application and they shared that only VELO3D that was able to successfully build their part – hearing those stories is what makes my job awesome.
What is your favorite memory about working in Additive Manufacturing?
Something that I will never forget is when one of our colleagues passed away at Concept Laser. The memorial service was on the last day of Q3; most businesses would be laser-focused on chasing down sales orders and closing out the quarter with strong financial performance. Instead, Concept Laser shut down its office that day and flew in all remote employees to attend the memorial service. We then spent the entire afternoon doing team building. I haven’t experienced this level of comradery in any other industry.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?
I was the only female on the commercial team at Concept Laser and the same applies now that I am at VELO3D. Whenever we go to events or customer meetings, it always seems to be a group of 10 guys….and then there’s me. I think the challenge is that it is easy to feel isolated. I am so thankful that the women I’ve met in this industry have been kind and supportive. I have a few really good friends who work for competitors, yet, we are still able to support each other because we share the same sentiments.