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Conquering Germany: Meet our business developer Thomas Gottmann.

Working on the intersect of design, business and technology is a great experience. Just ask our colleague Thomas Gottmann! Armed with a never ending curiosity and extreme motivation, he became the first non-belgian working here at Twikit. 

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Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I was born in Ukraine and moved to Germany at age of 11. Ever since my childhood I’m naturally curious in a lot of things. I wanted to understand how the world works, so I decided to move to Leipzig after school and started there with studying Business. After my Bachelor I wanted to get more practical experience so I did a Master of Arts in Project Management.

Ever since the beginning of my studies I was curious about Entrepreneurship and people who are brave enough to start their own dream. So Twikit is the perfect place for me to grow.

How did you end up working for Twikit?

During my master I also discovered the opportunity to do a summer school course “Experience Entrepreneurship: An intensive introduction” at the University of Antwerp . In those two weeks I worked on a business case for Twikit with an international team of students from all over the world.

In the end we won the professional pitch and this event fueled my pursuit of adventure abroad. I was already in the first stage of my Master thesis that was about a small startup that I founded with a friend in Germany. After my master thesis I tried my luck and decided to contact Twikit again. With success, because I started in March at Twikit as Business Development Trainee

How does a working day usually look like?

My main tasks are to look for opportunities for Twikit in Germany, so I’m writing and calling customers. Research is also an essential part of my work to be up-to-date in different branches where Twikit is working.

It’s really interesting to see the difference between Belgium and Germany you visit fairs in Germany and Belgium. I try to see these cultural differences as an opportunity to define my approach to potential customers. On the other side I’m also carrying internal projects to improve Twikit’s position in the Market. It’s a healthy mix of different tasks.

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Have you always been interested in developing technologies?

Yes! As a kid I already had a fascination for Lego. You can actually create the craziest sculptures when you have enough Lego, and I had A LOT. I still have this curious mind, but now I mainly use it to understand new technologies and see how we can apply this. 

It fascinates me to just think about the role of 3D Printing in 10 years, it will change the way we produce and consume things. Big Data and AI are also very interesting topics that will change how we see the world and hopefully solve a lot of problems. And last but not least all the technologies today will be the base for future flights to Mars and beyond.

What did you learn in the time you’ve worked here?

Teamwork, communication and persistence. It’s crucial if you want be successful in working with different parties. Everyday I’m working with a mix of Designers and Developers, so I have to ask and understand the issues of each parties. It’s very important to make sure what we deliver to the customer in the end. That’s actually a base for every successful form of project management. And the last one is persistence as you have to find new opportunities in the market that require persistence and patience.  

What is a Belgian habit that surprised you when you moved here?

The self-evident diversity. The first time I walked through the streets of Antwerp I heard so much different languages and people walking through the streets. It was first a bit unusual because in Germany you hear lot of german language but here it’s completely different, except for Berlin. And I like the idea to do a sailing trip on a sunday.

Why is the German market so interesting for Twikit?

The German market is one of the biggest in the world with a lot of global players and world leaders in different branches. Twikit is working towards enabling customization and the way of producing not only in automotive, but we also see opportunities in the jewelry and furniture sectors. It’s a not easy “to enter” this market because of it’s size and the competition.

You’ve went to Formnext (International exhibition and conference on the next generation of manufacturing technologies) in Frankfurt last year, which impressions did you have?

Big! Everything get bigger. I was really amazed about the many different application fields : from a complete 3d printed bike to dental applications. Also, customization is an important point that become more and more interesting. Outlook in the future was for me new improved materials,  but also the technologies behind this like multi-material printing.

In your opinion, what are the biggest market opportunities in 2017?

3D Printing will become more and more attractive as you see that there are more 3D Printers released this year. China is a growing market with rising demand for this technology.  Also the service becomes more evident to invest. UPS and DHL started to work on their models to integrate 3D printing in their processes. Also other Industries are working out concepts that we will see this year. We are living in exciting times for digital manufacturing!

Thank you Thomas!

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