Youngstown State University students Brian Alls and Jessie Tuscano share a common passion for technology.
With this enthusiasm in mind, Alls and Tuscano have cofounded Bravura 3-D, a manufacturing technology company that is currently developing a low-cost 3-D printer.
“We create cutting-edge technologies to help people solve problems,” said Tuscano, a junior industrial engineering major. “Right now, we are focusing on 3-D printing.”
Though they do not yet have a working prototype, Alls and Tuscano expect to market their 3-D printer to small businesses that are looking to save on the cost of manufacturing their goods and products.
Alls, a junior mechanical engineering major, indicated that the market for these 3-D printers is growing, and he expects their business venture to be lucrative.
“We are researching some technologies, and we are working on a few things that we think will help us get a serious, serious competitive edge,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities.”
Both owners said that operating Bravura 3-D requires not just technical knowhow, but also business and people skills.
“[Running a business] requires a conglomeration from a bunch of things we’ve learned over the years,” Tuscano said.
Alls added that he believes these business skills run in his family.
“I’ve always been entrepreneurial. My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and my brother is a successful entrepreneur. I guess I’ve grown up around it, and it’s something I’ve taken to,” Alls said.
Tuscano and Alls met while studying for their engineering classes; since then, they have developed a healthy work relationship.
“We started studying together and that’s how it started. … It just sort of organically happened,” Alls said.
Tuscano called the business partnership mutually beneficial.
“As a business partnership, we … work very well together. I like to go out there and just start things, and he likes to delve in and solve all the little nitty-gritty problems,” Tuscano said. “It’s kind of like a yin and yang, if you will, partnership. … We complement each other.”
Alls and Tuscano have received financial support from The Oakhill Collaborative, a non-profit organization and a small business incubator. They expressed gratitude for the organization’s assistance.
“I think it’s something that will help this area, and it’s an exciting thing to be a part of. Youngstown State and The Oakhill Collaborative … have been very helpful,” Alls said.
Bravura 3-D expects to have a working prototype printer developed by early next year. The prototype will then go through a beta study before a final product is developed.