Avi Reichental is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of XponentialWorks™, a venture investment, advisory and product development company focused on seeding and scaling high-tech companies that are creating and disrupting the connected world. Having spent a career foretelling the convergence of technological trends while highlighting the unlimited potential of exponential technologies. As such, his insights have been sought out by numerous organizations. Avi spent the previous 12 years guiding 3D Systems as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director. He’s also an active inventor, holding 25 patents.
What do you do best?
I spent a career foretelling the convergence of technological trends by making it happen... by building and scaling businesses that are highlighting the unlimited possibilities of exponential technologies. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the ability to foresee industry trends and take advantage of these opportunities – to have not only the foresight for the potential to harvest the upside of exponential technologies disruption but to attract many kindred spirits to do it with along the journey.
What makes you the best?
Much of my success is due to the incredible people I’ve had to privilege to work with over the years; my guides and mentors as well as the passionate partners and teammates that journeyed with me for decades. Another ingredient is my ability to use what’s already here... to me this is one of the most important skills anyone in business can have, although often times, this can seem counter-intuitive. No one can do it all alone, so I have always found value in partnering with others to achieve more, because there is so much talent and creativity out there, and ignoring it would be a mistake – even if that means changing a business strategy or admitting that you don’t have all the answers.
What are your aspirations?
I would like to leave the same legacy that my grandfather, the cobbler, handed down to me: the legacy of making. I never met my grandfather, he perished in the Holocaust before I was born, but I learned a great deal about him from my father. My grandfather was a talented and passionate craftsman. He designed beautiful, bespoke shoes – made-to-fit for each of his customers – and he took immense pride in his trade. Every pair of shoes or boots he made mattered to him because he understood that through his craftsmanship he touched a soul, impacted a life and made a long-lasting connection.
Today, 3D printing can re-localize manufacturing and give the power to create back to individuals. I’m grateful to be part of this movement, and humbled to carry on my grandfather’s tradition of making things that matter.
I have been blessed to be involved with some of the most interesting companies, projects and development in a period that I consider the most exciting in recorded human history. My biggest success is not the products, patents or businesses I built or help build, but rather the people I am privileged to do it with: the way their individual stories changed me, the lessons they taught me and the partnerships that propelled long lasting change and impact.
Most Challenging Moment?
In life, a little bit of fear and self-doubt will always be present. If you don’t feel a little bit of both, you are not taking enough risks. Over the course of my career, I’ve also come to believe that fortune favors bold decision-making.
In 2013, I was more than two decades into a very comfortable career with Sealed Air Corp. as a Senior Executive when a head-hunter called me about a CEO opening at 3D Systems. After doing my due diligence on the company, I realized that while the company had unlimited future potential, it faced enormous immediate challenges. I knew that taking the position could likely leave me unemployed within a year, but I also saw the incredible potential in the company’s revolutionary 3D printing technology. On a gut feel level, I knew if I didn’t take the job, I couldn’t live with myself. So, I took the risk, and never looked back. I would do the same today.
• The best way to predict the future is to create it.
• The greatest advancements come from those people who follow their vision and persevere in the face of skepticism.
• You get what you manifest. How we perceive ourselves translates exactly into how we are perceived.
• I have always found value in partnering with others to achieve more.
• A little bit of fear and/or self-doubt will always be present. If you don’t feel a little bit of both, you’re not taking enough risks.
Favorite People/Role Models?
Winston Churchill taught me to never, never, never give up and Peter Diamandis taught me that the day before something is a breakthrough, it is a crazy idea. My own lesson is that our world is filled with people who will tell you that your idea or innovation won’t work, but history suggests that the greatest advancements came from those people who followed their vision and persevered in the face of skepticism.
I have spent a life time travelling the world over and over... I have flown millions of miles and then some... for me at this stage of my life there is nowhere like home.
I love to work on vintage cars. It’s a connection with my departed father who taught me at a very young age to recognize the make and model of past WW2 cars by the sound of their engines. I love to cook elaborate meals spontaneously without recipes and I enjoy eating them.
I am at the stage of paying it forward... as a parallel entrepreneur, for me that means seeding and scaling early stage high-tech companies with the potential to become tomorrow’s category leaders, helping large high-tech firms harvest the upside of exponential technologies, and doing good in the world through service and philanthropy.