Entrepreneur in focus: Leonardo Maglio
Meet Leonardo Maglio, ex-Gravity Finsbury Park resident member turned social member, founder and CEO of Polygona. We asked him about his business and how living at Gravity helps with it.
Tell us a bit about your business.
As the accessibility of 3D printing increases, more and more people are looking to customise their 3D-printed objects. However, this customisation process isn’t always easy to understand. The world of 3D modelling has given rise to many different solutions for personalising your designs, but these solutions are often complicated and time-consuming. Polygona makes customising a 3D model simple and fast, allowing people to design and print their desired customisations.
What inspired you to start your business?
Polygona began as a side project, something I started for fun. Things got more serious after some of my work was published online. The response from the community was hugely positive and showed me that there was nothing out there enabling more casual users that lack the skillset required to customise their own 3D models.
Did you find living Gravity helpful or beneficial to your business venture?
The decision to move into Gravity was a no-brainer. As the founder of an early-stage startup, I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded people that could help me grow my business. Living at Gravity was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet other entrepreneurs, whose opinions and ideas I can bounce off of, as well as learn from their experiences.
The community at Gravity is very diverse and most of the people are supportive and collaborative. I also met a few people that were interested in what I was doing, who eventually became investors for the business.
Personally, Gravity has helped me build my confidence as an entrepreneur because it has given me access to a lot of resources that would not be easily accessible if I had lived elsewhere.
What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?
I enjoy being able to work on the things I love. I started off in the corporate world and, whilst it was a good learning experience and a great way to start off my career, I felt it wasn't for me. I had always wanted to have more creative control over my work. Starting my own business allowed me to do that whilst also working with people who are like-minded, share the same values and bring new knowledge and ideas to the table.
It's certainly not easy to run a business but the freedom you get from being independent is well worth it!
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to become an entrepreneur?
If you're really passionate about something and you want make it a business, then don't wait. Life is short. The older you get, the harder it is to take risks. Don't waste time.
You'll never feel ready. There will always be people who are more experienced than you, who have more money than you, who know more than you. If you wait until everything lines up perfectly, you'll never start. The only way to get experience is to do it yourself.
However, that doesn't mean quitting your day job! It's tempting to quit everything and dedicate yourself full-time to your idea. I'm glad I only switched to a part-time job, because nothing went like planned. Especially if you never run a startup before, like me, there are many things you probably haven't considered that may take longer than you thought.
Also, pick the right environment! The people and resources around you make a huge difference.
How do you define success?
I think success is different for everyone. Regardless of what your definition of success is, I think we can agree on a few things: success means having more time and money to do what you love, feeling accomplished and proud of yourself, and fulfilling your dreams and goals in life. For me, success means being able to fully dedicate myself to the causes I care about, while keeping a balance between my professional achievements and personal aspirations.
What would you say to an aspiring entrepreneur who is considering living with Gravity?
I'll be honest, I was initially a little sceptic because co-living is a fairly new concept and there are still many people that have never heard of it. It was the flexibility offered by Gravity that made me give it a try. Turns out I was really missing out – the monthly membership fee is nothing compared to what you get in return. The fact that we all got to know each other and work together on our projects is just priceless.
If our readers want to find out more about your business, where should they look?
They can find us in multiple places: