The Art Of Making Manufacturing Sexy Again

The Art of Making Manufacturing

Sexy Again

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For Krisztina “Z” Holly, the sky is the limit. Not only is Holly an incredible tech entrepreneur, engineer, and innovator, she’s also a licensed skydiver and scuba instructor with a passion for creation. Named champion of free enterprise by Forbes in 2009, Holly now runs the podcast, “The Art of Manufacturing” where she aims to put the manufacturing process under a different light, in order to popularize the importance of it. Cited as the creator of the first TEDx event, Holly is also the Founder and Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, introduced after working as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for LA Mayor Garcetti.

Holly started her impressive career with engineering degrees from MIT in hand. Fifteen years ago at an alumni cocktail party, she had the opportunity to lead an innovation center at MIT, which eventually led her to found the USC Stevens Institute For Innovation. It was through these leadership opportunities that Holly realized she loves helping other people make an impact on the world with their ideas.

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When she started the initiative at USC, Holly said her focus was figuring out how to stimulate such a large and diverse university. One challenge, Holly notes, was coming into a a large organization that already had its own traditions. “Where do I need to get to and what do I need to get to that point?,” she said, is a question that she continually asked.

Eventually Holly was invited onto the National Advisory Council on Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Obama administration, which she said was provided the opportunity to enact policy and get the community on board.

Next, Holly was invited to become a part of the World Economic Forum Council, which helps identify global trends and focuses on global impact and the power of convening the different nations. Talk about a resume builder!

After realizing that LA is the largest manufacturing center the US, but 58% of factories in LA county are sitting idle and unused part of the time, Holly aimed to connect the dots.

It was this work that led Holly, who is based in Los Angeles, to the world of manufacturing. After realizing that LA is the largest manufacturing center the US, but 58% of factories in LA county are sitting idle and unused part of the time, Holly aimed to connect the dots. What she uncovered was that while these businesses would prefer to work with local manufacturers, the technology and community isn’t there to connect the two and get these manufacturers in the network.
It was this work that led Holly, who is based in Los Angeles, to the world of manufacturing. After realizing that LA is the largest manufacturing center the US, but 58% of factories in the country are sitting idle and unused part of the time, Holly aimed to connect the dots. What she uncovered was that while these businesses would prefer to work with local manufacturers, the technology and community isn’t there to connect the two and get these manufacturers in the network.

That’s exactly where Holly comes in. With her work, the main mission is to support and connect educational programs for businesses and manufacturers to meet each other and figure out who is the best fit. It so happens that the people Holly interviews in her podcast are mostly women, which is another white space she saw in the business world.

Holly reports that because she is a perfectionist, she was nervous about her podcast at first. It gave her additional anxiety because a podcast doesn’t give the immediate feedback or results, and once the podcast is posted it’s over and done. However, she now feels that she is in her element and loves to find new talent and ideas and help these people tell their stories.

According to Holly, creation and innovation are different, as creativity means coming up with new ideas; and innovation is turning those ideas into real impact.

So, how to pitch a project to investors?

The first step is to pick the right audience. Ask yourself, who are you pitching and why are you pitching them? Figure out the pain points of your product and listen to the feedback that is given instead of continuing to try and sell your product. Everyone is different, so it’s most important to figure out why your audience should care and that’s only happens by listening.

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Stay motivated, always follow the path of adventure, and realize that bouncing back from failures really just gives you the courage to try again.
Listen to our full interview with Z, now on iTunes.
Colleen Minkewicz

Colleen is a college student at SUNY New Paltz graduating in Spring 2017 majoring in English and Creative Writing. She aspires to become an editor/work in publishing in the future.

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