Matt Anthony of The Launch Werks
How did you start your business?
We’re product designers by trade. We both went through the undergraduate and graduate programs for industrial design at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
While in graduate school, we found we had a kind of Jekyll and Hide methodology to solving problems. I have a knack for identifying the emotionally inspiring and aesthetically captivating, and can then sketch out those things near instantly. Noel is a bit more technical, focusing on how to translate those ideas into a physical object.
We are both founding members of the Losantiville Design Collective
, so it was easy to combine what we were already working on into one company.
How did you come up the idea for your business?
Industrial design schooling focuses a lot on the skills needed to craft a product from drawing, carve foam models and use a computer to create near-final computer data of how a product looks and functions. We wanted to use those skills and also learn more about actually taking these ideas into production and selling them.
With the new affordability of prototyping and the accessibility of local manufacturing, we wanted to have our products made on our own terms. We also wanted to figure out the most direct way to take other people’s concepts from an idea to a final product.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Having Losantiville to start up in was a huge help. Getting to work around a great group of people who are also hustling like mad to build their companies is inspiring. The very nature of the region, with its product development focus and manufacturing capabilities, is key to what we do.
What inspires you?
We like people who take the risk to do things right. Kickstarter
gets a lot of press, but what we see behind it is a desire to make and buy things that are built well and with an insane amount of pride and passion. We dig that.
What’s next for you and your company?
We have a pool of ideas on the back burner that we revisit. Sometimes the timing isn’t right, or we haven’t made the right connections to make it happen.
We want to create more exciting products with local connections, and we want to help others get their ideas made. Businesses centered on uniquely designed and locally made objects can have a big impact on Cincinnati’s identity and culture.
Interview by Robin Donovan