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Bre Pettis

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Bre Pettis, the former CEO of MakerBot Industries, makes things. At least, that’s how he describes what he does. Pettis is an American entrepreneur, video blogger and multimedia artist. He is also known for his “Do-It-Yourself” video podcasts for MAKE, and for the “History Hacker” pilot on the History Channel. He is also one of the founders of the Brooklyn-based hacker space NYC Resistor.

Born in 1972, Pettis was raised in Ithaca, New York. When he was 13, he and his family moved to the Seattle area, where he later graduated from Bellevue High School. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1995 with degrees in psychology, mythodology and performing arts.

After graduation, Pettis worked as a floor runner and camera assistant on feature films in Prague and as an assistant at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in London. He then got his teaching certificate from Pacific Oaks College, and later proudly worked as an art teacher for the Seattle Public Schools from 1999 to 2006.

He would leave his job as an art teacher for an artist-in-residency of art group monochrom at Museumquartier Vienna in 2007. After this, his career would shift to entrepreneurial ventures.

He co-founded and is the former CEO of MakerBot Industries, a company that produces three-dimensional printers. The company is now owned by Stratasys. He is also known as the host of Make Magazine’s Weekend Projects podcast, and he has also been a puppeteer.

Pettis loves providing tools for individuals and organizations to create the world around them. He speaks publicly about empowering students to solve the future’s problems, and he has worked behind the the scenes to bring professional-quality 3D printing technology to average consumers.

In 2012, Pettis was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival. Foreign Policy magazine named him #60 on the list of 2013 Global Thinkers. Pettis has also graced the cover of numerous magazines, such as Wired, and he has been a guest on The Colbert Report and many more.

MakerBot was featured in the October 2012 edition of Fast Company as a 2012 Innovation by Design awardee, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Engadget, Make:Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME, IEEE Spectrum, CNN, Financial Times, NPR, Vogue Italia and many others.

Pettis and his partner Kio Stark have one daughter, Nika Stark Pettis, born on July 8, 2011.

Companies and Investments

MakerBot Industries (former CEO, co-founder), NYC Resistor (co-founder), Bold Machines (founder/creator),

Bond (investor), Elepath (investor), Dragon Innovation (investor), Dash Labs (investor), Techshop (investor), Local Motors (investor), Cambrian Genomics (investor), Circa (investor).

Lessons Learned

Have numerous interests? Don’t feel pressured to confine yourself to just one. I went through many jobs in numerous industries before landing myself in entrepreneurial 3-D printing. Experience life and get to know the world before you pursue your entrepreneurial ventures.

Inspiring Quotes

The great thing about tech is that the most insane plans can actually work spectacularly well. Imagine the original plan for Minecraft.

Chris Dixon

Building it the first time helps me figure out how to build it the second time.

Chris Robinson

Bre Pettis's Quotes

The world is changing. Supply chains are opening, creativity is flowing, and fashion is seeing startups.

Bre Pettis

Ive had less than 10 death or dismemberment or rape threats made against me casually online. Very disturbing, but nothing compared to women in tech.

Bre Pettis

Influential Books

Baratunde Thurston - How to Be Black