Alexis is 25 years old. Together with his sister, he founded Bixti in 2010, the first trading platform of handicrafts for the Spanish-speaking market, which was sold to Elo in 2012. In 2013 he co-founded Trimaker, company that develops 3D printers. Besides, he is a teacher at EmprendING (Faculty of Engineering), and wrote a book about the Future of Energy.
His capacity, optimism and determination make him different. How can he do it all? “All the glamour has a side of vital and intense work” he said to Backstage Emprendedor. Here, the details of the interview:
– Backstage Emprendedor: How did you become an entrepreneur?
– Alexis Caporale: I believe it was not a conscious decision; I was at university, studying Chemical Engineering and in a very random moment, I got to the idea of making Bixti with my sister, and from then… we started. At some point I was already dancing the “Entrepreneurial Dance”. I couldn’t control it; I remember talking to my parents and saying: “Hey, I want to let you know that I’m doing this”, knowing that my studies were a difficult issue. “I want to do it and I have to do it”, I told them. And they said “Okay, if this is what you want, then do it”. It was that, I just couldn’t not do it.
– BE: Can you learn to be an entrepreneur?
– AC: I think you do, like you learn to do anything else; at the end, it is just another profession. Even if it is *cool *and everything… it is a profession, a job, a way of dealing things every day, and it is a livelihood – or at least a project of livelihood at the beginning. Like any other profession, it has its guidelines, which one learns in order to move forward… so, yes, you can learn… you can learn how to survive being an entrepreneur.
– BE: What are the sacrifices that you had to make, the things that you had to leave behind in order to continue?
– AC: In my case, university. I dropped out in a moment when Bixte turned quite dense and I had to leave my studies. I then retook them and did other things, but in that moment I had to drop out. I also had to leave behind some hours of sleep. The phrase “The only cost of living is life” is just so true. In my case, I left a little life on each entrepreneurial milestone. Selling Bixti cost me 6 months of subsequent migraine. Everything has a price and one puts in its body seriously on a daily basis… It is the only way to achieve anything, let’s put it that way. And it is something one must take into account, that “all the glamour” has a side of intense and essential work that one must like.
– BE: And is there a limit in that?
– AC: The limit is found in oneself. You find your own limit… When you start, you think that you can go through eeeevery night without sleeping, working, that you can, you can, you can. And, like everything else, you realize you have limits, that we all do and that sometimes you just can’t. As the author of Re Work puts it: “If you are spending 14 hours of your day working there is something you are doing wrong, because you should be able to solve it in 6”. I am moved by being able to say “we are doing this and if we can succeed in less time, much better; and if I can even go to park and read, even better”; I like going out and walk, or take a pause an read, because I think that if I can’t do that, I am not working correctly.
** ONE WORD = ONE ANSWER**
– BE: Undertake (entrepreneurship)
– AC: Live
– BE: EmprendING
– AC: Happiness, Friends
– BC: Bixti
– AC: Experience
– BE: Trimaker
– AC: Challenge
– BE: The team of a venture (entrepreneurship)
– AC: The most important thing
– BE: Accelerators
– AC: Learning
– BE: The first customers
– AC: Geniuses
– BE: Alexis Caporale
– AC: A 25 year-old who likes to play football
– BE: I like what you said about reading, playing football. You do several things apart from the entrepreneurial life. What do you find in what gives you energy?
– AC: I create for me, for my entrepreneurial friends… To me, undertake a venture is my job, but is also what I do. I mean, when you ask me what I do, “I work on a 3D printer company, play football…” everything is part of the same thing. My undertakings are my life; but my life is also hang out with my friends, have a barbecue and go running… so I set everything on the same level.
At Backstage Emprendedor we try to show the person behind the undertaking, and get them to tell us their story from another point of view. We believe that it is a contribution to other undertakers, which may help them feel that they are not alone, and that their fears and frustrations are common among other entrepreneurs, who have turned out to be successful. We would be thrilled if you joined our community and be in touch, following our interviews (filmed and edited by Opa Producciones!)