Entrepreneurs in Residence: Q&A with Joseph Sinclair

By: Langan Launch Box

Friday January 1st, 2017

Original Publication(s):

http://sites.psu.edu/langanlaunchbox/entrepreneurs-in-residence/qa-with-joseph-sinclair/

http://sites.psu.edu/langanlaunchbox/entrepreneurs-in-residence/

  Langan Launch Box Entrepreneur in Residence Joseph Sinclair operates an early iteration of his companies modular and portable prototyping unit.

Langan Launch Box Entrepreneur in Residence Joseph Sinclair operates an early iteration of his companies modular and portable prototyping unit.


Our Entrepreneurs in Residence are helping us build user-friendly spaces that encourage collaboration. The Entrepreneurs are also available in different ways to help new entrepreneurs take their ideas from concept to creation. One of our Entrepreneurs in Residence, Joseph Sinclair, discusses briefly, his entrepreneurial journey. 

Are there any obstacles you faced with starting a business in this field, and how did you overcome these challenges?

Simply put, yes. The primary problem I faced was overcoming the doubts of clients and business partners brought on by my youth. I started my company when I was 20 so many people we worked with were skeptical of our ability to do something engineers with 15 years of experience were doing.

What made you decide to become an entrepreneur instead of getting a job at a prototyping company?

Honestly it was an internship interview that had a negative outcome. I believe it was my 2nd year in school (which would have been my Junior year technically since I graduated early) and I went into this interview with Schreyer’s Honors Credentials, a 3.7 GPA, an anticipated early graduation, and the rank of Eagle Scout, thinking there was no possibility I would not get the internship. Unfortunately, I received a call the following week with a rejection for the internship. I think about 30 seconds after that call ended I decided that if I couldn’t help build someone else’s company, I might as well build my own.


  Joseph Sinclair feeds in the plastic material required for this 3D-Printer to operate and produce components. 

Joseph Sinclair feeds in the plastic material required for this 3D-Printer to operate and produce components. 

What were the challenges you faced being both an entrepreneur and a student at the same time?

The challenges that face a young entrepreneur can be as simple as acquiring customers or as difficult as letting an employee go. These were certainly challenges I faced along the road however the biggest challenge I personally faced, while juggling school and a company, had nothing to do with school or my companies but rather with the relationships I had with those I cared about. For someone very analytical it is easy to succeed in academic and business settings but they have a tendency to falter when it comes to maintaining relationships. If there is anything to be taken away from my personal journey, it is to never let your business get in the way of personal relationships, after all they are the ones to help you get back up when you fail.