We caught up with Deirdre McCormack, the Chief Marketing Officer of Mcor Technologies, the only full colour paper based 3D printer in the world. Deirdre has just been nominated for the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Award.
She describes how her brilliant idea turned evolved to a global brand with four offices around the world, the power of a supportive family, striking out and having a sneaky white mocha when she can…
What inspired you to set up Mcor Technologies?
It was all about the vision – I could see that the technology platform that was conceived in my living room was so innovative that it had the potential to be disruptive and fundamentally change an industry. This vision truly propelled Mcor into existence.
Why do you feel Mcor is so important?
We are the only full colour paper based 3D printer in the world – it is a unique technology that contributes something very different to the 3D printing industry and potentially to the next industrial revolution.
3D printing is an emerging market and we are at the forefront of this industry in terms of our current products and looking to the future we have a portfolio of products which will roll out in the coming years. It is all about innovation and as a tech company we are always looking to the future.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to get involved in the 3D printing industry?
We are at the start of the next industrial revolution. Moving forward 3D printing will need an ecosystem to help it grow so there is potential for companies in hardware, software and service. My advice would be to get in early – first mover advantage is key in any industry.
What personality traits do you think are essential for starting a technology company?
Persistence, positivity and passion. Setting up a high tech manufacturing company in Ireland from scratch is no mean feat and had many challenges so persistence is essential about achieving the end goal.
I am a glass half full kind of girl so I naturally see the positive side of everything – it is about ploughing through when you find a dip in the road. Finally passion – you have to believe and love what you do – this creates a contagious energy that radiates out and infects those around with your vision.
How do you juggle everything and still stay sane?
Barbara Walters has said that most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone whom I admire but have never met I think my secret is – I work with my husband; my kids keep me grounded; I have a wonder woman for a mother who helps me join all the dots and YOGA!
What’s been the biggest challenge?
People telling you, “you cannot do it, it is not possible, you are crazy to leave your job, manufacturing in Ireland – are you mad!” But the more you speak about your vision it does get easier and then something magical happens people do begin to share in your vision and that’s the secret in gaining momentum – then comes raising funds, hiring staff, building a brand!
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be different – If you’re different, you will stand out.
Your number 1 inspiration?
My father is my inspiration – he was in business for over 50 years – he was very driven and had an amazing work ethic. He instilled a great sense of entrepreneurship in me – this really gave me great faith in setting up a business and striving to succeed.
Have you got a life philosophy?
Don’t put limitations on yourself. What you believe, you can achieve.
Have you got a quote to live by/favourite quote?
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald, jazz and song vocalist
What is the most rewarding thing about being involved in Mcor?
Mcor was my third baby – I have nurtured and watched it grow from infancy. It was a blank sheet of paper which has turned into a multinational company with a line of 3D printers, a global brand, 80 dealers and 4 offices. Despite the hard work there is nothing as rewarding as to see this come to fruition.
What’s your idea of a perfect day off?
I spend so much time travelling and at the office it is just heavenly to have ‘at home time’ with Conor and our girls – quality time playing Halo, listening to music, cooking and a bit of shopping including a sneaky white mocha when I can!
What would be the best piece of advice you’d give women who want to rule the roost in the technology industry?
You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone. And don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know because this could lead you to that which differentiates you from your competitors.
Hannah Popham @HannahPopham
Check out the other brilliant women who have been short listed, and get your tickets to the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards here.