Originally from Ohio, Greg Partin, Co-Founder and CEO of 3D HoloGroup, moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1998 soon after graduating from college with a degree in Computer Science. He began his career as a software engineer and progressed to management. Prior to launching a series of startups, Partin spent the majority of his career doing management consulting and project management as a consultant in the technology industry. By late 2017, Partin became more acquainted with Magic Leap – makers of wearable augmented reality headset technology – and started to look into the possibilities of launching a business to support the emerging augmented and virtual reality industries.
“After learning more about Magic Leap, along with the other AR technology available at the time, I knew this would be the new technological revolution – similar to how the iPhone revolutionized the world of mobile devices. I really wanted to be part of it.”
Partin organized a team consisting of himself, Tom Sablyar, Co-Founder and CTO, and Mario Castellanos, Co-Founder and COO, and founded 3D HoloGroup on January 1st 2018. Partin describes the business as follows.
“3D HoloGroup has partnered with the largest selection of augmented reality (AR) hardware manufacturers on the market,” he said. “But we’re not just resellers, we’re solutions providers. We specialize in AR software architecture and systems integration. Our customers use our products and services to provide training for their personnel, students and their customers; safety and related instructional use for safer work environments and government requirements; visually enhanced comprehension of complex procedures; and most every use AR lends itself to – which is just about anything the mind can create!”
The business initially started on the AR software side of things. A year and a half ago, Partin was approached by a Chinese company called Mad Gaze to become U.S. resellers of their AR Glasses. Since then, 3D HoloGroup has brought on board five other manufacturers of AR glasses.
Despite challenges with capital, Partin is confident that the general AR market is catching on and that 3D HoloGroup’s value proposition is stronger than what’s offered by most competitors.
“Most are offering a platform,” he said. “We’re more a complete AR solutions integrator. That’s our differentiator. If you want glasses with your system, we’ll help you decide which glasses are the most beneficial to what you’re working on. We’re doing both the platform and the glasses. We also have some apps in the Magic Leap store.”
Partin added, “In general, I like to say our tagline is ‘Helping to bring AR to the world’. We look for opportunities for marketing and AR to play together. One example is a project we did for a local restaurant that allows you to point your phone at their logo to hear it come alive and start talking to you. We are working with another company right now to develop an AR app that will help drive traffic to retail stores called Mystery on Main Street. The premise is similar to Pokemon Go where we lead players into local shops, stores and restaurants to gather clues and hopefully they will stay to do some shopping.”
Looking ahead, Partin would like to continue to grow the headset division. He’d also like to grow the headset redistribution channels and to become the world’s leader in implementing AR solutions for companies.
What advice does Partin have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “If you have a big passion for something, which we do for AR, and it’s something people need to have, it’s important to get excited and to have a long-term vision,” he said. “Also, make sure you have the right business partners when you start. I ran into that initially. Make sure they have the same vision as you. A great place to find co-founders is Angellist.co. In fact, that’s where I found our COO.”
Partin also recommends the following business-related book: The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by M. J. DeMarco.