Startup interview

Tjaša Zupančič Hartner
/22.5.2014, Author: Stanislava Vabšek
A multi-disciplinary expert, successfully working in the field of 3D printing.
A visionary creator, persistent and workaholic, sometimes stubborn and indomitable. A dental technician and a professor of biology and chemistry, who will finish her doctorate at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Maribor this year.

From education into the economy

Tjaša started her career path as a dental technician in the health centre. Eager for new knowledge, she continued with the studies of biology and chemistry at the Faculty of Education after three years, and got a job as a chemistry professor at a high school. When she got tired of the work system and the routine of education, she decided to try herself in the economic sector, after nearly a decade of passionate teaching, mentoring, preparing study materials and doing workshops.

She always studied while working

She found new challenges in the post of head of marketing for the dental programme offered by Zlatarna Celje. After two years, she started leading the entire programme Aurodent, within which the jeweller’s manufactures high-noble dental alloys. The wish for active knowledge transfer from theory into practice as well as her interest in developing new materials have contributed to the decision to start studying at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 2007, with help of the company and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Tjaša, who has always studied while working, will crown her academic path this year, with a finished doctorate in the field of development of new golden alloy for coating dental prosthetics.

Entering the world of 3D printing

Approximately seven years ago, in the period of the increasingly faster trek of 3D technologies into the industrial sphere, she met Dr Igor Drstvenšek, professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Maribor and the idea father of the company Ortotip. Due to her knowledge and experience in the field of dental care, they started to collaborate and in 2012, Tjaša joined the company as partner and became director a year later.
Dr Drstvenšek and she are the R & D core of the company. They also successfully collaborate in the Ortotip spin-off company 3Dmed, which uses 3D printing to develop and create medical devices and products from biocompatible materials for use in medicine, mostly in the field of dental constructions.

She still teaches as a hobby

Alongside leading the companies Ortotip and 3Dmed and doing her research work, she is still active in the field of educational projects. She is participating in the project for health promotion as author and content editor. She mostly expects individual thinking, self-initiative and taking responsibility from the people she works with or collaborates.

Destiny depends on what you choose

The basic motto of the entrepreneur and mother of two primary schoolers, whose CV and life story suggest she is a superwoman, is that destiny doesn’t depend on opportunities but rather on the choices you make. An intellectual, who believes in the power of constructive communication, uses autogenic training for relaxing her constantly active mind. She also finds relaxation in nature – on the bike in the summer and on skis during the winter.
   Supportive environment

Member: Venture Factory, Business incubator of University of Maribor
Venture Factory, member of RAZ:UM, is an important element in the system of business support in the north eastern Slovenia focused on supporting innovative ideas of professors, young researchers and students from University of Maribor with the aim to develop succesful spin-off businesses. More...

Author of content: Stanislava Vabšek,
Communications and PR Start:up Slovenija
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Founder of startup
Innovative product
Masterful 3D printing
Mentor in programmes
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