Phil Cox of 3DToad
Meet Phil Cox, CEO of 3DToad, an educational service for students that uses 360º interactive technology.
What is 3DToad?
3DToad.com is a website developed by our company, Techtol Imaging
. It is an acronym for Techtol Online Academic Database and features a variety of rotational and 3D rotational images of educational significance. The images can used by a teacher in the classroom or reviewed by students at home or anywhere that internet service is available.
How did you come up with the idea?
The concept of 3DToad evolved as a method of displaying images produced with Techtol Imaging’s patent pending technology.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
There are so many surprises that it’s difficult to decide which might be the largest. Starting a business is like a ride on a roller coaster with all of the ups, downs and directional changes.
What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
We received an ignite grant from the Regional Growth Partnership
initially and subsequently were offer office space at Owens Community College
Where did you find your first employee?
Our first employee was a programmer from a local employment agency and we hired a student thru the University of Toledo’s co-op program
What does a typical day in your business look like?
Each day presents a new and different array of opportunities and issues. A typical day may find us imaging caskets for a local manufacturer, taking a trip to a local museum or imaging a dissection for an anatomy teacher.
How did students react the first time you shared your technology?
We had the computer class from Southview High school as guests one afternoon. About 25 students were given access to our 16-foot studio. This studio would conveniently allow for 2 or 3 people and produce a good rotational image. The students went crazy on us and had as many as 8 or 9 at a time getting imaged. They were doing all sorts of maneuvers, including standing on their heads and making ridiculous faces. All had a good time and we got some really interesting 3D rotational images.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Toledo?
Since we primarily image educational and historical items, the numerous educational institutions in the immediate area have proven to be most beneficial.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
Techtol received the “entrepreneur of the year” award from the Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame. This came as a complete surprise.
What inspires you?
I have always been attracted to new and different ways of doing things.
What’s next for you?
We are in the process of working with educators in the area to produce highly interactive digital textbooks featuring our 3D rotational images along with more conventional audio and video presentations. Our publications, which we call WARTS (Widgets Aimed @ Revolutionizing Teaching) are interactive learning modules, the purpose of which is to present a segment of a larger topic. In the next few weeks we will be releasing our first book detailing the dissection of the Cow’s eye. The cow’s eye dissection is typically part of a high school or college anatomy lab course offered around the world. We have 11 additional books currently in various stages of completion and plan their publication over the next 12 months. We encourage local educators to collaborate with us by supplying content for a variety of future publications in their area of interest.
Intertview by Joe Baur