Tanvi Koduru is a senior Entrepreneurship major and hails from Somerset, NJ. She founded the Rowan Period Movement organization on campus and also leads the Rowan Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). Period Movement aims to bring free and easily-accessible period products to all students in need on campus. Tanvi began her own business, 3D Confectionery, her sophomore year from an idea she has been passionate about since she was 13 years old. She creates artful, custom-made, 3D-printed chocolate art that tastes delicious and can come in the form of names, images and logos. Tanvi also serves as a student member of the South Jersey Technology Board.
How did you get your idea for 3D Confectionery?
“I was 13 years old, and my dad wanted me to be a doctor. I didn’t want to be a doctor, so I started looking at biotechnology. I saw how people were 3D-printing actual beating hearts. I stumbled on articles about 3D food printers.”
Driven by her love for food and revolutionary technology, Tanvi learned more about a 3D food printing company located in Barcelona with a printer called “The Foodini.” She said to herself, “What if I could create a space where people can come in and play with a 3D food printer? People have that curiosity when it comes to new technology.” Since she was 14 years old, Tanvi has been talking about opening a 3D food printing cafe. She recently got contacted by and spoke with one of the CEOs of The Foodini, who also comes from Somerset, NJ.
She found that her business really began gaining momentum when she shared her ideas and passions with others in the business community, gaining valuable connections. She appreciates Rowan MBA alumnus Brandon Graham for helping her excel in Rowan pitch competitions. She also received assistance from student engineers, like Rowan MEM major Andrew Bunoza, through Studio 231 at Rowan. Before the pandemic, Tanvi used to spend about 12 hours a week at Studio 231.
“Brandon really helped me with finding a way to show proof of concept right now. I can’t go out right now and buy my own cafe. But, I can show proof of concept right now in a small way by selling these chocolates,” she says.
Tanvi interned for CocoaPress in Philadelphia, a 3D chocolate printer company. In this role, she learned more about how 3D food printers are created and how they work. She began printing her own chocolate just as the pandemic began in the U.S. Tanvi created her business’ website through SquareSpace and appreciates the support they offer for creators. She continues to make digital content like TikToks and Reels.
Three weeks into the fall semester, Camber Spine, a biotech company, ordered 400 custom 3D printed chocolates in the shape of a spira, which is the medical device they created for spinal disc replacements. She even bought two more printers to complete the order on time. Tanvi recently finished a major order for Rowan — 400 3D-printed chocolate Profs. Tanvi was ecstatic to discover a new market for her device and looks to break into the wedding industry next!
Have you taken any classes that specifically help your business?
“I took a class with Professor Almon called Intro to Digital 3D Modeling. They taught you how to use 3D Max, a 3D modeling software for more organic objects. I sometimes utilize this software to create custom chocolate designs for my clients.
“I also took a gap year before Rowan and worked with three different companies in India for a year. Each company was in a different industry and at a different stage in their business. There’s nothing like real-world experience.”
Do you have a mentor?
Tanvi is very passionate about creating harmony in the world and admires many activists. She believes that true entrepreneurs’ love and passion for their ideas comes from wanting to do what they love, not wanting to take from others. Tanvi looks up to Gary Vee and strongly believes in a “growth mindset” and approaching the world with empathy. She admires all of the Rowan professors, especially Dr. Dominik, who helped her on her startup journey. She appreciates that they have been so willing to give their time and energy to support her.
What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?
“I think when people think about entrepreneurship they usually see the fun and exciting parts of it. But running your own business is a lot of hard work, and it really does take every piece of your being to grow a successful business. I eat, sleep and breathe this every day.
My best advice would be to not be afraid of failure and to stay humble. A lot of people forget to be kind to others once they start to taste success. You don’t need to have an ego to do well in life. I equate my success to the happiness I derive from doing what I love. When I’m happy, I’m successful.”
Imagining your dream cafe and your dream life, what does that look like?
“I see a 3D Printing Museum with an interactive 3D printing space, almost like a 3D printing mall. I think that it’s so important for people to interact with a piece of equipment, especially when it’s worth between $5,000 (on the cheaper side) to $25,000. I didn’t want to buy my printer until I knew that it was going to be worth it. I don’t see how other people in the future are going to want to spend upwards of $5,000 on a piece of equipment when they don’t know if it’s the best option for them.
I also see myself working at the UN at some point in my life. More than anything, I see myself being happy and excited to do what I do everyday.”
Like what you see?
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