Manolo Turri is a quarter Mexican and Italian for the rest. He studied as an engineer, then as a video editor, then as a video director. After many years of freelance, he founded, with Yuh Kuo Tai and Raffaella Roccella, Alkanoids, a motion design studio based in Milan. In 2018 he started Aria, an augmented reality startup. He loves to travel, chess, food, and good mathematical models.
I’m Manolo Turri, I’m 43, and I’m in my third life. I studied engineering, I abandoned the path, I went to directing and video editing studying at the Milan film school, I was freelance, I left everything again, I traveled, in 2012 with the best partners I could find I opened Alkanoids, motion design company, and in 2018 the augmented reality startup Aria.
Manolo Turri, Co-Founder – Aria The AR Platform
I was born in 1977, and I belong to that cyborg generation old enough to have grown up in an analog world but young enough to embrace the digital one fully. As in Foster Wallace’s story of fish, even though we live in the water, I’m lucky enough to be still able to see it. Being an entrepreneur is a path of continuous learning, and the first thing to learn is this. When we built our first company, Alkanoids, we started with the idea of leaving out everything we didn’t like about the world we came from.
Alkanoids is a creative studio based in Milan focused on 2D/3D animation and direction. A studio in which research and development were in the DNA of the work to be the ones that the clients themselves took as a reference for what they wanted to achieve. And it is precisely in this path of growth, research, and change that we founded the augmented reality startup Aria. All on our shoulders but with the experience gained from the management of the previous company.
Aria’s mission is to simplify access to augmented reality for users, content creators, brands, institutions, and museums. We want our app to become the only key to accessing AR experiences. Managing a startup compared to a traditional company is a completely different game. Everyone says it, and I feel I can confirm it: growing a startup is a path that offers you 360 days of frustration a year and 5 of great joys, but for this reason, you have to be convinced to the core of what you are doing.
Soft skills are essential when dealing with business plans to marketing, from personnel management to fixing a broken chair. And it is a journey that is very difficult, if not impossible, to do alone. For this reason, the partners with whom you want to realize it come first because enthusiasm is easy to get along with, but it is in the difficulties that people are measured. All this I say not from the top of a startup that has been successful but in the middle of a path where the obstacles are still all ahead.
Three years ago, as soon as the company was opened, I said that the experience would have ended if we had not received a loan immediately. Today, without yet having received a penny, we still carry on proudly on our own strength. When a door was slammed in my face in the early days of investor research, I was depressed. I blamed those who had not understood the genius of our idea. Over time, however, I learned that every no received did nothing more than improving the idea and focusing on my goal.
In a completely natural way, a philosophy that I have always followed has been to take risks, not crazy, but always trying to put myself in situations where I had 20/30% of information to learn for the role I was going to fill. And as trivial as it may seem, in the end, it all comes down to this: if you follow your heart and your passion, you are unlikely to be wrong.
Also read How I started my post-production studio