Vatche Azirian has been involved with us before our first class started. He is an engineer and inventor, and has bootstrapped his business. During Class 1, he shared his journey including lessons in sales, manufacturing, picking his customers, and establishing core values.
Tell us about yourself. What are you passionate about?
Born and raised in Los Angeles – I grew up seeing my father’s manufacturing facility and his entrepreneurial spirit which not only exposed me to a diverse landscape but gave me the belief that anything was possible. Having a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering helped set the foundation of how my mind breaks down a problem or situation in order to find a simple solution, a design matrix or a strategic plan in everything that I do. I have come to realize that my “WHY” is to simplify. I would say that simplifying is my passion. It is what drives me through out the day and is what helps me set future goals.
What makes LA a great place to start a business?
Many people do not realize the manufacturing infrastructure in Los Angeles and the diversity and backgrounds of the people running these industries. From die casting, injection molding, extrusions, CNC machining, 3D printing, TESLA design, Space X, Nike design, contract manufacturing for aerospace industry, cosmetics, clothing, food processing, entertainment, music, UCLA among many other top educational institutions and now a thriving downtown with a light rail metro line from downtown to Santa Monica. The weather and of course the high end residential communities also attract some of the most successful and influential minds from all over the world who bring their expertise and talents to Los Angeles.
What do you like about being involved with Make in LA?
What excites me most is the sense of “community” and the synergy that is created when the entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged to grow by bringing together the best all in one place. I also admire Shaun Arora and Noramay Cadena’s passion in embarking on such a challenging path which inspired me to get involved.
About Alpha Productions:
Alpha Productions, Inc. is the first manufacturer of European-style retractable awnings in the United States. Since 1978, our SunTamer line of retractable awnings and retractable awning hardware have made us the industry leader. Our emphasis is on quality and customer service. Our four generations of manufacturing experience, along with a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility make our products one of the best in the awning industry.
While we manufacturer our awnings in Los Angeles, CA and serve customers direct in the Southern California region, we do have an extensive network of dealers nationwide.
How do you instantly and affordably create exterior shade in the hot summer months? With a push of a button! Since 1978 Alpha Productions, Inc. has been manufacturing retractable awnings that create outdoor living spaces that help keep homes cool by shading walls, windows and patios. Alpha’s retractable products come in a variety of colors, custom sizes and designs to match any home’s style. Budget-conscious and eco-aware homeowners can use retractable awnings to create cooling shade in the summer by blocking the sun’s rays from the exterior and windows, while in the winter maximizing heat gain by allowing sunlight into the home. In bad weather, homeowners retract the awnings to protect them from the elements. They fabricate everything retractable-awning related including the motors. “We are vertically integrated—handling all design, manufacturing and production—which allows us to keep our products affordable and deliver on time.”