You can still detect a slight German accent when Sarah Tumm speaks.
That’s because Tumm grew up in Germany and only moved to Cape Coral in 1998 with her parents. “I was 14 at the time,” she says.
But the transition was smooth because of Cape Coral’s large population of Germans. There were 28 German students in her high school class, she notes.
Tumm finished high school in Cape Coral and later attended the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa, where she learned architecture drafting and design using computers.
After a stint in Europe working on architectural rehabilitation and learning to draw by hand, Tumm returned to the U.S. in 2005 and became a U.S. citizen.
Tumm has always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and she started DimTec3D a year ago. Her company rents sophisticated laser scanners that can reproduce an existing building in a three-dimensional model. The 50-pound scanner is portable and operates on a tripod.
Architects and engineers then use the model created by the scanner to do their work more precisely. “You can rebuild anything from the data,” she says.
The equipment isn’t cheap. One laser scanner costs $75,000. “I currently have one, and I’m working on getting a second one,” Tumm says. “I provide the service as well.”
Tumm says the business has taken off as the economic recovery is underway. She rents the scanner for $600 a day. “I wish I’d started a little earlier,” she says.
But Tumm knows all about taking risks: She enjoys skydiving, joining friends from the German national team in popular skydiving locations in Zephyrhills and Punta Gorda. “I’m going to get my license so I can do a solo jump,” she says. “I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.”
This article was updated to reflect the correct daily rental price of the scanner.
— Jean Gruss
Name: Sarah Tumm
City of residence: FortMyers
Twitter handle: @DimTec3D
Title: Founder and CEO
Years on the Gulf Coast: 17 sunny years
Marital status/children: In relationship, no children
Alma mater: International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa
Best place to network: Volunteering and social media
Coolest business experience: Taking years of training, experience and hands-on practice to build a foundation for my own company.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: If you see someone in the position you want to be in, it is not impossible for you to get there as well. Everyone starts somewhere. All you need is to focus on the big picture.
One website that makes your job easier: Insightly.com
One community group you’re most involved with: Southwest Florida Arts, Alliance of the Arts and Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center
Favorite off-hours activity: Photography, art, traveling and spending time with loved ones.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) and Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors)
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: I would not want to pick another career, as my current path led me exactly where I am today. It’s this path that is giving me great satisfaction and happiness.
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Triple tandem back flip from 13,000 feet while skydiving
What’s at the top of your bucket list: Travel to Japan to see the Cherry Blossom Festival and the lights of downtown Tokyo at night.
What new skill would you like to learn: Pick up a new language
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Cameron Diaz. She is fun and outgoing.
If I had a magic wand I’d: Make three-dimensional scanning and printing technology available in all schools. The more we support the creativity in children by using “3D” technology, the better they can imagine and invent for the future.