Anton Dy Buncio - Co-founder of VIAtechnik



We run into all kinds of people in our work and, as we get to know them, fascinating stories emerge. Therefore, we're going to pose questions to some of these people and post their responses because it gives a bit more context to people and companies with whom we work.

Anton Dy Buncio is the co-founder of VIATechnik, a BIM consulting company based in Chicago, Illinois. He's also married to the other co-founder, Danielle Dy Buncio, who is more often the public face of the company.



Tell us about your background.

Well, I would call myself an outsider in the industry who happens to be married to an industry insider. I studied Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and spent most of my time learning how to use math to solve a variety of industrial and business problems. Unfortunately, I really don’t remember much from the program. I ended up working at Bain & Co early in my career - solving complex issues, combing through data, and creating a lot of slides. Thousands or tens of thousands of them. I used to be very good at Power Point and knew people at the SFO airport by name. I worked on a lot of interesting projects and helped transform organizations alongside executive teams. But after a while, I really wanted to venture outside my comfort zone of being an advisor and try being an owner. This led to my wife, Danielle, and I co-founding VIATechnik, a company that was a least partially born out of me peppering her with questions as to why things were done one way instead of another or why something so simple had to be so complex.

Tell us about VIATechnik.

VIATechnik works with various architects, general contractors, and owners to solve problems in the industry through virtual design and construction. We are on a lot of the major projects being built across the United States – airports, mixed use developments, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities. We work on projects that involve BIM, schedule risk analysis, virtual reality, and sometimes even build our own tech integrations. One of the things that is super cool about VIATechnik is our team. Some team members come from large GCs, some from architecture firms, others from owners. The diverse perspectives they provide have truly helped us solve interesting challenges for our clients. And they easily pass the airport test…you know, that test where you evaluate new hires based on whether you wouldn’t mind getting stuck with them at an airport for hours? I wouldn’t mind getting stuck with any of our team, although I’m not sure if they would say the same thing about me!

What is your focus at VIATechnik?

I spend a lot of my time on the operational side of things at the firm. This involves getting the infrastructure up to support our team, finding new talent, and my favorite part, R&D. Being on the operational side, I help push our team to challenge the status quo – for example, pushing them to build a custom dashboard that integrates with our project management tool. It started out as a clunky tool that didn’t track time very well. But it was something that all our team members used to monitor hours and know what projects are being worked on at any given time. On the R&D front, we’re spending time on things that we know no one will ever pay for but will still be immensely useful, because that’s how the industry works.

Who is more entrepreneurial? You or Danielle?

Great question! I think we both are equally entrepreneurial, but from a risk lens, I think I am more of the irrational and crazy risk taker in the relationship. I’m the guy that will jump head-first into a pool of water without checking the depth, just because the water looks cool and inviting. Danielle, on the other hand, is calculating. She’ll test the depth before jumping in. Thankfully, she’s been very good at this and has stopped me from doing all sorts of crazy things. And if anything is too crazy, I just lump it into the R&D bucket.

Danielle comes from a construction family. Your background is in consulting. Now that you're in the construction industry, do you feel like you have more to talk about at Thanksgiving?

Definitely not. She comes from a family that eats a lot, so there is no talking at Thanksgiving. Just eating. In all seriousness, they are a great soundboard for ideas and perspective. Her family works on interesting infrastructure projects, but technology is more of a tool for them and not an avenue for growth. For us, it is always interesting to know what challenges are top of mind for them – and really, a lot of the major problems hit the people and process side, not always the technology.

What is the easiest entry point for a company trying to get into VR?

It really depends on the problem the company would like to address. Is it for BD? Logistics? Design? Marketing? Overall though, the industry is moving a lot towards making the technology more accessible and making it easier for companies to discover use cases on their own. Remember when tools like WordPress first came out? All the sudden, people started using templates to create their own websites and the whole process of creating websites became democratized. Gone were the days when you needed to know HTML to create a website! I believe that’s what we are seeing with VR right now. All these instant VR tools, like Live, Fuzor, Enscape, quickly port a model from the authoring tool to VR. Meanwhile, 360 cameras, such as the Theta, bring image and video capture into VR really easily. All these awesome developments make going into VR so simple that it will just become a part of the AEC workflow.

One year from now, how do you think VIATechnik will grow or change?

Oh man, I am absolutely terrible at predicting the future! One thing we are really good at is listening to our clients. So, with that in mind, I believe we will be working on many more amazing and innovative projects with our new and existing partners – wherever that takes us. Hopefully, we’ll grow and develop an even larger and more amazing team as well. Right now, our team now is comprised of an amazing group of brilliant and diverse people, so I can only imagine continued growth on their part and also bringing on new talent that reflects our passion for influencing the industry.



More information about VIATechnik at http://www.viatechnik.com. Anton can be reached at anton@viatechnik.com.