From Lemonade Stands to Building a Business: Austin Rios' Story

Learn how Austin Rios, CEO of DYNAMIC Rentals, built a thriving business in the niche world of camera rentals by focusing on building an excellent team and growing them.

Rahul A.
February 3, 2023

Meet Austin Rios, the energetic CEO of DYNAMIC Rentals—a camera equipment rental company—was always an entrepreneur. From his early days of setting up lemonade stands to his time in commercial real estate, Rios learned the value of hard work and determination. 

With DYNAMIC Rentals, he's continued to put his skills to the test, growing the company from a start-up to a global leader in sub-renting motion picture cameras to other rental companies. With a focus on the latest technology and helping customers resolve peak demand seasons, DYNAMIC Rentals has become a trusted name in the industry, providing equipment for some of the biggest Netflix and HBO productions. As Rios says, "If you have great people, everything comes naturally." 

Under Rios' leadership, DYNAMIC Rentals has continued to thrive, providing state-of-the-art cameras and equipment for productions of all sizes. One critical factor that sets DYNAMIC Rentals apart is its focus on collaboration and innovation. Rios recognizes that success is built through partnerships and has worked hard to foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork within the company. It helped DYNAMIC Rentals develop creative and efficient solutions to meet the needs of its clients and allow them to stay ahead of the competition in a rapidly evolving industry.

With a passion for the motion picture industry, Rios and the DYNAMIC Rentals team are poised for continued success. Whether developing new technologies, expanding their global footprint, or simply providing top-notch equipment and services to their customers, DYNAMIC Rentals is always looking for ways to drive the industry forward.

In this exclusive interview, Rios shares his background, work, success mantras, and what makes him one of the most exciting people to follow.

Q. Can you tell us about your background and experience in the industry? What sets you apart and makes you unique?

I was entrepreneurial from a very young age. I started with lemonade stands and the like. However, as I got older, I started going “garage sailing,” where I would go to garage sales and buy items at a discount to flip on eBay. 

From there, I sold life insurance, taught Excel classes, and started a commercial real estate career. In my early real estate career, I cut my teeth and learned to “grind.” The firm I worked for, Eastdil Secured, was a great place to learn, and I was surrounded by people who were much more intelligent than me and pushed me. They worked me so hard that I decided to work for myself, and that’s when I helped start DYNAMIC.

Q. Can you share more about your business, DYNAMIC, and its operations? What sets it apart? What are the company's size and reach?

DYNAMIC is a camera equipment rental company that rents motion picture cameras to other camera rental companies across the globe—what we call “sub-rentals.” Our value to our customers is that we always have the latest technology available, so they don’t necessarily need to buy or own it. 

We also help these rental companies solve for their peak demand seasons: during the high season, a camera company might have demand for, say, 30 cameras, but in the lean season, they might only need three or four. They don’t want to own this stuff year-round and have it sit on their shelf. That’s too expensive. So, they rent it from us when they don’t have enough. Over the five years, we’ve grown to three offices in three countries with over 20 employees. We’ve amassed hundreds of cameras that go on the same sets that shoot your favorite Netflix and HBO shows.

Q. What is a best practice or strategy that has contributed to your success?

My best operating tip is (spoiler alert) to focus and grow your people. If you have great people, everything comes naturally, and they push you as the CEO to do better. You're in trouble if you have the wrong folks on the bus. It's hard to steer when you’re unhappy with whom you’ve picked. Hire well, train well, and CARE for your people like family, and everything else takes care of itself.

Q. Can you share a personal achievement that you're most proud of?

The thing that I’m most proud of is our Slack and system integration at DYNAMIC. We built a great system that tells our team where equipment is located, how much it’s earning, and where items are shipping, and in a system that is easy to use and promotes excellent communication. We spent time with this integration, and it feels great knowing we got it right.

Q. Is there a particular company in your industry that you admire, and why?

In our industry, there is a company called Otto Nemenz, which we work with from time to time. They have worked on some significant features and have been around for over 50 years. The team that they have built is loyal and cares for the company. It feels like they are all partners in the business. They care about the customers, the suppliers, and each other, and their employee retention is far higher than the industry average. Every time we implemented something at DYNAMIC, we would ask ourselves, “What would Otto do?”

Q. Please recommend something (book, article, or TV show) and explain why it has impacted you positively.

I'm going to recommend learning about the Wim Hof Method. It is a methodology that I practice. It helps me stay focused and grounded during the day. Essentially, it’s a raw form of meditation deeply connected to your breathing and cardiovascular system. By practising each day, I’ve been able to retain my breath for up to four minutes and endure cold waters for 20+ minutes, and I love it! Just try it.

Q. How can people get in touch with you and connect with your business? What is the best way to reach out?

The best way to get a hold of me is to shoot me an email: Like most of us, I’m always keen to connect and learn more about others.

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