GrabCAD in 2010, the sum up
2010 was the best year for GrabCAD. I started the company late 2009 together with Indrek and created a simple website where clients could easily order CAD services and get the results in 24 hours. After the initial launch we worked like crazy to satisfy the first customers with projects ranging from houses to wind turbines. After a few weeks of sleepless nights we decided that we needed a lot of additional engineers to help us fulfill all the orders.
Building an effective CAD services marketplace - a solution that cuts down product development time and brings together service buyers and engineers from around the world - has been our goal ever since. And it continues to be our goal for the foreseeable future.
We raised initial seed investment from Estonian Development Fund and Astrec Invest who believed in our idea and our team and were ready to back us in achieving our vision.
But vision is only a small part of the solution, execution is the important bit, and you can only rock the world if you have an excellent team. Our first success came with finding two of the best advisors in the CAD industry - Josh Mings and Deelip Menezes who have helped us with contacts, ideas, and and honest feedback (if you know Deelip then you know what I'm talking about).
Our day-to-day team is made up of Teller who brings common sense into building out product and communication, Kuldar who's the brains behind back-end code, server setup and magic under the hood, Mikk who's designing and building our webpages, and Kristina who's helping us with everything from community building to business development. In addition to these guys we've received help from literally hundreds of people with spreading the word, getting feedback, good contacts and advice. Thank you all!
Grabcad.com launched properly in August 12th this year and what a ride this four and a half month have been. Just today we had engineer #1500 sign up with GrabCAD. We have close to 900 models in our library but if you take all the large assemblies then the number of parts is 4-5 times bigger. 23 thousand unique visitors, nearly 250.000 page views and close to 50.000 downloaded CAD files is just the start, I'm pretty confident.
I would like to personally thank grabcadders Chanson, John Evans, Scott Bruins, Tony Davis, Terry Stonehocker, Gee and Adam Pohl for their contribution in not just helping us build our library but helping us build an active and friendly community, giving other users and ourselves invaluable feedback. And of course uploading all those great models that they'ven shared with other engineers. My personal favorites are:
Our latest big move was the launch of CAD services marketplace - the first orders are in, the first compliments too: "GrabCAD is our virtual engineer" said a client. We like that. Our marketplace helps companies, engineers, hobby builders and individuals source drafting, rendering, 3D modeling and conversion manpower from a pool of engineers from around the world. And then get the finished and quality checked work back in 48 hours. Existing customers have seen how working with us helps them shorten the time to market and reduce costs giving a good return on investment.
All in all - 2010 was a great year for GrabCAD and it looks like 2011 will be even better. We have some really interesting partner deals, functionality and new clients to announce next year so stay tuned.
About the author: (Hardi Meybaum)
Hardi's background is in manufacturing, as an engineer, consultant, CIO and ERP Team Manager with a strong combination of IT, sales, marketing and finance skills. Hardi holds a MSc in production development from Tallinn University of Technology. When not plotting how to bring the world's engineers together, he spends time with his daughter and teaches his Dachshund Fix some soccer.
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