ERR News caught up with Boston-based Estonian entrepreneur Hardi Meybaum who founded his company, GrabCAD, just five years ago and recently sold it to US-Israeli provider of 3D printing solutions, Stratasys Ltd, for around 77 million euros (100 million dollars).
Founded in 2010, GrabCAD is sometimes called “the Facebook of engineers.” The company is helping engineers get products to market faster by connecting people, content and technology.
GrabCAD offers a cloud-based collaboration tool that enables engineers and designers to share, view and manage CAD files and other design data, and is now home to a community of 2 million members from around the world who can access a large public CAD file library as well as connect with other engineers.
Meybaum co-founded GrabCAD soon after graduating from the Tallinn University of Technology and the company grew very fast globally – without any marketing budget. Soon after, he relocated the company's HQ to Boston, Massachusetts, but retains a large office in the Estonian capital. By selling GrabCAD to Stratasys, Meybaum pulled off the second biggest startup exit (after Skype) for an Estonian startup and the biggest for Estonian seed investors.
Although only 32, Meybaum has now also dedicated his energy for a good cause by initiating a new education and development program Eesti 2.0. The first project is to donate 3D printers to 50 Estonian schools. Meybaum believes that 3D printing is one of the most innovative industries today and will ensure an educational leap for Estonian schoolchildren.
ERR News spoke with Meybaum about managing his career, setting up GrabCAD, living in the US, and also asked his comment about Estonia's prospects in the tech and startup world. Meybaum said that tech people in the US usually know Estonia and the image is good, but the country needs to live up to this. "I sometimes worry that our branding is so good that we don't live up to quality. What we need to be concerned about is how we meet expectations and not become complacent. We need to carry on with innovation and make sure that we constantly deliver."
Editor: S. Tambur