This post belongs to a series of posts where we interview Finnish software entrepreneurs in co-operation with the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs. In this post we interview Tuomas Holma from CadFaster. The company creates products for the CAD industry to improve productivity and overcome obstacles in working more efficiently. You can read more about their products at the CadFaster website.
ArcticStartup (AS): Explain to us where you work currently and what were the steps that got you there?
Tuomas Holma (TH): I work as VP Sales and Marketing for CadFaster Oy. We develop collaboration tools for the 3D CAD software users. I am based in the UK whereas the rest of the guys are based in Oulu. I worked in China for about 10 years prior to relocating to the UK (I followed my wife here). I got in contact with CadFaster founder Raimo Kuismin whom I have known for more than 10 years and we agreed that I would join the CadFaster team as the first person dedicated 100% to sales and marketing. Raimo and Antti Toiviainen are doing a great deal in that field as well.
AS: What is your company trying to achieve, why did you pick this offering?
TH: We want to help expand the use of 3D CAD models within architecture, construction and mechanical engineering. Currently engineers are already using 3D models widely but other stakeholders in the design, sales, manufacturing, service and maintenance processes are not able to fully utilize 3D models due to the lack of suitable tools. We want to make 3D collaboration easy for everyone. Cloud computing provides fantastic opportunities for us in achieving this.
AS: How easy has it been to grow your company to the current status?
TH: Our founders have been working in the field of 3D visualization since 2002 and before that they worked on other types of software. CadFaster was founded in 2009 and we released our first product in December 2010 so we are still pretty much in the start-up phase. So the road for some of us has already been quite long. I guess it has not been that easy always and it still isn’t but that’s the beauty of it.
AS: As a software entrepreneur, what is the best part of your job and why?
TH: Learning with people I meet and work with. But that applies to anyone. Of course we would like to change the world. At least a bit. And travel around the world.
AS: What about the most challenging? Why?
TH: Should I say crossing the chasm to get away easy. Convincing the Finnish funding agencies that CAD industry provides nice opportunities just now due to the emergence of cloud computing and fast spread of 3D modeling amongst non-professional people.
AS: What is it like creating software and scalable services in Finland?
TH: I have lived abroad since 1999 so I don’t really know. Exactly the same as anywhere else if you have a good idea, suitable resources and perseverance? Yes, why should we think Finland is somehow different?
AS: What kind of a role do organisations like Finnish Software Entrepreneurs play in your possibility to grow?
TH: Young entrepreneurs often need support in all kinds of issues so organisations like Finnish Software Entrepreneurs can be really valuable in networking young entrepreneurs with each other and with the more experienced ones. I would guess most young entrepreneurs are growth oriented so I don’t think growth orientation has to be especially promoted but a lot of support is needed for a company to be able to grow. The Finnish government can help as well and I think Finnish Software Entrepreneurs can help in promoting software industry to the powers that be.
AS: What are the plans with your company, where do you plan to take it?
TH: We plan to grow in the manner of a hockey stick as every company does, right? This year is really the key year for us as we are bringing new products to the market and boosting our marketing and sales efforts. Our main markets are the UK, USA and Finland. We want to establish ourselves in all of these markets by the end of 2011.