Capital Raising

We recently completed a funding round for Spaces by Cerulean Labs.

As a pre-revenue start-up, capital raising represents a vital form of validation while recognising the increased risk the investors at this point are taking.

The process took around six months, with the first three months putting feelers out into the marketplace and making initial introductions.  

To keep the business operating, we opened the round to existing shareholders and a handful of new investors while landing the bigger fish.

While we raised the majority of funds from four New Zealand Angel Groups, the process was reasonably straightforward with Ian Frame for Launch Taranaki and then Graeme Thomson from Manawatu Investment Group taking the lead to manage the internal processes with the Angel Groups.

“A kiwi based in Europe right now is a really distinct advantage in launching a new product on the global market,”

Ian Frame, Chair Launch Taranaki

In the end, we managed to get everything over the line with only a handful of Zoom meetings – I’m based in Budapest and the Angels are all New Zealand based. However, outside of the meetings, the efforts were a lot more time-consuming, with extensive materials and several top quality QA sessions.

The last part of the process was essentially mechanical with all the documentation and was more an administration task.

Having completed the process, with the money now in the bank, we have the runway to support our upcoming commercial launch.

Capital raising is a process that start-ups need to focus on regularly and well in advance of when funds are required. That said, I’m looking forward to a slight pause from capital raising where I can focus on our business goals.

DUO – Singapore

As followers of this blog, you’ll know I am passionate about architecture and enjoy taking photos of great architecture when I travel.

A few years ago on a quick trip through Singapore I discovered and photographed the following building:

I was reminded of these impressive buildings when The B1M published an article regarding the buildings:

THESE twin towers have been awarded the “Urban Habitat – Single Site Scale Award of Excellence” by the Council on Tall Buildings Urban Habitat (CTBUH)

The B1M

The article highlights how these buildings have rejuvenated a part of Singapore and how architecture can achieve much more then just creating buildings to occupy, but also outdoor spaces that contribute to a wider population.

Read the full article here.

Spaces – Conceptual Design for Architects

In August 2020 following six months of research, development and prototyping I founded Cerulean Labs with the aim of reinventing conceptual design for architects. This is a lofty goal and one that will take a number of years to see come to fruition.

However, today marks a major milestone in our early journey with the release of our first public beta.

As a team we are proud of what we have created to date but equally appreciate we are only just starting to scratch the surface what we plan to develop.

Spaces combines ideas from a huge range of people and investigations that have helped shape this first beta. Now we are excited to get a broader group of users signed up and using the software so they too can help shape this tool.

Spaces fills a void in the marketplace and we are focused on making it simple and easy to use.

As previously posts have highlighted creating a new venture is a rollercoaster of emotions and a constant juggling act. We could have taken a slightly ‘easier’ road and spent a few more months developing our first version before engaging with users but creating a tool that no-one uses is not our plan and we are excited to get our app into your hands and gather feedback, both positive and negative, and work hard to deliver regular updates and enhancements over the coming months.

If you’re an architect with an iPad and Pencil Sign up now for our Early access programme

NXT BLD 2020

Earlier in the year I attended BIM live show. When talking to a friend about what I was up to he recommended I attend NXT BLD.

This year – like many conferences and events – NZT BLD turned into an experiment with it being held as a Virtual Conference.

There were a series of 6 Sessions spread over 6 days. I found the daily sessions a great way to attend those that attended me and found it easy to fit into my day.

Obviously it missed the interaction with participants but from a content point of view the delivery was very well done. I enjoyed all the sessions I attended and found them very thought provoking.

All sessions are available on demand for those that register and are definitely worth a watch.

At this stage NXT BLD 2021 is scheduled – in person – for London June 2021.

Based on this years event I hope I can attend 2021 in person and maybe even have an opportunity to show what we are working on.

Making a start…

Quite often things take longer then expected! But today marks the official start of something new.

Ive been trying to get something off the ground for over 12 months and after a few misguided attempts today marked the incorporation of a new business.

We’ve got a lot ahead of us before we’ll be in a position to talk about it but it is a great feeling to have my own business again.

Today marks the point where various prototypes from the last 6 months get put to the side and we start development of what will hopefully be v1 of our product.

Getting started is always a hump to get over, but while we have lots of challenges ahead of us as we begin to build a new business from the ground up, we now have a single minded goal and focus to aim at.

The B1M – 1,000,000

Great recognition for the work the team over at The B1M are doing with an amazing milestone reached recently:

The B1M becomes the first construction YouTube channel to reach one million subscribers

Wow! Thats a great achievement – congratulations Fred and team.

In Fred’s words, he

“loves construction and wants the whole world to love it too”

Fred Mills

Well 1,000,000 is a good first step!

Architizer

While I’m figuring out what to do with myself I am looking for inspiration in a number of places.

I have some ideas forming and its probably not surprising they are architecture / building industry focused.

I have tried to think outside of the industry to see if what other opportunities there might be but I keep coming back to architecture like some sort of homing beacon.

The Architizer Website is a great resource and I also follow them on instagram as well.

I’ve found there 17 Awesome Apps for Architects and Designers page a place I return after first seeing it a couple of years ago. It is great to see the apps that people are creating but I also use it to see if there are any potential gaps that I might be able to fill.

I can see a couple and am starting to explore and prototype some things to see where this may lead.

The posts on the Architizer instagram channel also provide some very useful inspiration and generate a lot of thoughts around some of my ideas.

BIMshow – Newcastle

I’m just back from a few days in Newcastle for the ninth bim show live event.

Its the first time I’ve attended but I have to say that Rob and the team put on an outstanding event packed full with a huge line up of speakers and exhibitors.

It was great as always to catch up with Rob Jackson and meet Emma Hooper. The work these two are doing primarily for Bond Bryan but also the wider community is incredible – I’m not sure where they find the hours for it all. They had two presentations regarding Better Information Management which were brilliant.

It was great to catch up with and also hear David Philp presenting as the Chair on the first day. It is a few years since David was down in New Zealand but it was good to reconnect.

Paul Tunstall’s demo of Rhino/Grasshopper/ArchiCAD/Twinmotion while showing me things I’ve seen many times before really started me thinking about something.

There was a good balance of presentations and social time and I hope I can make the trip across to attend again next year.

I also enjoyed getting out for a run and taking in some of the local architecture.

Stations and Airports

Over the years I have travelled through countless airports and a number of train stations. Though train stations were built decades before airports the architecture catering for the mass transit of people is awe inspiring in both contexts.

Paddington is a regular of mine and it always evokes thoughts of steam trains and pullman carriages

Paddington Station

Airports are equally impressive and have allowed many architects amazing expressions of structure to create grand spaces

Munich Airport

I was in Christchurch Airport earlier this year and was impressed with the detailing in the regional waiting area:

Below are some shots from London Terminal 5, Taipei, Dubai, Hong Kong and Zurich