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.

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

Understanding BIM – The Book

Building Information Modelling, or BIM, as a concept has existed in architectural design software since the 70’s and 80’s though the term itself wasn’t defined until 2002. Originally described as Virtual Building the concept focused on creating a digital representation of a building prior to construction.

A few months back I had the privilege to receive a new book – Understanding BIM – written by Dr Jonathan Ingram.

Understanding BIM documents why we need BIM, the history of BIM, early case studies in wide ranging disciplines, modern BIM, and the future of BIM. It also documents how BIM works. Dr Ingram is still involved in Information Modelling, AI, AR, VR, language understanding and  other contemporary technologies.

From https://www.understandingbim.com

As I previously wrote, Murray the founder of Cadimage, worked with Jonathan in the 80’s testing the Sonata System being developed by Jonathan. Murray explained a lot of the history and events during the early days when I was first working with him at Cadimage and it was great to read the history and remember how all the threads were pieced together.

The book is extremely comprehensive and has been very well put together. It is great to look at all the ‘cutting edge’ (in their day) images and see how far we have come over the last few decades. Anyone who wants to understand what BIM is, those who want to hear thoughts on where it is going or are interested in the history of BIM should really purchase a copy – its a great read.

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.

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!

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.

The B1M

If you haven’t come across this website and YouTube channel then you’re missing out.

Fred Mills and the team put together great quality videos about construction. They take a look at both current projects and also historic projects from around the world.

In 8-10 minutes they provide great bite-sized videos with great footage and informative commentary.

I highly recommend signing up!

Lisbon – IPC 2015

Last week I was in Lisbon to attend the annual GRAPHISOFT International Partners Conference.

This is a great to meet up with old friends, make new friends and find out what has been happening around the world with ArchiCAD and the plans for the future.

I was proud to collect a Sales Growth award for the third year in a row – some real momentum in NZ ArchiCAD Sales that our Team can feel extremely proud of.

Lisbon was a beautiful city, and while I didn’t have a large amount of time to explore, we got to see a lot of the city during various events.

BIM around the World

There is no doubt that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is  and there are a number of initiatives happening in both New Zealand and internationally that reinforce this. However, exactly what BIM is still causing wide-spread confusion.

A recent survey by Masterspec here in New Zealand while on one hand showed a high percentage of respondents saying they use or are aware of BIM, when asked what BIM was results varied greatly! The survey is definitely worth a look for those in the NZ Building Industry.

The survey obviously presents a New Zealand view, while this article from AEC Bytes gives an update of BIM initiatives from around the world.

Lastly anyone who thinks BIM is just about software needs to read this article – Getting a BIM Rap: Why Implementations Fail, and What You Can Do About It – again from AEC Bytes. It outlines that significant organisation change is required for BIM adoption and those that don’t make fundamental changes are likely to fail with their BIM adoption. I particularly liked the story of the CEO who attended all the training sessions to help set an example. CEOs in my mind should almost be called CCM’s – constant change managers but that is a topic for another post I have been meaning to write for sometime.