Why SimScale is the Best Simulation Tool for Engineering Startups?

enginering startups

Unicorns and the Startup World

Technology is driving the industrial boom. Many of today successful surfers in digital transformation are Unicorns – a popular label for technology startups that reached their first $1 billion in the first 3 years [1]. Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at minimum $1 billion in the booming of disruptive technologies period. [2]

Any successful business needs to start from a brilliant idea. In the high-tech industry, many leaders started in a garage with an old car, selling investment capital. A successful engineering startup entrepreneur needs management skills, winning commitment and decision-making abilities to perform in the competitive landscape.

Anyone who’s starting a new business does not concentrate on the failure risks. According to Small Business Administration (SBA) statistics [3], half of new companies’ establishments survive at least five years and a third survive ten years or more. Bloomberg analysis is more dramatic:  8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn. [4]

Which are the secrets of a successful engineering startup?

Before becoming Unicorns, engineering startups entrepreneurs should think about how to survive. This seems first of all to have managerial skills. Not all engineers are also good managers. Many of them have vision but not practical skills to open and manage a small business.

How not to give up when running a large-scale simulationEngineering startups managers often start small businesses focused on a product or service they know and had good results, but without a realistic business plan. Think creatively and having enthusiasm are prerequisites.

A business plan helps entrepreneurs understand the market, evaluate their positioning, clarify the relationships between operating expenses, prices and profits. 80% of small businesses fail because owners don’t develop an effective business plan.

A successful engineering startups entrepreneur should know:

  • How to enlarge the business area of a product to become competitive
  • How to develop the team’s performance based on individual experience and professional skills.
  • Time is more critical in reaching profitability; use agility as one of the main advantages.

SimScale: a CAE startup for successful engineering startups

save time and money with cloud simulationSimScale is a successful model of startup developed as consequence of digital transformation. Founded in 2012 in Munich, Germany, SimScale is comprised of a talented team of engineers, computer scientists, and mathematicians who are dedicated to making simulation technology based on open source, accessible to everyone. SimScale vision is to remove the barriers of traditional CAE software and to make engineering simulation a standard tool for every engineer, designer, or technical student, independent of their company size, know-how, or resources.

Engineering startups companies have now the ability to use 3D simulation to bring their designs to reality more quickly than ever before, by developing their products better, faster and cheaper than with traditional, license-based CAE software.


10 Reasons why startups should simulate with SimScale

1. Cost-effective subscription plan – startups’ most common failures have financial roots. Investing in perpetual CAE software licenses without profit warranty can be prohibitive. As alternative to six figures high prices per seat with traditional CAE solutions, SimScale offers to small companies and individual professionals a friendly subscription model based on cost per core hour. With the Professional account, engineering startup companies receive one year access to the SimScale 3D CAE platform with all available features for one user account, 3000 core computing hours, 500 GB storage space, e-mail and phone support, all for 200€ per month.

2. Forget the supplementary investments – usually an engineering consulting firm that provides creative engineering services like research, feasibility studies, concept generation or prototyping simulations should invest in supplementary computing resources for projects requiring powerful graphic stations, high quality monitors, supplementary storage resources and big networking bandwidth. With the SimScale engineering SaaS platform, subscribers don’t need any additional hardware or software resources. They only need a web browser, a middle configuration laptop, and a stable Internet access.

3. Capex relaxation – a common mistake for many small businesses is having insufficient operating funds. Startup managers underestimate how much money is needed in different development stages, having unrealistic expectation of incoming revenues. With SaaS model offered by SimScale any subscription plan could be related to operational expenses, more easy to manage and to change according to the business development needs. Flexibility saves users money.

4. No hidden costs – many times the on-premises CAD and CAE users complain against an unreasonable subscription policy. Some providers run sales campaigns offering free of charge upgrade to a next level software version. The problems start when clients have to pay a more expensive maintenance subscription. Few providers closed commercial upgrade licensing. A client with 5-6 year old version which want to upgrade has to pay 25-30% more for a new license. With SimScale’s subscription model, startups could make easier OPEX plans, they could start with simulation for free and scale the simulation capacity as needed. No other fixed expenses, no maintenance fees, no long-term commitment.

5. Easy to use and learn – engineering software is not used for simple applications. Complexity and the specialization level make from simulation a hard to learn and use technology, even for product design specialists. Trainings require more money, time and resources. SimScale offers easy access via web browser, user-friendly interface, and a lot of training facilities for less experienced users: e-mail and online assistance, tutorials and documentation, workshops and webinars, forum and professional training services.

SimScale company video6. Fast products on the market – traditional engineering workflows depend of the setup processes assigned for each product development and manufacturing phase. Looking only to prototypes testing, re-designing, re-testing activities, there are operations requesting a lot of time and supplementary costs. Virtual prototyping and interactive collaboration between CAD and CAE teams based on the same digital model conduct to dramatic reduction of process time and physical prototype and associated testing cost reduction.

7. Processes simplification – delivering projects more quickly to clients, is offering the value added potential to increase their revenue from additional new business projects. More products or a larger product variety opens doors for large markets and more potential clients. This could be a very competitive advantage for a startup acceding to the global market, comparing with old traditional companies which didn’t adopt innovation so fast or didn’t have a technology adoption strategy.

8. Freedom to work anywhere – copyright licensing limitation and user permission associated to a specific computer are current issues for on-premises software. Often clients have to change or to reconfigure computers, losing the installing permission due to licensing limitations. SimScale accounts are associated with individual users, not to specific computers. CAE users can run analysis algorithms and simulation models any time, on any desktop computer or mobile device. No problems with licensing.

9. Real-time collaboration– Many products and process failures are related to the project management weakness. Industry literature is full of worst-practice stories related to lack of collaboration between different engineering and designer teams. The bridge with half parts never to meet, balcony for non-existent windows or different level tunnel are very popular. But any mistake or misfunction is generating loses. Often much expansive and unpredictable lost. Working in the cloud on the same digital model, engineering teams can collaborate and simultaneously work on the same CAE project. Moreover, designers and engineers can instantly see other contributor’s changes in real time. No more wasted time with delays or security risks generated by sharing files by e-mail or Dropbox.

free engineering simulation project templates10. Open collaborative knowledge transfers – many classic CAE solutions are very hard to use and to learn due to incoherent training programs provided by the vendors or the channel partners. On the other hand, very high costs associated with simulation software and computing power restrict the professional training to a limited number of specialists. By making engineering simulation methods accessible to everyone, SimScale enables the international know-how transfer between engineers and designers through the SimScale Public Project library. It’s a win-win knowledge strategy. Here experienced engineers can have free access simulation and less experienced users can learn from more than 15000 free simulation setups, using them as templates for their own engineering development projects.

Many startups are already working with the SimScale simulation platform. SimScale now has more than 65,000 users that are simulating online. Join them!

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[1] – Aileen Lee, “Welcome To the Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups”, TechCrunch, 2013

[2] – Erin Griffith, Dan Primack, The Age of Unicorns”,, 2015

[3] – Patricia Schaefer, “The Seven Pitfalls of Business Failure and How to Avoid Them”, Business Know-How

[4] – Eric Wagner, “Five Reasons 8 Out Of 10 Businesses Fail”, Forbes, 2013

SimScale is the world's first cloud-based simulation platform, enabling you to perform CFD, FEA, or thermal analyses. Sign up for the 14-day free trial and join the community of 70 000 engineers and designers. No payment data required.