In this episode #28, we are talking with István Csanády, Founder & CEO, Shapr3D. István shared the story of raising funds for Shapr3D, and why it is inevitable if you’re building an industry disruptive company. He talked about the way they build Shapr3D culture and why it’s never a good idea to lower the hiring bar.

(0:00:07) – CEO Interview on Shaper 3D 

We are joined by István Csanády, CEO and founder of Shaper3D. We explore how their VC-backed app won the Apple Design Award and is making CAD innovative and simply great. Ishtwanta shares that while they mainly focus on professionals, the intuitive nature of Shaper3D has led to a hobbyist and prosumer-maker user base.

We learn how István Csanády, was trained for this life journey from coding at age six, to learning CAD from their brother, to eventually becoming an architect. It’s a great story of how István, was perfectly poised to create Shaper 3D.

(0:05:52) – From iPod to Startup 

We discuss his journey to creating the VC-backed app that won the Apple Design Award in 2019. We explore his background with the Apple ecosystem, his experience of building software and making money during his university years, and the challenge of bootstrapping his project for two years. We also discuss the strategies István Csanády, used to pitch his idea to investors and how the story of his journey helped him succeed.

(0:13:06) – Building a Defining Company

We discuss the process of building a product like Shaper3D and the time and effort it takes to build an industry-defining company. We explore how István Csanády’s background helped him identify the need for improvement in the CAD industry and how Shaper3D is helping to disrupt it. We look into the company’s strategy for finding an adjacent use case and how they have been steadily improving their product over the years. Finally, we discuss Istvan’s experience raising money and the challenges he faced when creating Shaper 3D.

(0:20:01) – Startup Fundraising and Metrics 

We discuss Istvan’s journey of raising money for the company and how he navigated the roller coaster of fundraising. István Csanády, shares that he was lucky to dodge the bullets of high valuations and how he was intentional about raising money. He goes on to explain the complexity of fundraising and how it relies on two main factors: how investable the company is and the macroeconomic environment. He emphasizes the importance of being always alive and not depending on venture capital as a lifeline. Finally, István Csanády provides advice on what investors look for in companies.

(0:28:41) – Customer Interaction for Founders/CEOs 

We talks about the importance of customer interactions for founders and CEOs, and how they can be used to better understand the business. From Dara Khosrowshahi’s use of the Uber driver app, to Istvan’s own use of interviewing potential hires, we explore how customer interactions are essential for founders and CEOs. We also look at how customer interactions can be used to identify problems with user onboarding and customer product value, as well as how to balance pricing for both hobbyists and business customers.

(0:41:45) – Generative AI Implications and Applications

We explore the implications of the new generative AI technologies and how they are already changing the world of design and manufacturing software. We look at how these technologies are replacing Google searches and making it easier to learn about new topics, as well as how they are saving time by taking away mundane tasks. We also discuss how, while generative AI may be able to provide assistance in the design process, it may not be able to replace the exact specifications needed in the manufacturing process. We end by discussing how generative AI can help us ask the right questions and come to insightful conclusions that we may not have otherwise expected.

Head of Growth,