Colab co-founders: from hyperloop pioneers to Innovators of the Year
Posted on May 05, 2021 | By Jenn Thornhill Verma | 2 Comments
Five short years ago, Adam Keating and Jeremy Andrews were mechanical engineering students working on the frontier of high-speed transportation when they realized traditional engineering design tools were slowing them down.
Their story is a wild ride that took the Newfoundlanders to California where their team’s hyperloop pod—a form of ground transportation in which a passenger pod moves at ultra-high speeds through a low-pressure tube—earned them second place globally. And gave them a chance to shake hands with the man behind the hyperloop concept, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. But their greatest takeaway was discovering their own concept to address a slow-burning problem plaguing their industry. Engineers sorely needed better collaborative tools to improve the pace and precision of their design work. That realization sparked the duo’s concept for their start-up called CoLab, an engineering software company that has reinvented the way engineers design collaboratively.
“Our idea was born out of equal parts frustration and ‘wouldn’t it be cool if?’ It opened our eyes to the tools available to mechanical engineers to do their design work well—and the answer is not many,” says Andrews, co-founder and CTO of CoLab.
In the same way office teams rely on tools to collaboratively edit documents, Keating and Andrews thought engineering teams should have the tools to collaboratively design complex products. Launched in 2017, the now 35-person company, headquartered in St. John’s, works with Fortune 500 and leading companies in the shipbuilding, automotive, defence, industrial equipment and other industries.
CoLab markets its software as the “only tool purpose-built to simplify design reviews for engineering teams building complex products” and promises teams can “collaborate in real time and track feedback automatically for a review process that’s painless—and 2x faster.”
The proof is in their output.
According to CoLab, customers have reported the software has cut product review time in half. They’ve also saved about $7,800 per engineer using the software. And customers are finding design mistakes earlier, which translates into fewer engineering change orders for new products or revisions to existing ones.
The secret to CoLab’s innovation is that it puts everyone on the same page. The secure, web-based design review tool allows engineers to share their work with internal and external teams globally and collate feedback and revisions in one place.
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