One product, one goal, one mission

by Maria May 10, 2017

How SimScale is building a game-changing product and a driven multicultural team

Munich, SimScale’s beautiful Bavarian home. Image via Shutterstock

Founded in 2012 in Munich, Germany, SimScale is a simulation platform for Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis and Thermal Simulation built to revolutionize the way engineers, designers, scientists, and students design products.

SimScale’s talented team of 40 engineers, computer scientists, and mathematicians is dedicated to making the best simulation technology accessible to everyone. To learn more about building an international team driven by a single mission, we spoke to Vincenz Dölle, SimScale’s co-founder and managing director.

“We’re building a CAE platform and community — basically, a whole ecosystem — to help every engineer in the world build better products,” Vincenz succinctly summarizes SimScale’s mission. “Beyond simulation, we want to build a community of engineers who can connect with each other and exchange knowledge.”

“We started in 2011 with the first prototype,” Vincenz recalls. “At the end of 2012, we went full force, full-time.” As the product took off, SimScale’s mission got bolder. “We saw what is possible. We saw how many people are interested in what we do and how much benefit it can bring to users.”

Encouraged by their discoveries, SimScale started growing beyond technology into an ecosystem of knowledge-sharing. “It’s interesting for people to have access to know-how, knowledge, content, and other professionals’ experience,” Vincenz says.

“This is what we didn’t see at the very beginning. We started with the technology focus, but now we see the benefits in connecting people — bringing them together instead of just offering them some technology.”

Bringing people together also happens within the team itself. Based in Munich, SimScale’s team is as international as it gets. More than 20 nationalities represented, 30 languages spoken — this team packs a multicultural punch. “Most of the people either came to Germany for their studies or relocated because we could offer them an interesting new position,” says Vincenz.

Teams like this don’t just build themselves. SimScale is meticulous about hiring, placing a strong emphasis on getting to know the applicants before bringing them on board. “If it’s a very important position, we have them here for at least a day. We fly them in, to work and have lunch with us. It’s costly, but it works out.”

Not every company would consider this a justified expense, but for SimScale, the in-person step is a vital one. “It’s different to meet the candidates in real life, to see how they work, how they talk, and how they handle stress,” Vincenz says. “It’s all those things you wouldn’t see in IM. You could argue that it would be rational to skip this step. But even just chit-chatting with them at lunch time and doing something different than the interview is also very nice. You typically don’t have lunch with someone via Hangouts or Skype!”

What qualities are they looking for during those moments of chit-chat? Vincenz can list them all. “We‘re looking for people who are passionate about our product, who want to work in a team, work towards a goal, want to build something, create value for customers, and see their results shipped.”

By tracking down those qualities in potential hires, SimScale makes sure their people are driven by more than just the financial benefits of a job and want to work on something meaningful. Drive, motivation, and the ability to learn and adapt: any startup employee’s bread and butter. “All those things are really important to us, because this is what we face as a startup,” says Vincenz. “Things change a lot. Expectations are high. We need people who want to help us achieve something great. That is the most important.”

The team gets some mountain air. Photo courtesy of SimScale

When it comes to onboarding, the company does their best to make sure their new hires can focus on the important things as quickly as possible. “What we do is help them with all this bureaucracy stuff,” Vincenz clarifies. “We want them to be able to focus on SimScale very, very quickly. We help with documents, bank accounts, apartments — things that usually need a lot of effort.”

The support doesn’t stop there. “We also have newbie events regularly, where we bring together all the new guys so they get to know each other across the teams, and talk about their personal missions and goals. If people see they are part of a very nice team, and they work on something meaningful, with lots of possibilities to learn, grow, and help the company become successful, they are much more motivated. All these factors drive people. We’re not a big enterprise with hundreds of employees, thousands of goals, different products. We just have one product, one goal, one mission — everyone works towards it.”

“If they don’t like what we do, if they can’t share our vision and the motivation behind it, this won’t fulfill them for long.”

SimScale’s multinational team is another glowing example of changes happening in the ever-evolving world of work. “I’m absolutely convinced that in the future, the world, as it already has in the last years, will grow together,” Vincenz predicts. “It’s much more common and usual for people from all over the world to work together towards the same goals. Everyone speaks English. Everyone knows how to use a computer. So basically, there’s no real barrier left.”

“As soon as you start looking for talent globally, there’s absolutely no reason not to have people working from different countries.”

Of course, there are still hurdles in the way of a truly open world. But Vincenz believes it’s only a matter of time before that changes. “There’s still a lot of bureaucracy — obtaining visas and work permits,” he says. ”But I think the future will be much more global, much more distributed, much more international.”

Want to join this team? You should! Photo courtesy of SimScale

SimScale is now hiring for their awesomely diverse team in Munich. Take a look at their open positions and apply on Jobbatical:

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