The journey from a garage to a company
Like all other great stories of successful startups, this one too started in a garage. It was the thirst for knowledge and passion for creating something out of nothing that connected two, then students of electrical engineering in what started just as a hobby, but became what we have today.
2012 – 2014
We would spend our free time tinkering on the electronics, sharpening our skills, utilizing the most we could out of what we had at the time…which was not much. What we had was a workshop in a garage that was equipped with just the basic tools, and a few breadboards and development boards. No real furniture, no office chairs and no heating.
After some time we realized that we could even earn some money by doing what we love. We tried a few projects on the local market, but this market is underdeveloped and that did not pan out as we have planned.
This did not, of course, end the pursuit of our passion. We still believed that what we’re doing is worth something. With the help of the internet and different outsourcing platforms, we were able to access the wider market where our skills would be more appreciated.
This is when the first real money was earned. Every new project was a challenge that required some quick adaptations and lots of learning to ensure that the work is done before the deadline.
We were still in the garage. We had no access to components and we would have to order them from China. That’s why we adapted our approach by creating solutions that used the components that were left from the previous projects.
2015 – 2017
A new member is joining the team. This is when we got the first bigger client with a project that took about a year. Revenues started to grow which was an additional push not to give up on this path.
Some office equipment was bought and the garage was transformed into something that is closer to what one might call an office. It was time to get rid of those plastic garden chairs with worn-out legs. Things started taking some shape and the first 3D printer was even acquired. Dress code was obviously something that could be described as more-than-casual.
We had one big client and a few smaller ones when we got to work on another two bigger projects. With more than 3 years of freelancing and bigger projects on the horizon, the next logical step was founding a company. This was possible with the help from one of our bigger clients which is our partner today at Semblie. With his help, a company was founded in Australia. We worked for one year under the umbrella of Formilab. At that time one of the members left the team. This proved to be a challenge at the time, but we didn’t let this impair our strides.
It was time to change the work environment once again, and we moved out of the garage…into the basement of the house 10m from the garage. It was not much, but it was an office space of cca. 35m2 (cca. 337sqft).
Due to local regulations, we were still considered freelancers. To change this, and ensure better security and status that real employment enables, we decided to register the company in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. That’s when Semblie d.o.o. Tuzla was founded.
A few more members joined the team at this time.
2018 – 2020
Year to year more equipment was acquired, the business was developed, many more projects big and small were being finished but we still worked in that small basement space in the house of one of our members.
Although the place was getting crowded we were even able to have several interns and apprentices. They were able to make their first steps towards developing their fist hardware here.
After years of working like that, due to the expansion of work and the need for more space, and general company image we moved into the new office space. This is where we are today. In the heart of the city.
We believe that this office is finally ready for visits from our clients and we’re striving to make it better. Also, we believe that it should be easier to attract new quality employees when we have a better work environment to offer. And new employees we’ll have to find as the business is still growing.
Our mission is helping startups by bringing their future closer to them. We enjoy building new things, working on new challenges and turning ideas into physical pieces of hardware. Our vision is providing our customer with turnkey hardware solutions, from idea to mass production. And our main goal is a happy customer, and in order to have a happy customer, you must have happy employees. We are only halfway to fulfilling our vision, but we still remember that our story started in a garage. With trust in our capabilities and our passion, we strongly believe that we will get there.