Unlike Apple, SolidWorks didn't start in a garage. In fact, its birthplace was even more humble--CEO Jon Hirschtick's basement. Hirschtick, 36, has bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had previously founded another computer software company, Premise, Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Computervision. Hirschtick incorporated SolidWorks in December 1993. His original teammates were Bob Zuffante, another MIT graduate, ...

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