For the final entry in the series, I will be explaining the steps I took in developing my startup during the last month of my placement year at the Northumbria Business Startup Hatchery. Hopefully these monthly report-style blogs can be useful to someone in a similar position, who is looking to get started with developing their business idea.
ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN FOR May 2017
- Incorporated my startup with Companies House, to be able to receive investment, transfer liability from myself and build the credibility of the business.
- Engaged online game communities who gave feedback on the prospect of an open-source VR focused game development company, the current business model I am exploring.
- Used the consumer feedback that was given to pivot away from having the business revolve around just VR game software to it being about ‘traditional’ – i.e. non-VR console and PC – game software, as the largest interest came from consumers who were not invested in VR, had a relatively lower income compared to those who were but were keen on becoming involved in the games industry either as a hobby or a profession.
- Created a landing page, which captures email addresses, in order to collect evidence of public interest in supporting this kind of (open core) business model for games.
- Commissioned a freelance artist for the landing page artwork, giving me more time to work on expanding the business and my second experience of outsourcing.
- Produced draft renders for the Sunderland Council project and presented them in a discussion with my client, who was pleased with the progress and requested my first invoice be submitted.
- Invoiced that client but ran into difficulty getting the invoice paid within the period I outlined, even after chasing this up for the whole of the month, so the arrears remain outstanding.
- Applied for a startup bank account at HSBC, to separate my business and personal finances so that the company is ready for to receive revenue and investment, however the application was declined due to my personal circumstances.
- Met again with Emine Thompson (Northumbria University‘s VRV department) in regards to Newcastle Council‘s Digital Economy project, after creating some concept sketches I was offered to continue working towards producing the final product which is to be part of the Great North Exhibition.
- After speaking with Emma Whitenstall, of Generator Studios I was put in touch with Stephen D. Slater, Director of Commercial Services at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Ltd.
- Arranged a meeting with Stephen, who is part of a larger network of advisors, who can discuss how I can overcome some of the hurdles facing me, such as; investment options, hiring the right talent, growing the business and more.