August Activity Report

For this series of entries, I will be explaining the steps I take in developing my startup during 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.

  • Adjusted the project plan (for the placement year) to set more realistic goals and achievable project milestones, based upon my measured and projected progress, as well as feedback from my peers and industry professionals.
  • Met with game programmers, artists and sound designers from the north-east to the north-west of England, discussing collaboration on game projects.
  • Joined the VR North East meetup group, to connect with enthusiasts in the area.
  • Sought advice from Frankie Cavanaugh, a lecturer who runs Somniator Games, a VR games business.
  • Pro-actively approached more local games industry businesses to offer my services, e.g. Nosebleed Interactive, Hammerhead VR, CCP Games, etc.
  • Attended a meeting with an advisor at the Business & IP Centre, Newcastle, who gave advice on the relevance and requirements for trademarks and copyright.
  • Pro-actively arranged and attended an interview with James from Northumbria University‘s Virtual Reality & Visualisation Group, seeking potential work on the Virtual Newcastle Gateshead joint venture and other local projects.
  • Visited VRGTO Labs and contacted the manager, Carri Cunliffe about joining their cluster as a resident, to allow me to use their co-working space, which would embed me with leading VR developers and hardware manufacturers.
  • Further improved my website to include interactive 3D models and more detailed explanations/examples of my skills, making it easier for clients to parse.
  • Applied for:
  • Attended the VRTGO Meet the AR/VR Experts day and wrote a blog entry about my experience, to increase my professional engagement.
  • Contacted Doug Wolff, Partner Technology Manager at Epic Games, registering my interest in contract opportunities and potentially acquiring developer hardware through their partnership program.
  • Compiled and analysed a list of companies, how they’re using VR and the benefit to them of doing so.
  • Explored a potential pivot using lean and agile thinking and the business model canvas, with a view to providing in-store sales support to retailers who are selling VR equipment to consumers.
  • Gained a prospective client in my former employer, Grainger Games, who are interested in letting a trial run be conducted in one of their flagship stores.