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.
ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN FOR JANUARY 2017
- Contacted the local colleges on my potential client list who had not yet replied in response to my offer of education services, giving them each a proposal with a pricing list, so I could begin to focus on other ventures.
- Contacted Carri Cunliffe and Lewis Deans, offering to speak at their VR in Education event, sometime in February.
- Begin adapting one of my existing portfolio demos to include support for the Oculus Touch controllers, which I acquired in December.
- Signed up to the Upwork and Freelancer networks, which allows me to bid on internationally posted freelance projects, in order to reach more potential customers and improve my ability to generate an income that can sustain my other business activities.
- Began canvassing and research on a long-term goal of establishing a virtual reality and games design studio in the local area, which included reaching out to Gateshead Council and VRTGO Labs for residency at their upcoming Center for Emerging Technology.
- Created a blog post describing the digital marketing event arranged by Northumbria, what I got from it and how I used the wisdom to help improve my business, as well as the overcoming the difficulties I experienced in relation to these activities.
- Met with TyneMet College who want two and a half days worth of sessions with their students for their work experience week.
- Took time to develop and e-mail a proposal for a bespoke workshop, for TyneMet College, along with full details of my services and pricing.
- Reached out to a range of people to widen my network of contacts and support options, such as:
- Prof. Ling Shao from Northumbria University’s Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence department – who helped me arrange a meeting with his PhD student, to discuss the potential and possibility of combining virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
- Mercedes Bent, Vice President of Education at UploadVR – discuss the possibility of collaborating to bring their workshop experience into the UK during the second half of 2017.
- Billy Webber, Chief Operating Officer at Sunderland Software City – who offered free business support in the form of market research, press release and network event services.
- Campus North to explore opportunities at their entrepreneur community and co-working space.
- Mark Johnston, from TEDCO Ltd. – discussing my activities and ideas, the customer segments and markets I am targeting, problems faced and their business support opportunities (e.g. workshops).