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 July 2016
- Created a project plan using MS Project and agile estimating techniques, mapping the timescales for the production of a vertical slice (proof of concept) over the placement year, which can be used to seek funding.
- Developed a spreadsheet that is used to calculate development time for the content (game assets), with initial estimates for each task type being measured against timed practice attempts in order to gauge the viable scope and scale of the project, as well as to test the development pipeline.
- Generated a list of tasks and relationships using the user stories approach from agile methodologies.
- Requested more information from Gateshead Council on their digital initiative and opportunities for work.
- Attended VRTGO Labs launch event, a centre of excellence for VR developers in the north east of England, which was a chance to network and learn from prominent local businesses in the industry.
- Wrote a blog entry about the VRTGO Labs launch event and shared it within industry relevant social media circles to boost my exposure among the community.
- Applied for new industry vacancies, such as another advertised Junior Animator position at Ubisoft Reflections, Newcastle.
- Attended Google Digital Garage at the Newcastle City Library, where I learnt about improving my portfolio/website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) among professional and public directories, and more.
- Completed the Google Digital Garage online course list to gain further insight into how an online presence (e.g. website, social media, etc.) can help me exploit local and international opportunities.
- Arranged a meeting with the Intellectual Property Office for August 5th, in order to help me better understand how to protect my work, e.g.; copyright, trademarks, etc.
- Updated my portfolio website using the advice from the Google Digital Garage, including; getting listed on professional business directories, keyword search, URL and page structure optimisation.
- Pro-actively propositioned local businesses regarding contract/freelance work, e.g. Kuro Dragon, Arcus Animation Studios, etc.
- Identified and investigated a potential pivot in the business strategy, after identifying the possible need for experienced evangelism that would help drive sales of VR hardware at retail.