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 June 2016
- Applied for vacancies in relevant job roles which could boost my professional experience and that I could fit in around my placement, including;
- Registered to attend the VRTGO Labs launch event in Gateshead, July 6th – Europe’s first virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) networking hub.
- Began redesigning my portfolio website into a business focused landing page.
- Began researching my customer market and developing my business idea using the agile methodology, including;
- Conducting primary research on enthusiast forums and at my part-time job at a games retailer, engaging in customer conversations about VR gaming in order to gauge people’s concerns and expectations for the technology and the software.
- Analysed secondary research from sources, e.g. historical data, trends and insight from market reports published by Entertainment Software Association, UK Interactive Entertainment, Mintel, Key Note, Kantar Worldpanel & Kantar Media.
- Completed the first revision of a Business Model Canvas using the knowledge gleaned from my market research, arriving at my initial problem statement; “There are no deep and affordable, full-game experiences for VR hardware.”
- Began work on building a prototype VR game product using Unreal Engine 4, to allow me to examine the possibilities and limitations of the technology, as well as to measure my ability to lead development on such a product and highlight the areas where I would need help.
- Finished reading and applying the exercises (‘lenses’) from The Art of Game Design (Jesse Schell, 2015) to my prototype VR game design, to improve the quality of my work as a developer.
- Sought information on registering my business as a sole trader, confirming the use of my portfolio websites name, infinity27(.com), as valid through the Companies House register.
- Designed a business card for myself and had a company t-shirt printed for the VRTGO event.
- Generated a list of questions for the fortnightly meeting with my supervisor, asking about;
- Accessing the facilities at the universities Virtual Reality & Visualisation (VRV) Studio.
- Registering product names, trademarks, copyright, etc.
- Possible funding opportunities such as through the Princes Trust, for example.
- When to begin setting up business accounts and keeping records for tax returns.