Let’s face it – starting and running a VR / AR startup is a real challenge. Although consumers are constantly looking for more exciting experiences, most of them have only a vague idea of what virtual reality and augmented reality are. Due to the novelty and quite a high cost of VR and AR technologies their popularity in the world is just gaining momentum on the market.
The raising interest to the VR/AR startups is reflected in a number of articles at the popular IT resources and various market forecasts. Digi Capital estimates that AR/VR market would be worth somewhere between $94 billion and $120 billion by 2021. And there are plenty pretty numbers that really encourage entrepreneurs to consider launching AR/VR startups.
Quick tips on how and where to start
1. Define your product
First of all, you must define what kind of VR products you want to produce. In other words, find your niche in this industry.
2. Define your audience
The Statista forecast approximates a number of consumers that would use some kind of AR/VR technology around the globe to 171 million by 2018. You can find your potential users among them. Of course, it calls for an extensive marketing research, but having an idea for a product and prospective audience figured greatly helps to attract investors.
3. Hire the best AR/VR app development company
As it is. The future of your product depends on this step. Thus try hard, put every effort to find the best possible software company (for your money) that has years of experience, nice portfolio and good capabilities in augmented and/or virtual reality app development.
4. Watch new developments
Mark Zuckerberg’s farsight in many respects has determined the current popularity of the VR. When Facebook acquired the Oculus company, it increased the interest of the rest of the world to this technology. Enormous attention is attracted to such brands as HTC and their HTC Vive, created in collaboration with Valve. Of course, Sony, one of the largest and most influential publishers in the gaming industry, couldn’t miss the unstoppable stream of VR/AR technology development. And let’s not forget the Samsung Gear VR wireless headset developed in 2015. Keeping on par with the vicinal developments helps to get ideas for new devices, apps, and services.
5. Watch the AR/VR industry trends
The virtual reality is gaining momentum, and there are numerous speculations about its current and future tendencies already. For instance, one of the most intriguing trends for the coming years is the mixed reality (MR). In short, while AR is a reality with integrated digital elements, MR is a virtual reality with integrated elements of real life.
6. Get the funding
So far, the area of AR/VR has a lot of space to claim. Many venture investors and business angels are looking for startups with promising ideas. To win their attention you have to prepare an efficient business plan and an MVP beforehand.
Often the idea may not look compelling at the first glance, especially for those not on the know. In this case, you’d better go to specialized seed accelerators or business incubators. Such institutions provide the early stage companies with much needed funding, training and mentorship. Startups enter accelerators for a fixed periods of time and undergo a very thorough and immersive study courses.
Last but not least way to finance the startup is crowdfunding. Such platforms as Indiegogo, Kickstarter or GoFundMe gave hundreds if not thousands of startups the needed push. Some of those later raised venture investments and thus continued to grow further.
7. Build the company structure
CEO, CTO, managing partners – startup co-founders should determine their roles since the very beginning. Besides, any startup looking for the investor attention, must know and then name the key first hirings.
Then you have to decide either hire an in-house development team, or take advantage of outsourcing. Thanks god today there is plenty of custom software development companies, and you have a power of choice.
Note that many successful startups collaborate with custom software development companies, as it gives lots of benefits in terms of time and cost savings.
Additional points of attention
1. 3D modeling
3D modeling is a core technology in AR/VR enterprise, thus, to offer a really great product you need to hire a whole team of experienced 3D artists or partner with IT company with a required expertise.
2. High-quality software
More often than not, qualitative and bug-free software that is constantly maintained and updated constitutes greatly to the startup success. Bad user experience can undermine all the efforts in other parts of the project. Though, one should keep in mind that hiring, upkeeping and managing an in-house development team is time- and resource-consuming. Thus a much wiser choice is to entrust the app development to the experienced AR/VR app development company. This will allow your company to concentrate on more pressing matters.