Guest post by Nadja Lindgren, Nordic Scale Account Manager, AWS & Sophia Granfors, Startup Marketing Manager Nordics, AWS
The adoption of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies have risen in recent years within marketing, education, healthcare, tourism, events, fashion, entertainment, retail, gaming, and other sectors. However, due to high development costs, the complexities of AR/VR devices, and other challenges, these technologies are still in their early phases of adoption.
Co-Founded by CEO Julie Despraz, Swedish startup Alloverse has developed an open-source platform for virtual collaboration that is being used to build the spatial internet. The company’s platform and tools enable users to create virtual workspaces and 3D applications to populate them. We recently sat down with Despraz to chat VR, sustainability, and celebrating even the smallest of wins.
Describe Alloverse’s vision and its product offering.
We are developing a collaborative open source platform with a marketplace for productivity apps in VR. We provide tools and infrastructure that enable users to write VR apps that run server-side using a networked API, and join virtual worlds on the same terms as other users. In other words, they can compose environments in which they and their colleagues can work on interoperating apps at the same time.
We want to shape the next 50 years of the internet in a more inclusive manner than it would have evolved otherwise. So, everything we do is open source, distributed, and federated. We work in the open (an open and public Discord, constantly sharing progress on social media). We’re writing open specifications that we hope will become the foundation of a new era of internet protocols, replacing or augmenting the 2D web. Furthermore, we believe that the future of software has to be collaborative by design so that we can always be and work together, especially as we move into spatial software.
How will virtual and augmented reality affect sustainability?
VR has had a major, cross-industry impact in areas such as training, upskilling teams, and keeping people mentally sane and physically fit. COVID-19 showed that although we’re far from a mainstream VR/AR world, many businesses have benefited from it, particularly when it comes to training employees. Perkins Coie surveyed nearly 200 professionals last year spanning startups, enterprise technology firms, and investors for insights on the trajectory of the immersive technology industry. Some 70% of respondents believe that organizations will focus on adopting VR/AR in training and development during 2021. In the healthcare sector, 68% of the respondents believe that AR/VR training simulations will be the primary focus of new solutions and applications through 2022.
What has been the biggest challenge building your startup thus far?
We’re building an open-source infrastructure/platform for VR/AR apps from scratch, which is difficult, fundamental work. Instead of picking an existing platform such as Unreal or Unity, we decided to build our own using Lövr and other languages, such as Lua. We’re spending a lot of time learning about how to build VR infrastructure that will be safe, robust, and easy for developers to use.
What are three pieces of advice you’d give to early-stage startups?
Build a startup with people you trust and care for. Make sure that you share the same values and dreams for your venture. If things don’t go to plan, remain friends. Enjoy the ride, have fun, and celebrate every win, no matter how small! When forced to make an important decision such as a new hire, or signing a deal or a terms sheet, turn to peers or who have gone through the same experience. There’s nothing better than real-world advice. And if you need to use lawyers, use them for one day (eight hours) in sync with lawyers from the other side. This will cut costs and make the process for both parties more efficient.
How has AWS supported your startup journey?
The AWS Startup Team proactively checks in with us and puts energy into making sure we have everything we need, whether that’s through architectural support or joint marketing. Their interest in our business is much appreciated.
Do you want to get started and accelerate your business with AWS? Visit aws-startuploft-emea.com for exclusive events and support.
Nadja works on AWS Nordic Startup Team helping early-stage startups scale and grow with AWS. Prior to her time at AWS Nadja led the brand transformation of Hamilton, a Swedish business law firm, establishing content marketing, social media strategies and digital rebranding.
Sophia is a Stockholm-based startup marketer passionate about enabling early-stage startups to succeed. Prior to AWS, she was helping entrepreneurs with financing through angel investor matchmaking. She has a strong passion for diversity and inclusion, to level the playing field for underrepresented founders.