BrandVR creates simple, easy to use AR/VR creation tools for businesses. Non-developers can use these tools to create stunning AR/VR experiences that will move the needle for their business.
Location: Detroit, Michigan and Orlando, Florida
Product / Service Offering: AR/VR Content Creation Platform for Business
Co-founder Interviewed: Mahmoud “Moody” Mattan, Co-founder & CEO
Other Key Management Team Members: Kunal Patel, Co-founder & CTO
This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope that these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
My father moved to the United States from Syria when he was 16 years old. He barely knew a word of English, but had dreams of a better life in America. He washed dishes to put himself through college and now owns multiple successful businesses. His drive to create a better life for his family gave me a better platform to succeed. Therefore, it is now my job to use that platform to accomplish ten times more!
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When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
I started PowisVR, one of the first Google Cardboard partners in Berkeley, California. Because I worked on hundreds of VR marketing campaigns, I realized the market needs an easy-to-use platform to help more people create Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR) content.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Similar to web development in the 1990’s, AR/VR today is costly, time-consuming, and requires specialized video game development and programming expertise. Most importantly, BrandVR is democratizing AR/VR content creation for business.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
BrandVR is laser focused on creating simple, easy to use AR/VR creation tools for businesses. Non-developers can use these tools to create stunning AR/VR experiences that will move the needle for their business.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge has been market awareness and education about how AR/VR experiences can drive business results. Most companies do not have AR/VR marketing budgets, so funding the projects can be tricky. At BrandVR, we like to publish different AR/VR content weekly to show people what uses could work well for their business.
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What resources have you utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
We have utilized Angel List and FirstSearch Tactical Startup Advice from First Round Capital and Mattermark daily newsletters.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company, and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
We have bootstrapped our company from inception and have been using profits from client projects to fund our platform development. However, we recently finished the Startup Boost Detroit accelerator and launched our $1M seed round. Reach out if you are interested in investing!
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What questions have you had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
Some of our projects are larger enterprise deals with long sales cycles. Therefore, I am seeking advice on how to shorten long enterprise sales cycles.
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
The AR/VR industry is still in its infancy and widespread adoption is still years away. Our challenge is finding specific enterprise applications that work today and provide a solid ROI for businesses.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
Brand VR’s most helpful tip is to create unfair advantages through networks. An easy way of doing this is to keep your closest customers, fans, investors, etc. updated through a monthly newsletter. Keep it short and sweet, talk about milestones you have achieved, and have one BIG ASK that everyone can rally behind.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
We just launched a crowdfunding campaign to build Detroit’s first Augmented Reality Mural! Every contribution comes with its own unique reward, including a full set of exclusive (donor-only) merchandise featuring the mural’s artwork. These limited edition top-quality garments, accessories, and prints allow contributors to take home a scaled version of the mural. These pieces will all come alive through the Electrifly App – Just like the mural! Check it out here: patronicity.com/ElectriFlyDetroit
Are you familiar with other startups you believe should be spotlighted? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!