The ESA BIC Bavaria incubatee Holodeck VR builds location-based virtual reality (VR) experiences that disrupt how humans interact in virtual and real spaces on an unprecedented level. Thanks to its unique active hybrid sensor technology, people can explore and move around in groups in larger virtual environments with minimal hardware (just wearing VR headsets). This scalable VR technology is perfectly suited to multi-user experiences at various kinds of events, including adventure games, entertainment activities, parties and corporate events. The Nuremberg-based startup proudly announces ProSiebenSat.1, the leading German entertainment company, as a new strategic investor. Holodeck VR is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, famous as the inventor of MP3. The startup was founded by Dr. Stephan Otto and Jonathan Nowak in 2017 and started its incubation programme at ESA BIC Bavaria in January 2018.
ESA BIC Bavaria Manager Cornelia Gebath (CG) interviews Stephan Otto (SO), Managing Director at HolodeckVR.
CG: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
SO: HolodeckVR is a turnkey free-roaming multi-user (20+ simultaneous users) VR system optimised for large areas. We target the simple, social and fun aspect of VR. Our ready-for-use solution contains hardware, software, content and service.
In addition to my co-founder Jonathan Nowak and me, our skilled team including Christian Daxer, CTO, Florian Carls, Head of Business Development, and Barbara Lippe, Head of Content, brings together talented individuals who are crucial for the scaling of HolodeckVR.
CG: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
SO: Bootstrapping the company without external money and develop a turnkey solution as a finished product.
CG: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
SO: Our three main ingredients are a winning team, a clear vision (simple.social.fun – VR for everyone) and a strong tech IP, patented and licensed from Fraunhofer.
CG: What do you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria and how do you think the initiative and its network will help you to kick-start your business case?
SO: ESA BIC Bavaria greatly supported us during the bootstrapping phase with infrastructure and the initial budget, and especially with the connection to Fraunhofer.
CG: What do you think to benefit from the Fraunhofer IIS support?
SO: We make heavy use of the L.I.N.K. test facility as well as the knowledge of the skilled people from Fraunhofer.
CG: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in Holodeck VR’s future?
SO: We will be launching our product generation 2.0 at the end of Q3. More importantly, we will strongly expand our content selection with inspirational, social and fun titles. We are happy to announce ProSiebenSat.1 as our new strategic Investor from May 2019. The funds are earmarked to allow Holodeck to expand its open content platform and extend its network of locations offering the company’s simple and effective one-stop solution.