Capital Factory’s Saturday Startup Spotlight series features intimate chats with some of the latest founders taking hold of the startup ecosystem today. We’re returning this week with the co-founder and COO from Juuk: Stephen Dodds and Vanessa Wu. Juuk creates robots that play with you— utilizing AR, multiplayer real-life games, smart robot games, and computer vision.
Learn more about how they create fun and interactive games to get people moving around, all while implementing the newest tech in augmented reality.
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Can you pitch your company to us?
Stephen: We make augmented reality games that are physically engaging — like our current first-person shooter augmented reality mobile game, Zedblast. With our games, people are encouraged to get up and be the hero.
What is the current goal you’re aiming to achieve?
Stephen: We’re currently beta testing our latest game, Zedblast. We’re specifically focused on achieving a level of fun/stickiness with our early users that will be required for mass adoption.
As startup founders, what challenges are you facing as you navigate the entrepreneurial world?
Stephen: Finding investors who are experienced and have had previous success in our industry is challenging. Validating our product assumptions and value propositions with real customers is difficult as well. Knowing how to interpret customer feedback and release MVPs quickly takes a lot of discipline. It’s scary to release something to people when it’s not the full product you had in mind— but it’s necessary if you want to build the right product.
Vanessa: You have so many voices, from mentors, for example, who are experts in their respective fields. They all seem right, so which is better than the other? Sometimes you may question yourself, but it’s important to keep saying “be strong” and “try again.”
What connections are you looking for at Capital Factory? Who would you like to meet?
Stephen: We would love more connections to angels and VCs with experience and success in the gaming and/or entertainment markets.
We would also love to meet more entrepreneurs who are further along than we are in this market, and who have been able to build a customer base, product, and investment connections from the ground up.
What do you want our community to know about Juuk?
Stephen: We’re early explorers in a very new field. I can guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like our latest game. Come visit us on the 16th floor Accelerator bullpen at Capital Factory in Austin if you want to give it a try.
Thank you for spending some time talking to us, Stephen and Vanessa!
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