Just Started – Viewr: Michael Calver

It always helps to have a clear business idea. Viewr has taken this advice literally, turning design files into high-quality 3D Visualisations for firms of any size to access.

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Name of founder: Michael Calver
Age of the founder: 33
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
Date launched: 31 August 2021
Number of employees: 1

What does your business do?

Easily transform CAD & BIM files into virtual experiences and share to any device, anywhere, in seconds with Viewr.

3D Visualisation forms a crucial part of the design, construction and management of the world around us by conveying ideas, designs and finished products to stakeholders and customers. Whilst the technology brings proven benefits, it requires a substantial financial investment and hundreds of man-hours to deliver and maintain, posing a major barrier to entry for many people and organisations. Ultimately, this leads to reduced profit margins, wasted time and final designs of spaces and places that fail to meet the needs of end users.

Viewr dramatically lowers the entry point to 3D Visualisation through an automated, cost-effective and easy to adopt software product, enabling more people and organisations to adopt and benefit from the technology.

Ultimately, Viewr reduces the turnaround time of visualisation from days or weeks to seconds, and places the technology directly into the hands of users with no prior experience of 3D Visualisation necessary.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

A career working with 3D Computer Graphics, Simulation and Immersive technology. This has included the design and development of world-leading simulation, visualisation and design tools within Formula One, Automotive, Architectural Design, Manufacturing, Aviation and Retail industries. In doing so, I have realised the potential of 3D Visualisation technology, and now I wish to democratise it to help support the design of the world around us.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Industry experience, lengthy research, engaging with industry leaders, gaining validated feedback from potential customers and building an MVP to validate the Viewr concept.

I have realised the potential of 3D Visualisation technology, and now I wish to democratise it to help support the design of the world around us.

What were you doing before launching your business?

This will be my third startup company, applying learnings from the previous two. Before this I was working cross-industry, delivering world leading 3D Visualisation, Simulation and design tools.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

I believe that entrepreneurship is the route to creating long-term positive impact.

How did you finance your business?

Our startup accelerator, Lauchpad has helped to fund the business, alongside bootstrapping from my own 3D Visualisation service-based business.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

Viewr is a 3D Visualisation software product delivered via a Software as a Service (SaaS), tiered subscription model which automates the creation, hosting and deployment of real-time rendered visualisations.

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

The main challenges we have faced are primarily around financing. We are currently attempting to overcome these now through careful and well-considered planning around fund-raising and product development.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

The pandemic severely affected my previous startup, due to the nature of the business. Viewr is designed to mitigate as much risk as possible surrounding pandemics through well-considered product design and development of IP which can be used to support a number of product applications.

I believe that entrepreneurship is the route to creating long-term positive impact.

Describe your first breakthrough.

Our first breakthrough came once we had built and deployed our first MVP. Not only did this validate our initial assumptions, but it also provided us with the validated feedback necessary to inform our future development roadmap.

How has Brexit impacted your business? Do you think it will in the future?

Brexit has not yet impacted our business and we shall mitigate as much risk (as with the pandemic) as possible.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

I would advise other aspiring business owners to validate as much as possible during early product development, but start building as soon as possible. Also:

  • It’s never too early to start selling your product.
  • Make sure you consider product launch marketing early on.
  • Planning must make way for doing, preferably sooner rather than later.

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

One resolution I have is to deploy Viewr for early access in Q2.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

We will launch and be first to market in Q4 2022 and rapidly grow our sales by 4x in 2024 and 2x in 2023. Our ambition is to dominate the market for real-time 3D Visualisation within AEC by 2026.

If you're a business owner with a startup that's less than six months old, apply now to feature as one of our Just Started business profiles.

Helena is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has previously written for a popular fintech startup covering everything from money-saving tips to cultural reviews.

She is particularly interested in project management software and the films of Peter Jackson.

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