The BizSpark startup of the day is Fitting Reality. Below you will find an interview with Inga Nakhmanson, CEO & Co-Founder of Fitting Reality. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
CEO & Co-Founder.
What did you do before creating your company?
I should confess I’m a serial entrepreneur. Three years ago I founded AR Door in Moscow. At that time, it was the only company on the Russian market to provide solutions based on a markerless augmented reality technology. Now, it is a highly successful company with lots of projects. Serving there as the CEO, I came up with a new idea – to develop an augmented reality fitting room.
How do you feel about being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
I’m flattered! As a startup, you never know for sure how your service or product will be received by the market. So, being selected for nomination, receiving awards, or getting positive feedback from your customers is very flattering and uplifting. You realize that all the efforts are not in vain!
What is your company’s mission?
To develop software that helps people easily and efficiently select, virtually try-on and purchase clothes and accessories.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Fitting Reality brings innovation to the retail experience on a global scale by providing an AR fitting room based on Microsoft Kinect.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I came up with the idea while working with augmented reality technology. Although the razzle-dazzle of AR wows folks and helps sell more magazines or sunglasses, I realized that to get real business value out of the technology, it needs to be more than just eye candy, it should help people and solve their problems. I realized great opportunities in a virtual fitting room.
Tell us about your funding history. A re you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We are angel-funded today, but we are open to discussions with other investors.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Currently there are 18 employees, including 14 developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Right now we are looking for C++ programmers, UI designers in Moscow, Russia.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Fitting Reality’s solution is built on the Windows Azure platform. We strongly believe that in the future, cloud computing will be the only choice. We’d like our users to access the application online and share information through the use of remote server networks, rather than depending primarily on tools and information housed on their individual, personal computers. I believe that cloud computing will become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade. That is why we’ve decided to provide our solution based on the cloud.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
First and foremost in augmented reality. It has suddenly become ubiquitous. Sure, the technology has been around for some time, but suddenly it seems like “everybody’s doin’ it, doin’it”. AR not only has now moved into marketing, social networking, tourism, but it’s also gradually making its way into new fields. Providing solutions that would convert digital data into AR data (similar to the process of converting print-only materials into digital form), from my perspective, represents today a very promising field.
To talk about my future vision, I’m sure that digital technology will be soon deeply integrated into real life and even our bodies, e.g. some data will appear right in the air and be visible through AR goggles, chipsets will be integrated into our hands and will be used for identification and purchasing, - well, everything that we have seen or read in science fiction. I think that our team is helping to bring these fantastic ideas into life!
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
I always emphasize the importance of the team—above even the importance of the startup idea. Remember that having the right team is the key to success in an early stage startup. Once you find the right people that fit your business, do not underestimate them, trust them!
Who’s your role model?
Confucius’s ideas appeal to me greatly. My favorite one is that every person you meet in your life serves you as a teacher.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Fitting Reality is developing a virtual fitting room based on Kinect for people to use it at home.