Entrepreneurs Moayed Omer, Khalid Al Shaikh and Ahmed Samara have developed a pioneering virtual reality solution HOVR which cuts down hassle in architectural design and experience. They were able to successfully use their collective backgroundv knowledge to transform an idea into a working venture. Here they tell Bahrain This Week their journey so far and the challenges they had to overcome.
Tell us briefly about yourself, your team members?
Moayed Omer: I am 26 years old, architecture graduated, passionate about 3D visualizing and anything related to virtual reality!
Khalid Al Shaikh: I am 25 years old, Civil Engineer and passionate about leadership and youth development!
Ahmed Samara: I am 24 years old. I got involved in a couple of startups, and is currently running my own. I love travelling, food, Intermilan and being around people. I am a magnet to challenges and new experiences!
Give us a brief summary about all of your educational and professional background.
Moayed Omer: I have a Bachelor in Architecture from University of Bahrain And I work as an architect in one of the leading interior design firms in Bahrain, and as a project manager and also as a 3D visualizer.
Khalid Al Shaikh: Graduate from University of Bahrain with a Bachelor in Civil Engineering, Diploma in Surveying from University of Otago New Zealand, my professional background involves various fields such as civil engineering, marketing, event management and project management.
Ahmed Samara: Acquired a Bachelor International Logistics Management from Bahrain Polytechnic, and a Diploma in International Logistics Transport–UK Certified. Currently, a Co-founder at Trendinbh an online destination to reach out the trendiest items out there. National Director of BD and Internships in AIESEC in the UAE.
What are your guys doing for a day job? where do you work?
Moayed Omer: I work as an architect in an interior design firm.
Khalid Al Shaikh: Engineering Surveyor at Surveying and Land Registration Bureau.
Ahmed Samara: Self-Employed, handling finances, logistics and partnerships.
When and how did you get around to developing HOVR?
It all started after post graduation and entering the working field, coming from an architecture and civil engineering background, we found that the most challenging part in our field is not the implementation and construction, it was the design and redesign phases; as it takes a lot of time to change and edit the designs also trying to explain the 2D design to the client is also a hassle.
‘HOVR’ is an interesting solution. Tell us more about the application and how did this idea strike you?
By using the VR application, we are able to make the customer experience the building before it is even built and to interact with the features of the building on spot such as moving and changing color and style of furniture.
What have been the initial challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was creating the platform that enables us to convert 3D models into VR by maintaining the quality of the 3D model itself intended to be presented by the designer and expected by the customer. Another challenge was selling this idea to the market as it will be difficult to convince the market to change from the current methods of designing to a new conventional method.
How is HOVR unique?
By replacing the current methods into the methods and services of HoVR, partners (architects and construction companies) will be able to provide a better customer service experience in terms of communication and a final product presentation, adding to that the ability to cut cost and time; by dispensing the need of working drawing and 3D models and post construction changes.
Where do you see HOVR in the next 3 years?
A well-established company disrupting the VR market.
If you were to list 5 essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur, what would they be?
Networking skills, sales, resilience, crisis management and innovation in your field.
How has HOVR developed so far?
HoVR transformed from an idea into reality, we were able to recently meet various companies and individuals who showed interest in the idea and concept. We are in process of delivering final products to the companies we worked with since day 0.
How did you find Startup Weekend Bahrain?
It was a very intense challenging experience to create a business in 3 days. Startup weekend exceeded our expectation in terms of support and mentoring from the mentors and other participants.
Being the winner of Startup Weekend, how do you feel?
It was a great honor to be recognized by this award and it proved to us that in 3 days a lot of things can happen. This recognition, by the award and the individuals participating gives us an evident push to take HoVR to the next level.
List us three things you have learned.
- An idea and effort is nothing without the right team.
- Time is not an issue in creating a business.
- The value of marketing your idea and yourself.
What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs in and around GCC?
Our main message to entrepreneurs is “Go for it”. It’s about making the idea happen, which is the hardest part! Looking at the current reality of the GCC to be specific, we find ourselves surrounded by enormous support in all forms, from the public and private sector to be creative and motivated to launch new products and new ideas that can change our society and the world towards a better place!