Immotionar post mortem: goodbye and thank you

In these days I’ve written a lot of words about my startup Immotionar that is shutting down. I tried to explain you what errors we made that lead to our shutdown and I also tried being of help in telling you how to recover from the psychological downtimes of seeing your company closing. Today I want just to thank all people that have been part of the project and recall some good memories to close this serie… from the next post on, I’ll return talking about VR reviews, tutorials and so on.

First of all I want to thank Gianni, for having taught me so much in these three years and for having been the one starting this virtual reality journey. Actually it was more an augmented reality journey at the beginning, since our first idea was to use Google Glasses to do amazing AR applications… then we tried them and… cough cough… they were really terrible! Right eye had to look at this little display while left eye should look forward… only derp could use such a hardware!!

Derp’s eyes are the ideal ones for Google Glasses (Image by urban dictionary)

Anyway the name of our initial passion remained in our startup name (ImmotionAR) and that caused us some troubles when we switched to VR (ImmotionVR sounded to us not that good).

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Immotionar logo… a lot of time has been spent by Gianni to make it. Then lots of people keep saying that “it is not a logo, it’s just a writing” and Gianni wanted to kill them

I’ve shared lots of good moments and even lots of bad ones with Gianni… and even if we’re very different people, I’ll miss him a lot. The empty desk next to mine is so lonely! By the way, he’s a top-class software architect… so if you’re looking for a fantastic .NET architect, contact him on Linkedin… you won’t regret it. In the meantime, I wish him good luck with his new job.

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Gianni happily smiling at Bardonecchia Wonderlight Nights event

The other team member was Beps Engineering, the company that has been supporting us through this adventure. Beppe Platania, the CEO, has always been very kind towards us and helped us whenever he could. Antonella joined us in the epic EIA adventure. Enrico had a great vision and had faith in our success. All the employees have helped us and made us laugh during the coffee and lunch breaks. They’ll continue offering IoT consultancies and proposing themselves as super experts with Windows IoT and Windows Embedded… again, if you need help in these topics, contact them!

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Beppe Platania (the front man of this photo) with the other speakers of the Beps Day 2014. You can also see Gianni wearing Google Glasses. It has been the first even where we talked about our project… and my first time on a stage!

With Gianni and Beps I had countless wonderful moments. I can think about the WTT exhibition in 2015, where we showcased in public our ImmotionRoom system for the first time… sleeping and eating bad for two days… repeating the same instruction for each user for 200 users (in the end I went to sleep and even in the bed I continued repeating them)… becoming mad… but being really happy because people loved our system. Furthermore I was also interviewed for a local radio! Or the Bardonecchia Wondernight Lights event in 2016, were in a public place we showcased ImmotionRoom again, with a guy drunk of beer kicking really hard our keyboard while he was in VR!

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Participating at WTT 2015, we got a lot of feedbacks, visibility and happiness. It has been hard, but I’ve lots of good memories of those two days

Massimiliano Ariani was the person putting really his heart in this project as since he discovered it: as a gamer, game designer, artist, videomaker, web architect (I know, I know, he’s a bazillions expertises), he really gave us motivation, a lot of new ideas and help… without wanting nothing in change. He made possible for us to have a trailer for Hit Motion paying only the expenses for the green screen room (also thanks to the help of his friend Viktor Pukhov who has been exploited by us for this video!!).

His passion drives him and I think that we gave him back only 1% of what he gave to us… but I’m still collaborating with him and hope to be able to return everything one day. Massimiliano’s photo should be put on each dictionary at the word “awesome”.

We met Max at the GGJ16 (Global Game Jam): he truly believed in our system and argued with everyone there to make his game Kano VR to be integrated with ImmotionRoom, even if all the people there were contrary. GGJ16 has been another wonderful experience for meeting interesting people and seeing interesting projects. Yes, I admit that the smell there was something really terrible (I think that the organizers have removed the roof of the building to let the air return safe :D), but the passion that is there is fantastic.

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Me and Gianni speaking at the Global Game Jam 2016 in Turin

Then there is Davide Piacentini, our young business man that we met at EIA after having being betrayed two times by people that had before asked to be part of that team. Davide is a young and promising guy and I remember having spent with him lots of nights during EIA to complete all the tasks required by the accelerator. The last night, with me at his home eating discount wurstels and screaming the pitch for the investors until 1a.m., is something that I will never forget in my whole life. And I think that his neighbours won’t forget, either 😀 . I’m sure he one day will become the CFO of some big company and then will live his life in Santo Domingo, surrounded by money and girls. Of course I will be there on the same beach with him :D.

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First page of our pitch deck: at this point I started saying “Imagine if you could have a technology that can make you fantastic adventures, like fighting with dragons!” Ahahahahhaha super-fluff incoming!

The European Innovation Academy has been the experience that has made me really become an entrepreneur (an adventure I advice everyone to do!). There I learnt a lot about how a company should start, go on and then take money. I learnt what should be my mindset for being an entrepreneur. I tried to chase after Estonian girls for the first time (but with bad results :D). Those three weeks have completely devastated me, but had transformed me into an entrepreneur. And this has also happened thanks to people like psychologist Remigia Spagnolo (super kind, she helped me in becoming more confident and better with speaking in public!) and my super-epic-tutor Andrea Basso.

Andrea Basso is…well, I don’t even know how to define him: he’s like a living accelerator. Have a coffee with him 1 hour and he’ll give you more ideas to what to do with your startup than you’ve ever had in your life. He always smiles and he’s super supportive, but has also been rough when needed. Hope to continue collaborating with him.

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Immotionar team, with our mentor Andrea Basso, at EIA, where we won a prize as best technical innovation

During these events I also met people that gave me support and friendship, like Sergio and Peter of Jetop that are friends to me and to which I really wish the best for their future, since they have a big heart and they deserve the best. Sergio was also to feature ImmotionRoom on his Youtube channel, but he had not the time due to our failure… but… well, thank you anyway!

At EIA I met Francesca that has really become one of our supporters. She got passionate about virtual reality and development and she really wanted us to succeed. She also convinced me to participate to the final EIA party in the discotheque where she works (I know, a nerd girl working in a disco is like one of a kind!) Speaking with her is always a pleasure and knowing how much she’s putting effort in his studies, I hope to collaborate with her in the future.

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Francesca trying the Oculus Rift CV1 for her first time… she got a bit of nausea but she was amazed!

Then my super friendly startuppers of BiancoRosso (former name was Crehome), who make interior design with a bit of virtual reality. Edgar, Rebecca and Camilla have always been super supportive, friendly and always ready to laugh with me and to help me. Their startup is still up and running, so if you need a low cost restyle of your house, take a look to their awesome website! Camilla has also been our super top model for our Hit Motion trailer! Being the co-director of a short movie for one day has been really an interesting experience for me!

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Camilla being the super smiling model for our Hit Motion trailer… what a wonderful day with her, Max and Gianni

Then I must mention Sasha, the VR passionate (and now friend) from Canada which introduced me to social VR and that always pushed me to try new social VR software (sorry Sasha if I’ve so few free time!). Sasha alone makes Canada worth existing.

Then Johnathan, that wanted to buy 4 kinects just to try full body VR with our system! He also interviewed me… just an epic guy from Indiana!

There are lots of other people to thank, like Martina and Aurora that have been our incubator tutors; Rick and Stephan for having been kind potential investors; Warren for having been part of the Immotionar team at EIA and having shown us that investors are people, too! Kaarel for all the advices he gave us; Davide, Luca, Alessia for having always included us in GDG intiatives (and in case of Alessia… for not having killed me when I surprinsingly called her on stage during our DTC event); Andrea Bottino and Francesco Strada for having believed in my VR/AR skills; Olaf for having bought the commercial runtime of ImmotionRoom; Vito for all the compliments he made us and for having believed in us for a possible psychological VR app (and for wednesdays’ therapy ahahahah); Dario for having been a possible Immotionar employee; Max R. for having made us pitch at the Polo ICT; T-Union for well… for various things; Maria Rosaria… how could I forget MariaRosaria? She is a great UX designer and has been helping us at WTT and also drew a fantastic new logo for Immotionar!

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This would have been the new logo of Immotionar… and it has been drawn by UX designer Mariarosaria Pazzola

And then thanks to my family and friends, of course 🙂

I’m sure I forgot a bazillion of people, so thanks to everyone that has supported us. When you run a company, you discover that there are a lot of people ready to help you without having nothing in change… just a “thank you” and the awareness of having being part of a fantastic new project. And one of the reasons that you become sad after the shut-down is that you some kind of disappointed all these kind people.

There’s also a big list of people to which I would like to say a giant f**k off… but maybe I’ll write that another day 😀 😀 😀

These have been three very intense years. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve lived a lot of adventures. In front of a good cappuccino I could tell you some funny stories, like the one about the day I tried to appear cool in front of a girl making her try our VR system, but then she suffered a lot from motion sickness and didn’t want to see me again! 😀

Three years worth living, for sure.

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Me and Gianni, in one of our best moments: we had just won the FaberDay 2016 prize

In the end I hope that our work has been useful to make more people interested to virtual reality and in particular to full body virtual reality. If this is the case, we’re happy that our efforts have been useful to make this technology and this ecosystem to evolve. We’ve been a drop in this great virtual reality wave.

Now it’s over… farewell ImmotionAR!

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Skarredghost

AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I’ve no idea what I’m doing.

I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I’ve still not waken up…