35 minutes | Jan 28, 2021

Ep. 108: Designing the Test Flight of VR—with Orla Harris of SideQuest

Orla Harris is the Cofounder and COO of SideQuest VR, an early-access testing platform for virtual reality with headquarters in Northern Ireland. Orla and her team provide tools that enable developers to grow a community around their app and solicit feedback from users in the early stages of development. Prior to SideQuest, Orla spent eight years working as a project manager in the construction industry and dabbling in virtual reality as a hobby. On this episode of Boost VC, Orla joins us to share the origin story of SideQuest VR, explaining how it evolved from side project to startup and when she finally realized it was a business. She describes what it’s like to found a tech company in Ireland, discussing how SideQuest built a network of VCs beyond the borders of her home country and why she’s optimistic about the startup’s continued growth. Listen in for insight on the openness unique to the virtual reality developer community and get Orla’s perspective on what is special about the industry at this particular moment in time! Topics Covered The idea behind SideQuest VREnables developers to test product with consumersThird-party app store for Quest, other VR devices The origin story of SideQuest VRDeveloped app, declined by Oculus (no reason given)Create place for users to sideload and give feedback Orla’s take on the VR developer communityUnique in willingness to help each other outOpenness feels different from other experiences What’s driving the success of SideQuest VRStill in honeymoon phase (growing every day)Positive results, can’t help but be optimistic How Orla thinks about where VR is as an industry2020 = transformative yearInformed by release of Quest 2 and pandemic What it’s like to build a tech startup in IrelandDaunting to look for investors beyond home countryPart of accelerator in Ireland that propelled to Boost Orla’s advice for founders on networking with VCsFind person with connections, ask for introductionsOne connection can change everything When Orla realized SideQuest was an actual businessCofounder proposed quitting jobsDecision based on site analytics, talking to VCs What is special about VR right nowSmall developer pool but large user poolUsers starved for content Orla’s insight on the growth of SideQuest VRApps submitted to platform every dayAndroid mobile developers pivoting to VR Orla’s definition of successWake up every morning feeling contentClarity of mind, no stress or worry   Connect with Orla SideQuest VR https://sidequestvr.com/SideQuest on Twitter https://twitter.com/SideQuestVRSideQuest on Discord https://discord.com/invite/r38T5rRSideQuest on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/sidequest     SideQuest on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/SideQuestVRSideQuest on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sidequestvr/Orla on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/orlaharris/ Resources Oculus Quest https://www.oculus.com/quest/  Oculus Quest 2 https://www.oculus.com/quest-2/Facebook’s Developer Revenue Update https://uploadvr.com/oculus-quest-revenue-update/Steam https://store.steampowered.com/vr/Doodle Jump https://doodlejumpgame.com/   Connect with Boost VC Boost VC Website https://www.boost.vc/Boost VC on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/boostvc/Boost VC on Twitter https://twitter.com/BoostVCBoost VC on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/boost_vc/Topics Covered The idea behind SideQuest VREnables developers to test product with consumersThird-party app store for Quest, other VR devices The origin story of SideQuest VRDeveloped app, declined by Oculus (no reason given)Create place for users to sideload and give feedback Orla’s take on the VR developer communityUnique in willingness to help each other outOpenness feels different from other experiences What’s driving the success of SideQuest VRStill in honeymoon phase (growing every day)Positive results, can’t help but be optimistic How Orla thinks about where VR is as an industry2020 = transformative yearInformed by release of Quest 2 and pandemic What it’s like to build a tech startup in IrelandDaunting to look for investors beyond home countryPart of accelerator in Ireland that propelled to Boost Orla’s advice for founders on networking with VCsFind person with connections, ask for introductionsOne connection can change everything When Orla realized SideQuest was an actual businessCofounder proposed quitting jobsDecision based on site analytics, talking to VCs What is special about VR right nowSmall developer pool but large user poolUsers starved for content Orla’s insight on the growth of SideQuest VRApps submitted to platform every dayAndroid mobile developers pivoting to VR Orla’s definition of successWake up every morning feeling contentClarity of mind, no stress or worry  
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