NO, I would not invest in this venture. PAIN POINT? The product has no clear pain point except to try and get students more engaged since they are already using mobile phones, but there are literally thousands of other ventures vying for this space. The other potential market gap they’re trying to address is what… “you need a new tee anyway”? Sorry, your T-shirt is ugly, expensive ($39 CAD), and most normal kids would probably feel dumb wearing it. I’m not convinced it’s worth it. SOLUTION? Even if I were to invest in this product, their solution is lacklustre. The T-shirt aspect is a simple gimmick for people who don’t understand how AR works; a black and white image printed on paper would be just as effective and perform equally well and I’d be (or parents would be) saving 40 dollars per child. In fact, printing the AR triggers onto paper and taping them to students’ existing t-shirts would probably go over just as well, or would probably even go over better than using the actual shirt because students would likely have a good laugh at it! DIFFERENTIATION? From where I’m standing this product lacks any discernible differentiation. I can’t see any teacher or parent buying it, except for the initial novelty factor, especially because alternatives abound – like paper. In fact, from an AR point of view this product seems woefully underpowered compared to the alternatives for teaching anatomy (which is the only AR application the pitch has touted). Hordes of fully-featured, continuously-supported AR and VR apps from larger teams already exist. Why choose this one? Because “we all need tees, right?” Again, sorry. I’m not swayed. MARKETING and CHAMPIONSHIP? I feel like perhaps I could have been swayed more positively if the champions of this venture were more likeable, but I didn’t “click” with the presenters nor their video editing. It seemed like this video was aimed at kids or at least K12 students, not the parents, adults, or other professionals who would be investing in the product. I mean, an immediate blooper at the beginning, and a whole blooper reel at the end? Give me a break; I enjoy YouTube/Twitch culture as much as the next guy but not when you’re trying to convince me to invest. Make a separate “Making Of” video if you’re that eager to show your human side. Finally, the video states that the app is free, but what about the hidden costs? T-shirt aside (40 dollars down the drain, remember), you need a phone/mobile to leverage their product. Not a huge deal, most people have one by now… but what about the children? If not, do you need a class set? Even so, half their pitch was promoting their app’s VR features. So now you need, at the very least, a cheap VR headset like Google Cardboard. That’s more cost there, from very little payoff. COMPETITION? If anything, students/parents/investors would get the headset and realize there are many more apps in the App/Play Store that are superior to the VirtualiTee app and migrate there. Unfortunately I just can’t see this venture working at all. The product is not strong enough; the market they’ve targeted is highly saturated; they’re banking on the T-shirt novelty to move their product; the inventors aren’t likeable enough nor do they seem competently experienced; their app is too basic and specific; and the novelty of the item will wear off after a lesson or two and all we have to show for it will be a silly T-shirt. NO, I would not invest in this venture. (I took a hard stance on this one, didn’t pull punches – channeling my inner “Dragon”!!!)
NO, I would not invest in this venture….
By scott on September 23, 2018