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Propelify Semi-Finalist: Meet Geopipe, the Startup Building Immersive Virtual Models of the Real World

Who will win the SamsungNEXT Startup Competition at Propelify 2017 along with tons of cash, prizes and bragging rights? We're thrilled to introduce you to the 10 semi-finalists of this year's Startup Competition. They will be pitching to judges in a showdown this Thursday, May 18th during the Propelify Innovation Festival in Hoboken, NJ. Be there to see who is crowned the winner!

Get to know Geopipe. Their algorithms build immersive virtual models of the real world to provide visualizations for architects, urban planners, and many others.

Describe the problem you are solving.

Geopipe automatically builds virtual models of the real world, providing immersive models of the world to architects, urban designers, special effects artists, video game designers, and many others. Currently, each of these verticals requires models of a few square blocks to entire cities, but it is expensive and time consuming to create even a low-detail model. These models are largely created by hand, by collecting data, researching existing information, then painstakingly modeling the world by hand.

Geopipe builds algorithms to automatically generate immersive models of the world from existing sensor data. We take 2D and 3D data like satellite photos, maps, laser scans, terrain contours, and more, and use machine learning to analyze and understand the data. From there, our algorithms reconstruct models at configurable levels of detail to meet the needs of a wide variety of customers.

What steps have you taken to validate the market? What traction can you share?

We have participated in two Lean Launchpad programs over the past ten months, the NYU Summer Launchpad and the NYC Media Lab Combine. We have spoken to over 245 prospective customers in architecture, urban design, real estate, academia, video game design, and simulation, and have universally heard that we're addressing an intense pain point for our target customers. We are finalizing an initial pilot program with a half-dozen New York City architects to test our MVP and iterate on their feedback.

Why did you start the company? What excites you about it?

My cofounder Thomas and I both were interested in putting the real world into video games: I was trying to automatically build New York City in Minecraft at a 1:1 scale, and Thomas was creating landmark buildings out of virtual LEGO bricks. We independently discovered that there was no place to get the detailed, semantically rich models we needed for our applications, and thus Geopipe was born. We're passionate about using algorithmic techniques to process and understand data about the real world, as well as about the many fascinating applications that become possible when you can explore, render, and even modify detailed models of the world.

Who is your target demographic?

Architects and urban designers are a perfect early adopter customer for us: they need the low- to medium-detail virtual models we can create right now. They can save the time it would take to make these models by hand (8 hours to 3 weeks, depending on the project), and we also enable them to easily add compelling visualizations to more of their projects for which it would otherwise be prohibitive. The revenue and traction from these early adopters will allow us to implement our planned R&D roadmap to reach the high level of quality necessary for special effects, video game design, training simulations, and many other verticals.

Join us on May 18, 2017 in Hoboken, NJ at Propelify Innovation Festival,  where 8,000+ innovators from across the Northeast unite for a must-attend day of tech, investors, talks, exhibitors, VR, drones, and music. Register For Propelify Now.

About the Author mufasa