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AMA: Tanguy Dewavrin, founder of Atom Universe

AMA: Tanguy Dewavrin, founder of Atom Universe

Interest in online events soared during the pandemic. In 2020, Eventbrite recorded 75 million attendees for more than 1M online events.

But virtual events are by no means temporary; a LinkedIn study suggests that 45% of future B2B events will be virtual. The virtual event market is growing, but the top challenge organisers face is engagement.

Atom Universe, founded by Tanguy Dewavrin, is a virtual world with a difference. A place where people from all over the world can make friends, play games and network.

And if there's one thing that increases engagement, it's gamification.


Hi Tanguy! Tell us a bit about your company.

Atom Universe is the first and only cross-platform virtual world. Imagine a cross between Facebook and The Sims: users can create an avatar, then meet people from all over the world, chat and play and make friends.

How did the idea for Atom Universe come about?

When our predecessor, virtual world PlayStation Home, was taken offline. To replace it, we wanted to create a hangout for the PlayStation users.

What’s the big aim?

At the moment we are live on PC and PlayStation, we want to reach out to a much bigger audience by launching on mobile.

Exciting! What is the biggest mistake you'd say you've made as an entrepreneur up to this point?

Growing too fast: it is tempting to scale up and surround yourself with expensive consultants once you have the investment, but it is easy to burn cash and run out of runway very quickly.

Good point. Who has had the most impact on your life, and the decisions you make in business?

I always ask my Dad for advice, I like to exchange and bounce ideas with my younger brother who is also an entrepreneur. I am lucky to have a strong board of NEDs who are seasoned entrepreneurs, games and media veterans, so I will pick their brains regularly.

Let's talk teams. How do you keep yours aligned?

I tend to trust people and make them understand that I hired them because they are good at what they do, they are the experts.

We talk regularly over Skype and Discord, we exchange problems and ideas, and I encourage team members to talk to each other even if we are all working remotely at the moment. It's important to make people feel part of the solution.

Videogame developers tend to be very creative and self-motivated people in my experience, I am privileged to work in this industry. I am also lucky that it is relatively easy to work remotely in our line of work, once you sort out access to the development hardware.


Speaking of remote working, can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?

The key is to keep the communication going so nobody feels isolated. Have daily catch-up meetings with the whole team together, to check nobody is stuck, and also maintain team spirit: a sense of belonging and purpose.

Do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team? If so, what impact has it made?

Yes, it helps keep hold of key staff who feel incentivise to stick around, as they feel part of the company since its success will benefit them personally.

Love that! If you could resurrect any long-gone genius for advice, who would it be and why?

Leonardo Da Vinci. He would be the greatest designer for my virtual world! 

And the most important question of all. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or the Marvel Universe?

Star Wars of course!

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