Mixed Reality Frontiers: TRIPP on Combining Video Games with Meditation

In 2020, 13 startups enrolled on our Mixed Reality Program with Nreal. The aim? To co-create the next big thing in digital interaction, entertainment and content, and bring mixed reality to the mass market. But who are the startups enrolled on the programme?

We chatted to Nanea Reeves, the CEO and co-founder of TRIPP about why using data is vital to correct your course as you develop an idea, why Clubhouse is everything and why hiring cleverly, not quickly, is the best thing you can do for your business.

1. How did you get the idea for the product you’re working on in the Mixed Reality program?

After my husband died suddenly from cancer I asked myself, “What would the company I would want to build look like?” The idea was to take the two things I have derived the greatest support from – a love for video games and a deep meditation practice – and to bring them together in ways that can help people.  It was also how I found healing by making a commitment to build a new life for myself that was focused on contribution and impact. This is the foundation for TRIPP and our mission for me individually, for the product itself and for our entire team.

2. What problem is this product trying to solve?

Finally, the stigma around working on our mental and emotional well-being is lifting as people realize the importance of a good mind/body balance as a foundation for happiness, health and productivity. TRIPP uses mixed-reality devices as powerful tools to promote focus, calm and ultimately, give you a sense of well-being.

3. What’s the biggest challenge your team faced?

Our biggest challenge as a team was understanding that at our core we are a “Customer Support” service. Every design choice, every technology initiative needs to be approached with that aspect in mind.

We learned the hard way that a 2 minute loading bar when updating the product is not supportive to a user seeking a respite or peace of mind. A complicated registration flow is also not supportive. We had to get our product up and running with real users to learn that when someone is coming to you for support, it is actually a huge responsibility.

4. What was the moment you realised your product would be a success?

It was after showing our very first prototype to a very trusted advisor who doesn’t hold back on constructive criticism. When she used TRIPP for the first time, she took the device off and, with tears in her eyes, said, “This is very special. Very special. How can I help you?” That is when I knew we were onto something.

5. How has the hubraum program helped you develop your product?

Being part of the hubraum mixed reality program has helped us to expand our experiences into augmented reality as well as open up our thinking in terms of using 5G edge computing to evolve our product. We are excited to be supported by the hubraum team and all of the sponsors of this program. It has been a game changer for a company at our stage to be part of this program.

6. How have you found designing a product specifically for Nreal glasses?

We are very excited that Nreal also provide support for VR and this helped us frame our offering to support both AR and VR modes.  We are very excited to think about how to support users in ways that are magical and that involve layered reality approaches. 

The glasses are very cool and the TRIPP team has really enjoyed learning something new.  Our Creative lead, Felipe Lara and our Director of Technology, Peter Kennedy have been the most hands on with the design and build out and it has gone very smoothly.  Especially with all of the support we have received from the Nreal and Unity teams.

7. Make up and answer your own question!

Who is your favorite person in the hubraum program – Lars Vogel, our most awesome mentor.

8. What skill of yours has been most important for your career?

The skill I have found most valuable is the use of data and analytics in my career. Using data helps to course correct along the way.  And as an entrepreneur you really have to push through the rejection and moments of discouragement.  I often tell myself, “Never give up. You can’t fail if you don’t quit.”

9. How do you fuel innovation in your company?

Personally, I have been very driven to innovate through interest and curiosity. There is a joy in discovery.  It is surprising how many people and organizations have great difficulty in saying “yes” to new ideas. They put the NO in innovation.  We don’t have to have everything planned and detailed to get started on an idea.  There is a real process of prototype, release, test, iterate that is very important to create a culture of innovation.

10. What book/album/film has inspired you creatively recently?

Connect, which was written by one of my mentors – Carole Robin. Carole developed the most popular course at Stanford GSB and her impact on how I see myself as a leader and how I connect with others — whether they be business partners, team members or friends or family — has been significant.

11. Which other entrepreneur/startup are you most inspired by?

I am very excited about the community that Clubhouse has created. As a team they have a wonderful spirit of transparency as they work to figure things out. They are also learning from their users in real time. This is a wonderful model that is directly influencing some of our decisions at TRIPP.

12. What’s the one tip you would give young entrepreneurs?

Build a great team from the beginning who are excited about what you are doing. I have not always been perfect at this and have paid the price dearly for making the wrong hires based on short-term thinking. Having team players with great attitudes, like Mani Srinivasan – our SVP of Business Development and the main point of contact for the hubraum program has made a huge difference in our journey – especially when times have been challenging like the past year (2020) when we didn’t know how our business would be impacted by these unprecedented world conditions. 

We have a great team now and their attitudes and talent are directly evident in the product we are building and our growing customer base who have made TRIPP a regular part of how they take care of themselves.  This is something we are all very humbled by and grateful for.  Thank you to the hubraum team for supporting us and our mission.

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