2021, The Year That Was: Alexander Heller, Founder, HyperSpace
HyperSpace claims to be the first in the world to build physical attractions that are blockchain-enabled and extended reality-native, with it making use of cutting-edge emerging technologies, spatial compute layers, real life virtual effects, NFT projects to create these purpose-built parks.
Building physical entertainment venues for a digital world: that’s how Dubai-based HyperSpace describes what it does as “a future forward experiential attractions developer.” Founded by Alexander Heller in 2020, the company claims to be the first in the world to build physical attractions that are blockchain-enabled and extended reality-native, with it making use of cutting-edge emerging technologies, spatial compute layers, real life virtual effects, and non-fungible token (NFT) projects to create these purpose-built parks. Think of them as physical front ends to the metaverse, with visitors to these venues making use of the developed technologies to access everything from surreal-istic playgrounds and immersive neighborhoods, to virtual production stages containing holographic super cars and high-end digital fashion.
All of this may sound remarkably futuristic, but its realization may be happening sooner than you may think- after all, this year saw Heller and his team were able to secure US$11 million in equity and development seed funding to create what they call immersive entertainment attractions for a social media and metaverse generation. “2021 saw HyperSpace go from a single person operation to a team of 25 full-time employees and 17 full-time contracted employees, saw us move into our first offices, raise $11 million of seed funding, and sign contracts on over 140,000 sq. ft. of space with some of world’s leading property developers,” Heller says. “In a world where blockchain, spatial computing, digital identity, and growth in the gaming and social media sector took meteoric steps in 2021, HyperSpace has rooted itself in building towards a future where these trends find place in the amusement attractions industry.”
And this is why the upcoming new year promises to be especially exciting for HyperSpace as an enterprise. “HyperSpace will move from concept to reality in 2022,” Heller declares. “Our business requires a significant amount of capital to make the turn to a revenue-generating business, and this will happen in 2022. We will be closing a significant Series A funding in the first month of the year, and move through production, software, and content development through Q2 2022, when we will bring out our first product to market at Wafi Mall (AYA, a 40,000 sq. ft. immersive experience), followed by Dubai Mall in Q3 2022 (House of Hype, a 100,000 sq. ft. immersive experience).” Now, Heller and his team are aware that they are operating in a space that’s moving extremely quickly- but they remain confident that their work will speak for itself when their first venues open in the new year. So, just keep your eyes on HyperSpace- all signs point it to being worth the wait!
Reflections 2021: Alexander Heller, Founder, HyperSpace
Be grateful for those who choose to work with you. “When working with extraordinary individuals who are willing to follow your vision, you work for them, they do not work for you. I was blessed to have an extraordinary group of individuals from around the world, working at pinnacle of the experience design and emerging technologies space, uproot their lives to join HyperSpace in Dubai. This is the greatest complement of my vision, the greatest asset to the company, and the key reason why we will succeed. As a founder, you need to keep them believing every day that they backed the right leader.”
Find the right backers. “Surround yourself with investors who are willing to pick up your phone five times a day, and help you grow your business. Be open for close oversight, and know that good investors are partners, not just means to you executing your ideas and vision.”
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.