Cardiff student launches proptech firm
A 23-year-old Cardiff University student is looking to transform the booming property and retail sector with a new virtual reality solution.
George Bellwood, a marketing undergraduate, set up Virtus Tech after finding inspiration in a lecture on retail industry issues at Cardiff Business School.
Using virtual and augmented reality, the company allows customers and homebuyers to explore houses and business premises that are up for sale. It’s on a mission to help independent and franchise retailers tackle competition posed by major chains.
“Having worked in retail for over five years I could see the challenges the retail industry is up against. Virtus Tech puts control back in the company’s hands and allows them to enhance the customer experience, giving them the opportunity to walk around a shop floor and browse items for sale virtually,” said George.
Having begun development of the app just six months ago, George has already secured clients in the property and hospitality sectors. They include a multi-million-pound international student accommodation organisation and a major national property agent.
He continued: “In the property industry, Virtus Tech allows you to tour prospective houses before visiting, saving time for both the estate agent and buyers. In the hospitality sector, VR is used to advertise hotels, student accommodation and event centres or experiences for our client’s customers. So far the feedback has been really positive.”
To build his business, George has been supported by Big Ideas Wales. It’s a youth a entrepreneurship service funded by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
“I learnt about Big Ideas Wales through Cardiff University’s Enterprise Champion Claire Parry-Witchell who referred me to a business advisor, Chris Howlett. I’ve found Big Ideas Wales extremely useful so far and Chris has offered me some really valuable advice,” he added.
Claire Parry-Witchell said: “As business mentor, I have the privilege of working with student entrepreneurs and supporting them to bring their ideas to life.
“Virtus Tech is certain to disrupt the retail and property market by enhancing customer experience. Passion, determination and motivation are key attributes for any entrepreneur, and George has these in abundance.”