Updated: Apr 19
Innovation Arm (the parent company of Mixed Reality Rooms) was formed by Sam Hall who saw an opportunity to build and provide experiential tech for events companies; having noticed they are always on the lookout for new and exciting activation ideas to wow their audiences. "The Speakeasy" of event tech, we would partner with event companies and like a plugin, overnight they would have their very own "Innovation Arm" (department) to their business. We'd build behind the scenes and the event company would take the credit for all the cool, weird, and wonderful inventions we'd deliver for their clients.
March 2020 and COVID strikes (I mean who saw that coming?) and overnight completely decimates the business. Before it had fully sunk in, Sam soon had event managers coming to him with the same problem and questions which ultimately read "there are a thousand ways to stream content online but minimal ways for attendees to network, build relationships, and ultimately have fun at virtual events? Can you help?". Embracing the name "Innovation Arm" and once again disappointing his Mum who had hoped he'd now "get a proper job", he agreed to give it a go not knowing a single thing about building a virtual platform.
The stars appeared to align and on 14th March 2020 Sam received a message from a random stranger that goes by the name Charlie Daly, an experienced entrepreneurial developer, on Cofounders Lab who asked: "are you working on any interesting projects, if so I'd be keen to connect?" for which Sam eagerly and somewhat desperately replied "definitely interested in speaking further".
Fast forward 7 months later, they were running their first event with an unproven, super shaky MVP for Kenshoo and their partners which included Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Pinterest, and Walmart, at their 24-hour global flagship event.
In the run-up to the event, Charlie promised himself he'd never speak to strangers on the internet again and Sam was Googling how much the average 25-year-old male could make on OnlyFans. However, the client deemed the event a huge success, leaving both Sam and Charlie excited to see where they could take the product.
From there they used that as a springboard to go on to test other use cases like team-building events for Salesforce and Google; education, running dinosaur tours with paleontologists from Fossil Crates; and product launches for a global leader in kitchen appliances, all to great success.
The most successful events by far however were when companies were leveraging our platform for their Account-Based-Marketing (ABM). We were receiving very positive feedback and more importantly repeat bookings which led us to introduce an annual licensing model. Understanding the importance of niching down when building a tech product and doing both primary and secondary research to validate the market we decided to be laser-focused on providing the best possible experience for account-based marketers.
It was also at this point that we officially welcomed Meghan Crown, who had been supporting the project on an ad-hoc basis from the start, and after a lot of begging from Sam and Charlie, she agreed to join us full time as our third co-founder for the next stage of our exciting journey: carving out a new B2B category.
About the founders
Sam's background is in B2B marketing and in 2019 was selected as one of 100 honourees in The Drum'sBD100 for his ability to drive business growth. He helped build an experiential company from the ground up, penetrating and delivering in-person activations for industry giants across the world including Blackrock, Marriott, and The Wall Street Journal. Within SaaS, he achieved 700% revenue growth in his first 10 months scaling PushFar, the world's largest mentoring platform, followed by 149% in year two, as their Head of Marketing.
Charlie is an absolute wizard behind the computer and has a decade of experience leading software projects from startups to the FTSE 100. Industry impact has included creating £1m+ pa in cost savings for one of the world's largest Aerospace companies and moving one of the UK's original data science pioneers to the Cloud.
Meghan has an innate ability to simplify even the most complex subjects and has years of experience working with senior marketers at NYC event producers Social Media Week and Adweek, as well as a lifetime of tacit learning of what it takes to grow a successful company within her family portfolio, AZ Crown Investments.