Mario Varon: Texas Is Probably the Most Business-Friendly State in the US

Mario Varon of ImagineX.

Tell us about yourself?

5X Tech Founder (Colombia and US). My companies have reached a combined revenue of USD 20M during the last 5 years on B2G, B2B, and B2C markets, managing a team of over 100 employees, including several PhDs.

I hold several patents and published peer-reviewed papers in AI, ITS and VR; I’m also IEEE peer reviewer.

The best inventor in Colombia and have been recognized by national and international media as one of the most visionaries entrepreneurs in Colombia. Grants over USD 1M and I have received equity investment roughly in the same amount. I’m inventing the future of humanity and would love to be an inspiration for others who could follow my path.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you? 

You have to find your purpose when starting a company. Deep down, the passion for what you are building and the impact you are trying to pursue will be your guide and strength during pressing times. Finally, don’t chase the money; create a company with a vision to improve human life.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Be persistent and believe in yourself. Dream to the long term but execute every single day. No matter what the big problems are, there’s always a way to move forward and achieve your goals. The race is not against others, it is to fulfill your vision.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

The best advice I ever got from a fellow founder is not to burn out. In the end, if you throw the towel or feel depressed the company will follow you.

I would advice every single founder to make some good habits, like exercising every single day, going out with your friends or spending some time with family on weekends. Your company needs you in your best shape.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

One of the worst experiences is the impossibility of imagining what your future home would look like. Of course, there’s a natural limitation on the human being to imagine unbuilt spaces, but most importantly, current 2D technology, like renders, is not comprehensive enough to transmit the full understanding of spaces, finishes, and furniture.

ImagineX is trying to make this issue a thing of the past with the coolest and most advanced VR technology. By the way, we are also building a new concept: “Let’s experience Real Estate.”

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

Most importantly, our vision and then our ability to pivot quickly. We are the first startup worldwide to have released an APP on the Meta Store to experience unbuilt real estate powered by digital twins. During Blueprint, the most important proptech trade show in the US, we will announce the releasement of the first self-serve platform to have a ready-to-go digital twin.

This will change the industry forever; from now on, a real estate developer just uploads the 3D model of their unbuilt property, and in a matter of minutes, they can showcase this unit in VR through our platform worldwide. This is a significant disruption in how people will buy real estate in the future.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

The most essential skill for a founder is understanding the sales process. You have to hear your customer’s pain points and address them with a clear and articulated value proposition through your product or service.

Finding your first customers probably is the most critical task for a founder because first-hand, you will understand how important your solution is for your early adopters.

If they love the product, then you have achieved product market fit. Scaling from there is just a thing of testing different traction channels and finding the best one in terms of Lifetime Value and Customer Acquisiton Cost.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

During the first two years, we had several meetings with customers who told us our product was not good enough.

One of them tore our product apart during the meeting. It was a difficult road full of spines. But we overcome it by believing that we were building a unique technology with an exponential value proposition.

Six months after releasing one of the final versions of our product, we landed significant contracts with corporations in Colombia; soon after, we received an investment from a US-based VC and did the soft landing in this country.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Texas over other states in the US?

Texas is probably the most business-friendly state in the US. There’s an inflow of fresh venture capital for new startups and so many corporations are relocating to the state. Finally, people here are friendly and prone to try new technologies.

Are there any disadvantages of operating our business in Texas?

There’s a labor shortage statewide so I hope immigration policies could help to improve this situation.

Texas has a pretty diverse population. How have you found the quickly changing demographics have impacted your business? Have you got new opportunities? Managed to expand your business into new areas?

Our team is scattered between Colombia and US. We value hard-working and highly skilled immigrants who come to Texas to pursue their dreams and help companies like mine to get to the next level.

We look forward to bringing anyone to the team who is aligned with our mission and willing to work around the clock to change the real estate industry..

It is often reported that, in Texas, politics and business are intertwined. Have you noticed this? Has it impacted your business?

Not at all. We have customers worldwide because they see the value in the tech we build. Almost 40 real estate developers are working with us, most located in the US, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and other countries. We are always welcoming new customers, especially from our home state.

With rising prices across Texas (and the US as a whole) have you been impacted? Do you have a plan for dealing with inflation going forward?

Inflation is the worst tax ever produced, mainly by the FED. Our prices are pretty low for the platform we provide, and we will keep improving our productivity using AI to keep them as low as possible.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?

In the future, ImagineX will provide a twofold service to real estate developers; first, through our digital twins, they will be able to showcase unbuilt units like never before. Then, our APP on the Meta Quest will bring one of the largest audiences for buying real estate on VR.

Think of it like a Matterport for unbuilt spaces plus a Zillow on VR. As the VR hardware evolves, we want to position ourselves on the edge of the technology to provide the most hyper-realistic experience for final users. That’s how we are going to build a unicorn!

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Stay tuned by following us through our social media, for VR users please download our APP in the Meta Store (HomeVR) and then for any founder looking for advice, feel free to reach out to my email: [email protected]

Follow ImagineX on Twitter or Linkedin.

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