As Pierre Corneille said: “For souls nobly born, valor doesn’t await the passing of years.”
Manila di Giovanni, Italian, and Christian Bertelsen, Danish, both Bachelor students at IUM, recently launched DWorld.
DWorld recreates real-world futuristic cities. Users are enabled to purchase virtual goods that can also be delivered at their homes by brands, exchange virtual goods among each other, and be part of an environment where all industries are combined all in one single platform.
You’ve recently launched your company while finishing your Bachelor’s degree at IUM. Can you describe/outline your typical day?
We actually started to work on DWorld during our second year. For a startup, there really isn’t a typical day. Every day the tasks are different, and especially now, we’re undergoing many bureaucratic processes to register the company in Monaco fully. Every day we seek new leads, meet new potential partners, update our senior advisors, keep track with our tech team in the United States, and keep up to date on the market’s current trends.
What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Becoming an entrepreneur has always been our dream. We always sought our own freedom and independence while having full control of our own company. We personally always wanted to create something that would have made a significant impact. Therefore, our key driving forces are our independence, persistence, and motivation to change the system while enhancing it through technology’s power.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I’ve been obsessed with virtual reality since high school. However, I realized how important it is to actually get started in the VR industry while I was doing my exchange program in China. During my semester abroad, I managed to find an internship for a startup operating in the AI industry, and I got to attend several conferences while discovering the latest technology. In there, I was attracted by how 3D technology was being used, and it was the trigger to make me realize that I could replicate the whole world with the various economic sectors directly in virtual reality. Afterwards, I contacted Christian to discuss it when we started our second semester in Monaco once we both came back from abroad.
What made you choose this type of business?
My passion for technology and creating a radical change through it made me choose this type of business. Some other industries and businesses can create change for people, but VR will definitely be ubiquitous and needed. Especially now, during the pandemic, new technologies and new customer experiences are required to keep a competitive edge. Therefore, my focus on VR is to predict how the world will change 5 to 10 years from now.
Would you say that your studies at IUM help you on your entrepreneurial journey? If yes, how?
Yes, because IUM and the pulsing environment of Monaco inspired us significantly and the network and business knowledge we gained from there. We got the theoretical part and the general overview of a business through IUM. We were blessed with loads of opportunities to learn through the individuals we met during our time in Monaco’s principality. Combining those two aspects makes the entire IUM experience incomparable to any other educational institution in the world.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Our favorite aspect is the fact that we get to realize our dreams of making a difference and having the most exciting day of our life every day, which is due to the many aspects of being an entrepreneur, such as the freedom to work in the field of our choice, being creative, and learning from the most inspiring individuals on an everyday basis.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business so far?
The most satisfying moment for DWorld so far is hard to describe as there already have been so many moments of joy and satisfaction. Still, the two most important ones were the moment when we finalized the deal with Monaco Foundry, who guided and advised us in the creation of the company and set us up with their connections in the government and local and international businesses. This was officially the start of DWorld and our journey as entrepreneurs. The second one is when we officially received the approval and the 3D data from the government of Monaco to re-create the principality in virtual reality.
Favorite memory about IUM?
Day one when we met each other and bonded immediately. We went to IUM to attend the intro day, and then we went for a walk around Monaco and ended up having lunch. This was a day where we got inspired by each other, the university, and Monaco’s pulsing environment to realize the dream of making an impact in terms of contributing to a better, greener, and more digitalized world.