How to “change the world from the inside out”

When Chanatija Bevkavic, vice president of European sales for VR company Bloom VR, saw a tweet about an upcoming trade event that showcased the potential of virtual real estate, she felt compelled to check…

How to “change the world from the inside out”

When Chanatija Bevkavic, vice president of European sales for VR company Bloom VR, saw a tweet about an upcoming trade event that showcased the potential of virtual real estate, she felt compelled to check it out. This was in March, just a few months after she started the company. “I felt that the industry was extremely underdeveloped and in need of innovation,” said Bevkavic. “I wanted to be part of that change.”

That trade show was the first of what would become Eforea, an international event held in Tel Aviv, in July, that introduced investors and entrepreneurs to new technologies for virtual real estate, virtual mortgages, virtual travel, and virtual tourism. In Israel alone, virtual tourism has created 140,000 jobs, according to Bloom VR.

The event culminated in a special day dedicated to real estate, in which Bloom VR’s Pele Tavishov — a former Ph.D. in architecture — drew his audience to a virtual LAX terminal and opened it up so that they could literally “place” themselves inside a home as they explored its interior with all the features (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.) of a real home. It was done through an investment app that was only launched in mid-June. For now, real estate is just one of several areas — such as travel, education, and education — where virtual experiences might make a difference, so Bevkavic said that Bloom VR will be releasing a “M” package of its several properties in the next few months.

After a quick talk with Tavishov about the agency, the potential of virtual properties, and the evolving space, we asked him a few questions about his personal approach to innovation, his love of VR, and what it means to change the world from the inside out.

“I live by 10 rules for innovation,” said Tavishov. “Rule 1: You cannot innovate by yourself, you need to bring in partnerships, sometimes companies. You need to bring in a strong team.”

The road to innovation, he said, is filled with trial and error, testing things out in trial and error, and connecting with others in the industry, “with whatever elements it takes to build those things,” he said. “We’re almost there. We’re working with even larger developers,” the trick is not to have that “one big app that’s the killer app,” he said. “…I would even compare it to fashion. The catwalk is not the world. Fashion evolves.”

Another lesson from Tavishov’s experience so far is just how badly he wants to change the industry. “You change the way people work. When they changed newspapers, they changed their lives forever. When a person says, ‘I’m staying here with technology,’ I said, ‘Oh, I understand,’ but then I started to realize it changes how people live.”

He also feels that technology that addresses the needs of women and minorities is a critical first step in helping the industry embrace innovation. “Look at what we did at Bloom VR, where we are the leading female agency in the world of virtual worlds. You’re looking at 65 percent women. All the industry executives have at least half women,” he said. “Look at it. One of the biggest complaints we get from people is about hiring women and bringing them up to be leaders. So we took a big step.”

Seeing the future, Tavishov has dreamt of reaching Mars, and imagines being able to have a connection to humanity even as we die. He’s also long seen himself making the difference. “The reason I still believe in myself is because I know that I will, with the help of those people around me, make it possible,” he said. “My belief to change the world was cemented when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager. This has never pushed me away from this space.”

For more by Katie Lux, check out her website.

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