Miloš Jovanović, BArch ’01, CEO and founder of SpaceView Inc., is the $240,000 winner in this year’s Angel Oregon pitch competition sponsored by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, which annually pools money from investors to fund a startup.
SpaceView is a “shopping visualization” software app that helps people visualize a product in their home or office before buying it. The startup was selected from sixty applications; winners were announced during the annual Angel Oregon Showcase April 22 in Portland.
Above: Miloš Jovanović (BArch ’01) center, accepts a $240,000 check for winning this year’s Angel Oregon pitch competition sponsored by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. Photo courtesy the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.
Jovanović, LEED AP, founded SpaceView in Portland in 2012. The design app provides a platform for consumers to envision—using customized, changeable views—what a product would look like in their personal environment.
“Right now there’s no quick and easy way to experience and see an item in your house without actually putting it there. SpaceView enables you to take that chair or table and really place it in [your] house and see exactly how it’ll look,” Jovanović says in a video on the app’s website, spaceviewapp.com.
Potential purchases are selected by drag-and-drop from an electronic catalog and inserted into the app, where they can be moved and rotated around a virtual-reality space, with the scale of each item automatically resized to fit the space.
“My job as an architect was to explain to my clients what was going on,” says Jovanović, who since graduating from UO has built a Passive House-certified home, worked as a designer in an architecture firm, and established a full-service general contracting and planning business prior to founding SpaceView.
“When I showed [clients] two-dimensional floor plans, they didn’t know what was going on. When I showed them 3-D models of things, they just ‘got it.’ I wanted to bring that to shopping,” he says.
SpaceView “feels natural and intuitive,” says Josh Aller, developer and AR (augmented reality) expert, in the SpaceView demonstration video.
“Catalogs really haven’t changed for the last 100 years,” adds Larry Logan, a SpaceView adviser and marketing consultant. “We’re looking at flat two-dimensional images of furniture [in conventional catalogs] but that’s not our space, our home, our apartment. But now SpaceView turns that totally on its head. It increases confidence and satisfaction in the process. This obviously has a tremendous positive impact on the online retailer and the manufacturers’ brands.”
There’s also “an enormous social dimension to SpaceView,” Logan notes, because users can easily share their designs with colleagues, family, and friends to get feedback “so my risk goes down and my satisfaction goes up.”