Hypnos Virtual Profile

Hypnos Virtual logo.

Hypnos Virtual is a metaverse tech startup. Their primary product, Scentscape™, incorporates scent into the virtual reality (VR) and media experience by using what is known as Bio-Media.

Founders Icon Founder(s): Mike (Kaz) Kaczkowski
Founded in Icon Founded In: 2017
Industry Icon Industry: Tech
Location Icon Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Interview With Mike (Kaz) Kaczkowski

Describe your product or service:

“Scentscape is a cross-platform smart technology that works with TV, computers, smartphones, VR headsets, or by itself. The ‘Scentscape Experience’ is not only about ‘smell’ — it's a revolutionary new form of media called Bio-Media.

Bio-Media is ‘digitally controlled nature’ that we experience as a ‘living’ bio-aromatic airstream. As we breathe, the Bio-Media communicates with our brain and limbic system through nerve cells in the upper nose, enabling a unique physiological connection that immerses us into a bio-digital world.

As a neuroscience-based immersive media technology, it is also clinically verified to uplift mood, diminish stress and modulate mood depending on need and programmed experience.”

Describe your company values and mission:

“Values: 

  • Value others' time. No presumption of chattiness, religion, politics.
  • Respect others. 
  • Tolerance. For customers, patrons, and associates: Serve all: Religion, race, sexual orientation, and political party affiliation.
  • Candor. No BS — positively and respectfully stated: ‘Stay real.’

Mission:

To provide sensuous green technology experiences that entertain, comfort, rejuvenate and uplift the mind and body.”

How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.

“Seven figures, bootstrapping from [the] founder.”

How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)

“One founder and about two dozen mixed staff.”

Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

“Freedom, independence, and the ability to create something unique to offer the world.”

How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?

“I have been making virtual /simulation-type environments going back to childhood in the ‘70s when I would take the electronics out of toys and other devices and use them to control and create environments that would be triggered by human motion and action. In the early ‘80s, I worked with the Apple II and Commodore 64, making serial port output triggers, etc., so yes, by the time the late ‘80s and early ‘90s arrived, I was making more complex machines as functional artwork that simulated nature and often employed nature elements such as water and natural essences. FYI, it is only recently that virtual reality has been more concretely defined as "VR" with head-mounted displays (HMD), so when I use the term virtual reality, it refers to any kind of simulation, with or without HMDs. Our technology in fact does both HMD VR and immersive virtual realities that can employ TV or other outputs as our Scentscape technology is cross-platform, smart technology. 

As my early ‘90s simulation machines hit a ‘technology wall’ — especially with visual displays, my fascination and obsession with mimicking life (living things and the natural world around us) were focused fully on prosthetic skin and eye technology development. During these years, I created multiple unique prosthetic and alloplastic technologies and built businesses and clinics around them. 

By the time 2013 rolled around, computer technology had proliferated and had reached a point that had [made] me interested in going back to creating nature simulation on demand so it could be enjoyed anytime at the push of a button for anyone anywhere. Being in Bali and meditating with Jack Canfield brought a spiritual connection and stillness of mind where my early passions that were not yet fully realized due to the then limitations of technology could now be re-ignited. I wanted to create the ability for truly bio-immersive virtual travel for the world which also includes bio-telepresence in all its forms.”

How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?

“Hypnos is the Greek god for sleep and the father of dreams through his son Morpheus. Hypnos Virtual creates experiences that are so immersive and real, as if one is asleep within dreams.”

Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on how to start a startup.

What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?

“The greatest challenges were when I had to "go back to the drawing board" and resign after much expense and over two years of work, but I overcame [this] not just through perseverance but [by] surrendering to my own vision.”

Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?

“Ultimately, everyone that uses media.”

What's your marketing strategy?

“Targeting early adopters and specialized businesses through existing high-end home-theater sales installers.”

What's your favorite book and podcast on entrepreneurship?

“‘That Will Never Work’”

What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?

“The depth of growth one experiences by overcoming challenges.”

How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?

“There is not [an] easy answer. You must surround yourself with people that understand your passion and allow you to live it.”

How do you stay motivated?

“[By] staying healthy, strong, and taking care of the body, mind, and soul ... for it is from this that passion springs forth.”

Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?

“Increased self discipline by maintaining a strong body and mind”

What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?

“Developing technology that changes lives.”

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