SAVR B.V. is a startup that offers a virtual-reality (VR) platform and its own VR training programs.

“The VR modules are hardly distinguishable from a real-life ERO training.”
Ties Verberne
Co-Founder SAVR B.V.
Author: Heidi van den Bos 3 August 2022

Virtual reality has enormous potential. You put on a pair of goggles and – without taking a single step – you are transported to an entirely different environment. Many companies are convinced it is the future. Among them is SAVR B.V., a startup that offers a virtual-reality (VR) platform and its own VR training programs. The young startup will launch its platform this September and already has several potential clients lined up. Its plans for the future are not lacking in ambition, either.

Life-threatening situations that seem absolutely real

The business is initially targeting the ERO sector. Co-owner Ties Verberne explains: “There are circa 960 ERO training providers in the Netherlands. We chose a clear niche to hit the ground running and make it easier to interact with our target group to receive feedback and further improve our product.” How does an ERO training via VR work, exactly? Co-owner Bart Gussinklo will train ERO trainers with VR goggles and the proprietary software that SAVR B.V. has developed. After completing their own training, the trainers will be ready to start training the next generation of EROs. Ties: “All the trainers need is a laptop, the VR goggles and a power supply, of course. Every training module can be offered anywhere the client wants, contrary to e.g. ‘real’ fire-fighting training.” The software can accurately support up to twenty course participants at once, none of whom are required to work on the same module at the same time.

“The great thing about our data-driven software is that a trainer can customize the difficulty level for each participant via a laptop. The software also indicates which participant may be doing things wrong or who might need some additional instruction,” Ties explains.

The future of virtual reality as seen through the eyes of SAVR B.V.

The team behind SAVR B.V. is clearly bursting with ambition. Impressively, the startup won two prizes in just one week. During the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge, the team’s pitch was good for a highly coveted wild card for the Dutch 4TU Impact Challenge and Slush Helsinki, as well as a branding package from Creative Mules. Ties: “We couldn’t be happier. It is the next step towards achieving our mission. Our ultimate goal is to become a cloud-based platform for all kinds of safety training and control the various devices via a web platform.  Think of e.g. oil and gas training for offshore companies and people working on drilling platforms. Our training programs will be available internationally and in many different languages.”

Running a business or studying?

SAVR B.V. is not Ties’ first business. In the past, he already launched a VR company that created tailor-made solutions for SMEs and larger organizations such as Akzo Nobel. Unfortunately, the company was forced to close its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I decided to enroll in a master’s program at the University of Twente. I had basically given up on the thought of running my own business,” Ties says. That is, until he got a call from current co-owner Bart, who asked Ties if he was interested in working together on a development project with Bart and their other co-owner Alex Terziev. “We knew our endeavor would be too costly for one-time input, yet we immediately recognized the potential business model.”

“Peter Langela, Lars Prinsen and Rens Dommerholt are some of the people who have given me invaluable advice on how to get SAVR B.V. off the ground. Because I work at Incubase on a daily basis, I can easily spar with them about various aspects of the business.” Ties is proud to add that his English has gotten much better since be began spending so much time at Incubase. “I have become friends with many of the international students and like-minded people here.”

Complete focus

Ties has yet to obtain his master’s degree. “At the moment, I am devoting all my time and energy to SAVR B.V. Getting a business off the ground requires complete focus and dedication. You cannot build a successful company in twenty hours. That would be a pipe dream.  I plan on going back to my studies next year, while also running a successful business together with my team.”

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