Hello, please can you introduce yourselves.
Hi, thank you very much for having us! I’m Nargiza, and this is Dmitri. He and I are founders of a new live action games provider, Enigma Quests.
What is Enigma Quests?
You may have already heard of a new phenomenon known to many as ‘Escape Games’. We created Enigma Quests after extensive research which involved traveling throughout many continents. The basic principle is that your team has an hour to escape from a room by solving a series of puzzles. What we design is a completely new level for this industry; with a highly immersive atmosphere and high-tech puzzles. When you enter one of our rooms, your team is transferred into a different world. It’s very much like being in a movie, but here you become the main character and it’s up to you how the story goes.
Who is it aimed at?
Mostly at people who want to try something new and exciting. It could be group of friends, who are looking to do something unusual; or it could be parents with children looking for some family bonding time. It’s also a great activity for work colleagues wanting to break the ice between new co-workers. One of our games can make a group unite and learn to work together under time pressures. Players are sometimes amazed by the talents they discover in themselves in such unusual circumstances.
Enigma Quests plans on launching in September. What do you still need to put in place before your launch?
Our first room is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed mid-August. After that we’ll start hosting early players to help us with the first round testing of the room. We are also planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign offering exclusive rewards for a very limited time before the launch.
You’ve recently secured premises between Liverpool Street and Moorgate. What drew you to this location?
We are super excited about the location we’ve been lucky to secure! The reason we chose that area is because it’s always awake. Being located in a cultural, artistic, and gastronomical hotspot will make our new premises an awesome place to visit and to work at. Also, we wanted to be in an area that can so easily be accessed from any part of London!
How have you managed to fund your business so far?
So far, the vast majority of funding has been from personal savings. However, we are planning to raise some capital from a reward based crowdfunding campaign that will be launched soon.
Tell us a bit about some of the market research you’ve performed for Enigma Quests.
We have so far traveled to 5 countries for our market research. The room count between the two of us has now reached 60 and we keep trying the new games whenever and wherever we can to stay up-to-date with every innovation.
We might be launching rooms of our own that we think people will love, but that doesn’t stop us being keen enthusiasts and enjoying every new room that opens in the market. That’s the best part of this industry, once you’ve tried it – there’s no going back!
What has been the most challenging aspect in business?
Finding and securing premises within our budget. London is an expensive city, with many challenges standing in your way, but there is also a lot to learn. We’ve become so familiar with the local property market that we feel we could open our own commercial property agency!
What mythical creature would you be and why?
Phoenix. It’s ability to live long by resurrection inspires us to be determined and keep going no matter what difficulties lie ahead. There is always a solution to any problem, and if you still haven’t found it, keep looking.
We've read that you’re both from entrepreneurial families - is this something you feel that has rubbed off on you both?
We’re glad you asked that. It has definitely had a major influence on our upbringing and the way we see the world.
From early childhood, both Dmitri and I always helped our parents run their businesses. At the age of 19, Dmitri had even temporarily taken over his father’s company. By becoming familiar at such an early age with the many day-to-day challenges that a business can face, we learnt to be resilient and to go the extra mile in whatever we pursued. We both knew from early on that 9-5 jobs wouldn’t suit us and that we were destined to run our business as soon as the right idea came along.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
‘Being the first one isn’t the point, being the best one is.’
There are already a few similar escape game businesses, but most are damaging the industry by turning away first-timers with their mediocre rooms. We might not be the first, but we’re definitely striving to be the best. Our aim is to turn every new player into keen enthusiasts like us.
Enigma Quests have just launched their Kickstarter Campaign, click here to get involved.