Escape room fever has taken hold worldwide and it doesn’t seem to be letting go any time soon. That’s good news for entrepreneurs: if you’re able to provide a stellar experience, escape rooms can be a lucrative startup option.
Many escape room startups are founded by storytellers, playwrights, and puzzle enthusiasts. But did you know that they’re also a great way for techies to let their talents shine?
If you’re wondering how to start an escape room business that integrates your passion for tech, read on. Here are six reasons escape rooms are perfect for the electrically-inclined entrepreneur.
1. Exercise Your Problem-Solving Abilities
Solid logical reasoning skills are a prerequisite for most tech-based careers. Because many puzzles are designed around the same kind of if-then reasoning found in digital logic, many people with a computer science background have a natural aptitude for escape room design. But if you want your startup to be successful, make sure to partner with someone who can weave your clever puzzles into an immersive story.
2. Dig Into Puzzle Design
An essential part of every escape room business plan is coming up with a set of unique challenges for your guests to solve—preferably ones that even frequent escapees haven’t seen. If you love wiring up gadgets, building robots, or designing video games, you’ll have a blast building your own electronic puzzles.
3. Experiment with Automation
One of the largest challenges of running an escape room is making sure that the experience stays consistent from game to game. If you’re willing to put in the time and coding effort, you can use the power of automation to build a game that practically runs itself. While there are a few pre-made automation programs available for purchase, building your own software ensures that you can customize every last detail of the experience.
4. Build an IoT Network
Anyone who’s played around with Arduino or Raspberry Pi microcontrollers knows they pack a lot of processing capability into a tiny, inexpensive package. But did you know that they can be used to build a custom IoT network that lets your puzzles communicate with each other and your clueing software? If you have electrical engineering experience, this is a fantastic way to put it to use.
5. Re-imagine Existing Tech
Some escape rooms turn Kinect controllers into the foundation for motion-activated puzzles. Others take pre-made props and modify them to fit their themes. The sky’s the limit when it comes to taking pre-existing electronics and turning them into something new—all you need is a gadget with interesting capabilities and some imagination!
6. Become “The Man Behind the Curtain”
If you’re at all familiar with classic science fiction, you’ve likely heard of Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
This rule definitely applies to escape rooms. Hidden tech can create an immersive adventure that lets you run the show from behind the scenes. You’ll become the wizard behind the curtain, and your guests will be none the wiser.
How to Start an Escape Room Business
If you’re looking for more tips from veterans on how to start an escape room business, start by building relationships with other escape room entrepreneurs. Ask them about the creative ways they’ve been able to integrate tech into their experiences and use what they’ve learned to come up with ideas of your own!
Regardless of what kind of startup you decide on, you’ll need to invest in software that keeps things running smoothly. Check out this post for five of the most essential software platforms you’ll need to get your business off the ground.