Dextrophobia Rooms is the first real-life, “room escape game” in Bulgaria. This incredibly enjoyable game combines aspects of real life with intellectual challenge and team spirit.

Founders:

Svetlin Gurbatov – the code ninja who loves sleeping right under the stars
Peter Kostov – the curious ninja who likes crossing the streets on a bike
Angel Naydenov – the extreme ninja who doesn’t waist his time with shallow movies
Bozhidara Zaharieva – the business ninja whose cookies almost resemble the taste of those from your childhood
Mariela Levieva – the logic ninja who eats books for breakfast
Dimitar Petrov – the dexterous ninja who knows how to put various materials into practice
Alexander Grozdanov – the sci-fi ninja who dwells in the world of numbers and codes

Mission:

To make people believe that actually using their brains could be a lot of fun

Unique selling point:

We provide something extraordinary to the daily lives of people and we strive to amaze them all the time. That’s what we are up to also with the opening of our second room.

Funded by:

Eleven Accelerator
dextrophobia-room-entrance

THE STORY BEHIND DEXTROPHOBIA ROOMS:

Great ideas often happen at unusual places and when we hardly expect them to hit us. That was also the case with Dextrophobia rooms. One flight and a few moments spent in reading the airline’s magazine resulted in one of the most trending startups in Bulgaria at the present moment. Who could expect that the real time strategy PC games will be transferred in our real life and it will be such a fun? Well, the future is present and citizens and guests of Sofia have now the opportunity to participate in the challenge to find their way out of the extraordinary room by using their brains.

We met Svetlin and Peter and challenged them to answer our questions. We have to admit that we were prepared for unusual and mysterious answers but those guys definitely made us fall in love with their startup just with the passion they talked about the room.

How did you meet and what made you think you are the right team to do the job?

The team was formed naturally as we have been friends for a very long time. We are seven people and we are really happy of the fact that we started as friends and we are growing the idea together still as friends. We have always been talking about making something together and making it for ourselves and when the idea was already there we started working on it. At the beginning we were developing the concept about the room during our free time as a hobby. It took us 8 months for polishing every detail and opening it.

What is the idea behind Dextrophobia Rooms?

To put people in unusual situations and challenge them to find a solution together. Actually we are doing it for the emotions of people. It is so delightful to see the faces of the players after the game. We have designed the room in such a way that everybody could have his WOW moment during the quest.

Are there people who have failed to ‘escape’ the room?

Well, the success rate is approximately about 50 %. We don’t aim to put the players in equal conditions but when we see that a certain team is struggling to find a solution we help them a little just to support the entertainment element.

dextrophobia-rooms-quest

How did you come up with the ideas about the tasks and puzzles?

Actually, to pick up intricate tasks isn’t so hard as you think. The complexity comes when you have to find the balance between the entertainment and the implementation in the practice. During those 8 months that we spent in preparations for the opening we had a lot of late night brainstorm sessions at which we managed to gather really challenging tasks. We have to confess that our gaming background helped us a lot.

Were there people who wanted to go through the Dextrophobia’s challenge by themselves?

Well, there were some requests but the main point of the room is to develop the team spirit and it is designed in this way. You can’t do it by yourself. It is physically not possible.

Is it possible for kids to find the solution of the room’s puzzles and quests?

Actually there was a birthday of a 12-year-old kid in the room and the game was his kind of celebration. He and his guests dealt with the challenges really excellent. There were even smaller kids involved in the game but they were predominantly guided by their as there are some games that require skills that little children still don’t have.

What are the biggest challenges that you are facing right now?

At the moment we have small scale challenges like developing further the processes so that we don’t waist so much time in the management of the existing room. We are also trying to improve the current mechanics so that we can provide a more emotional experience. One of our biggest advantages and challenges at the same time is the fact that we should turn our hobby into a working business.

What motivates you not to give up?

Peter: The motivation triggers are individual for each member of the team but if I should say for me, definitely that will be the feedback we get from the players. Another motivation driver for myself is the idea that we already know what is working and we could now polish the experience and make it even better.
Svetlin: I totally agree with Peter. People’s faces when leaving the room are worth millions. This is our greatest motivation for continuing to provoke such emotions and to make them even more powerful. That’s why we focus on spreading the awareness about this more intellectual entertainment.

How are you going to change the world? What’s the magic behind your startup?

In our opinion everybody should work on his personal development. With Dextrophobia rooms we are giving people the opportunity to develop themselves while experiencing a pure fun feelings. It is never too late to learn something new, and do some brain fitness. So, we think that our idea certainly could help people in their daily life.

dextrophobia-rooms-quest-2

Your biggest success so far?

Our success could be measured in three simple things – the players’ satisfaction, the loyalty that we manage to build with each person who have already experienced Dextrophobia Rooms, and the popularity that we’ve gained for a short period of time with almost zero marketing budget.

Do you have any competitors in Sofia?

Yes, there are already emerging some similar businesses but we were totally prepared for this. It is somehow natural and we think that competition is a positive phenomenon.

How do you foresee your company in 3 years? 10 years?

We plan to further develop the rooms so that they could provoke more intensive emotions in people. We also aim to invest in producing really strong memorable feelings. In 3 years we want to have an established working process and in long term we think of stepping outside the capital’s borders.

Recommend us one Bulgarian StartUP

Peter: Dronamics and Kanbanize
Svetlin: Join the players