Art & Design, Technology & Society, Master of Digital Media, Performance & Culture

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Master of Digital Media grad founds augmented reality company

June 12, 2019

By Tessa Perkins Deneault

Julie Puech has been busy during her Master of Digital Media degree. She co-founded The Impossible Studio, a technology start-up that creates augmented reality experiences for live events, and she will graduate from two master’s programs this year. 

Before joining SFU’s Master of Digital Media (MDM) program, Puech was enrolled in an engineering program at the Formation d'ingénieur IMAC in France, a unique engineering program combining art and science (IMAC stands for image, multimedia, audiovisual and communication). She graduates from SFU this June and will graduate from IMAC later this year.

She felt that she wanted more hands-on opportunities during her degree, so she decided to pack up and move to Vancouver from Toulouse, France to pursue the MDM program.

“I wanted to be exposed to new ways of doing things and a program that was industry-oriented,” says Puech.

The Impossible Studio started during a team project in the MDM program. Working with Vancouver-based indie band, The Belle Game, Puech and her team members created an interactive AR experience for their live show. The project won the Gerri Sinclair Award for Innovation in Digital Media. After the course was over, Puech and classmate Marina Bertoldi felt that the idea was worth developing further and founded their company. 

“I discovered that I really like taking risks and just going for it,” says Puech. “I can handle the pressure.”

With a strong alumni network and opportunities to share prototypes and projects at the design phase with experts in the field, the MDM program provides mentorship and teaches the entrepreneurial skills to take innovative ideas from class project to start-up company. 

“The program provided a safe space to try the idea out and use the MDM network to reach out to people and see if people believed in it,” says Puech. 

Puech and Bertoldi are looking for more artists to partner with and plan to further develop their integrated mobile application. Their platform creates branded or event-specific augmented reality content for concerts and any type of live event. As Puech says, the possibilities are endless. 

“This master’s degree opens a lot of doors and presents a lot of opportunities, and you have to grab them.”