“We’re interested in innovation and enabling others to create their own stories”- GeoStories Co-Founder Amanda Pearce on Creating the Cutting Edge Tools That Will Make AR Experiences Widely Accessible

Back to top

Words and interview by Simon Bland 


Audience expectations of user experiences have changed. In an age of smartphones and digital storytelling, physical media is no longer enough to satisfy a generation that has become accustomed to actively engaging with the information they encounter on a daily basis. To add to this mix, the rapid growth of augmented reality within mobile experiences has put further pressure on anyone wanting to provide customers with engaging and compelling content. 

It’s this growing niche that GeoStories aims to fill. Developed by the digital marketing experts at Diva Creative, their new venture hopes to revolutionise how people create mobile immersive experiences. Imagine arriving at a venue and being drawn into a location-triggered audio adventure on your smartphone that takes you deep inside an area’s history and cultural significance — or exploring a new product or service with GPS-activated content and the magic of AR. Simply put, the cutting-edge technology driving these types of products forward has a potential that’s as far-reaching as your imagination.  

“We’ve been increasingly interested in storytelling and using narrative as a tool to engage,” explains Diva Creative Director Amanda Pearce, detailing the journey that led her to become the co-founder and producer of the company’s new venture GeoStories. “We also really wanted to get into more entertainment-based storytelling and introduce emerging tech like augmented reality into the mix, so we came up with the idea of using GPS technology and place as our focus, hence the name ‘GeoStories’,” she says. “What if you went somewhere and instead of a dull visitor guide you could actually experience stories in that space and at the same time access immersive AR content too? That was the basic idea and we’ve developed it from there.”  

After identifying this concept, it didn’t take long for its full promise to reveal itself. “We wanted it to be something you could experience in a physical place but equally enjoy anywhere,” continues Pearce, touching on the product’s accessibility. “We created a prototype to develop stories and test it out and quickly thought it could be something a lot of people might be interested in. Soon, we started to think that it had real potential to be a product and business in itself. We also realised that the no-code content management system we had developed to build the stories that are published onto the GeoStories app could also be developed as a piece of licenced software that would enable others to make and publish their own stories,” she continues. “The ability to license this story-building tool element essentially opens up new markets and a whole new revenue stream that may be appealing to investors.” 


What followed was a period of bootstrapping where Pearce and the wider team began developing a new business to accompany their new idea. However, after realising that time was of the essence, they applied to Enterprise Evolve — our mentoring and guidance scheme that helps high-concept screen-sector businesses level up — to catalyze their market readiness 

“Obviously, there are lots of different markets and ways you could go and organically, it would take us too long to develop. Someone else might come along and do it before us. We also felt it was very much an idea of ‘now’ and that we had to make the most of it,” reasons Pearce. “We applied to Enterprise Evolve and we’ve refined our markets and revenue streams. We’ve also really thought about the product and what we want to do with it, and in turn, developed a brand new company.”  

With a prototype in hand, the team is already thinking ahead to the various spaces where their concept can be applied — and there are lots of them. “We’re interested in stories that don’t usually get heard; stories about people who are overlooked. We’re also interested in technology and further exploring augmented reality,” says Pearce. “We’re really interested in the innovation we can bring to this sector and enabling others to create their own stories on this platform.”  

While some spaces may already have similar products in-house, GeoStories can help extend their reach while making them more engaging to users in a cost-effective way. As Pearce explains, “People can access stories through the licenced product, which would be great for branded content and also provide a more accessible way to deliver something to their customers that brands can monetize.” 

So far, the app has already received a warm welcome from those who have experienced it. It’s also planted new ideas in the minds of venues looking to boost their own visitor offering and enter the digital age. “Our app launched with a story on it and we’ve had really good feedback from people who have enjoyed it. They like going to the place but also having the experience remotely as well. We’re already talking to clients about doing specific stories relating to tourist attractions and are also finding a lot of interest from creative agencies who would like to access a licenced version of the platform to make their own stories for their own clients,” reveals Pearce. “There’s lots of interest and people thinking about how they could use it, both to create their own stories or commission us to create stories for them.” 

Perhaps audience appetite is to thank for this early success. With smartphones streamlining almost every aspect of our daily lives, it was surely only a matter of time before they entered the world of physical excursions. “We have so many virtual experiences these days but I think there’s also a human need for something real. GeoStories is a combination of the two,” suggests Pearce. “We’re also keen to bring a gamification aspect to it as well, making it something similar to a more sophisticated Pokemon Go,” she adds, comparing the app’s future to the popular Nintendo game that combines GPS-based gameplay with augmented reality. “We incorporated the new company in late 2022 and now we’re in a great position to attract investors to support our high growth ambitions for GeoStories. The future’s looking very promising.”  

Through Enterprise Evolve, Pearce has been partnered with an industry mentor for bespoke support. It’s an invaluable tool for any company seeking quick growth. “It’s really useful,” says Pearce. “Diva Creative is an organically-grown business and we’ve never looked at investment. When it comes to thinking about making the most of a new concept, you want to be able to speak to somebody who knows what they’re talking about,” she tells us. “It’s challenging to know what investors are looking for beyond what I think they might be looking for so having someone who knows you, your business and its opportunities but also has their own experience and the ability to direct you is really valuable.”  

Overall, Pearce believes it’s this type of tailored guidance that will ultimately help GeoStories reach the marketplace sooner rather than later. “I’ve been engaged with quite a few organisations over the years and I have to say that Creative UK is really accessible, positive, supportive and human. It’s easier to form a relationship and get support,” she adds, commenting on Evolve’s ability to help entrepreneurs forge positive, meaningful relationships. “Evolve is well designed and it feels like a strong programme.”