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Blurring the boundaries between digital fiction and reality

Amsterdam, June 19th, 2017


Amsterdam-based CapitolaVR was founded in 2014 and it is a leader in design and development of VR and AR productions. Its services include 360/VR video, VR for Marketing, Simulations and Trainings in VR and Educational VR and AR tools.

David Robustelli, Founder and Head of Digital at CapitolaVR says that the company’s goal is to create highly immersive VR and AR experiences for a wide variety of purposes.

Having studied Marketing and Communications, David’s digital adventure started 10 years ago: “I started a digital development agency back in 2007. In 2014 we added 2 partners to the company and rebranded to an innovative driven digital agency. Our new partners had experience in advertising. Together with our digital experience this was the perfect combo and still is.”

Capitola VR has today a total of 25 employees (mainly men), working on projects. The core of it are mixture of creative’s and developers.

We asked David what inspires and he said with certainty: “Innovation in technology and being part of that innovation. Not only from an advertising perspective but also to see how tech can actually help people making their lives easier and better.”

Can you describe your agency in three words?

Innovative, Driven Agency

In your opinion, what ingredients are key to create a successful team?

Talent, vision, innovation, flexibility and most important a good mix of coders, creatives, strategists and producers.

When hiring, which qualities of creativity are you most sensitive to?

When we choose people to be part of our team we look for two main qualities: self motivation and a drive to create the best products in the world.

How do you distribute responsibilities?

We work with a Head of Digital responsible for digital work that “leaves the office” and is presented to the world. Before that happens, Creative Director is responsible for the creative concept and art direction.

Our Senior employees are responsible for a well documented code and obviously flawless functioning product.


How would you describe the creativity culture at your agency?

We work with a mixture of coders and creative people, and creativity is what drives us to keep innovating. We believe that creativity fuels innovation and innovation, on the other hand, drives creative minds to create concepts that are mind blowing.

We cultivate and maintain our agency culture by involving both creative folk and coders the brainstorming sessions.
Another way of maintaining the culture is by giving our employees the opportunity to work on their own projects a specific part of their time. We call this “rapid prototyping”. Once a prototype is finished in about a week, we test it and if we think its worth we will add resources to create an actual B2B or Consumer product.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on?

That would be the Doritos VR Battle as it was one of our first large projects where we used VR to engage the target audience.

It was a big challenge as the hardware was just available as a developer kit and we had to hack our selves through a lot of challenges to get the best out of both the hardware as the software.

One of the challenges on the Doritos VR project, was that the Art Direction was really going in 10 different directions at once. As VR was new to this client we really had to convince the client about the perception of the user once in the experience.

This does not work with sketches or moodboards. To convince the client we created a 3D environment with our proposed style. We invited the client to check the environment in VR and they were immediately convinced.

What tools do you use as a manager to plan your activities as well as that of your team?

Slack, Jira, Trello, TeamGantt and Glip, it depends on the (scale of ) the project and the complexity.

Name a challenge your team is currently facing.

The biggest challenge is to keep creating innovative concepts that amaze, engage and activate the clients target audience.

As we mainly work with VR and AR we need to keep looking on how to realize added value to the marketing strategy and not just come up with a one-time experience. Continuity is very important to convince new clients of the power of VR.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Something that will include board sports.


By Geny Caloisi.

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