HTC’s Vive headset now is available, but the company isn’t wasting any time in moving on to a new project.
HTC announced on Monday that it will break new virtual-reality ground with a global accelerator program. The Taiwan-based company will partner will boost and build new VR companies through a$100 million accelerator program called Vive X. The accelerator now is accepting applications.
“We want to help cultivate, foster and grow the global VR ecosystem by supporting startups and providing them with education, investment and mentorship,” according to the accelerator’s website.
The program will launch in three cities, Beijing, Taipei, and San Francisco, with the expectation of expanding to more cities in the future. Beijing will launch the pilot program in May 2016. The startups included in the pilot will come from Asia, have proven success in the VR industry, and be expected to grow alongside the Vive platform.
Vive X will receive equity in exchange for cash investment.
“The program is open to companies from any industry that are creating content, tools, applications and accessories that enrich the VR ecosystem and end-user experience,” HTC said in a statement.
Bellevue’s Valve has been an early mover in virtual reality. The company’s in-house demo room is known as one of the top VR showcases in the country. The company has a strong partnership with HTC, and helped to build the Vive headset.
“(Valve’s) original solution was moving around, walking around in VR, and that just felt so much more natural,” Dan O’Brien, HTC’s vice president of Vive, said to 425 Business reporter Jake Bullinger earlier this year. “So when our CEO met Valve, she saw that, if we’re going to do VR, this is where we’re going. We were working together within weeks.”
With the number of companies involved in VR on the Eastside, including Microsoft, VR Studios, and Envelop VR, HTC’s expansion to the Seattle area would be a logical choice, should it look for another West Coast city to expand. Other virtual reality companies in the Seattle area include, Atomic VR and Chronos VR. Facebook’s Oculus Rift also has an office in Seattle.