The year of VR

Meet the River virtual reality accelerator’s first startups

Mike Rothenberg of Rothenberg Ventures wants the world to know that virtual reality is a present, not future, platform, and he is out to prove it with a new startup accelerator. The River accelerator announced its first class today, and the participating companies are bringing virtual reality to everything from journalism to job training.

The full list of startups includes:

  • DeepStream VR: Games that aid pain relief and rehabilitation
  • Fove: A virtual reality headset with built-in eye tracking
  • Vantage.tv: View concerts and live events in 180 degrees
  • Triggar: A 360-degree camera
  • Reload Studios: Games built by former Call of Duty developers and Disney artists
  • EmergentVR: Create, edit and share 360 degree videos over mobile
  • Psious: Immersion therapy for curing fears
  • SDK: Industrial training in virtual reality
  • Emblematic Group: Immersive journalism
  • Innerspace: Artistic and cultural content
  • Solirax: Education platform
  • Thotwise: Game studio
  • Discovr: Learn by exploring the ancient world

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With the help of $100,000 each, the startups will spend three months in a co-working space developing their projects. They will demo what they come up with in April and May.

The startups hail from every continent except Antarctica. More than 200 companies applied for a place in the accelerator.

Rothenberg compared VR, which has been labeled the next major platform, to the internet. While it’s in its early stages today, it won’t be for long.

“It’s nascent now and in 20 years it will be ubiquitous,” Rothenberg said. “It’s going to touch every industry. We think that over the next 5-10 years, any venture capital firm that wants to be a part of the future needs to (invest in virtual reality).”