The current VR development climate is fantastic. There are new projects being released every day, and a number of amazing developments have been made lately, especially by the independent dev community. However, that same indie community currently lacks two things that it needs to really help flesh out some of these amazing projects, money and mentorship. It’s a problem Rothenberg Ventures has recognized, and stepped in to help solve, with River.
Announced today, River is poised to be the premiere accelerator for virtual reality, and fills a much needed void. Rothenberg Ventures is not new to the world of VR, they were early investors in the virtual meetspace application, AltspaceVR, as well as Matterport and MergeVR, and have been active in the community, hosting dinners and happy hours for industry leaders. “We saw there’s a massive need to bring community space and mentorship to VR because it hasn’t yet hit mainstream but it’s about to,” says Mike Rothenberg, founder of the VC firm, “getting them in the same room, we can move the industry forward.”
River, will initially be comprised of 10 startup companies, who will each receive a $100,000 investment from the firm, as well as office space at Rothenberg Ventures Coworking in San Francisco. In addition, founders will be able to participate in weekly dinners and meet-up with some of the luminaries of the industry, such as Tony Parisi, one of the godfathers of VR and co-creator of VMRL, Amir Rubin, CEO of Sixense, Eric Romo CEO of AltspaceVR, Gentry Underwood Dropbox’s head of design, and Maureen Fan, VP of Games at Zynga.
“2015 will be the year of virtual reality,” says Rothenberg, and this new venture shows they are very serious about that. Big things are on the horizon and projects like these only… well… accelerate that future. This is great news for the VR community as a whole, and is hopefully only the beginning. I, for one, am incredibly excited to see what ends up coming of this newest venture, especially in the hands of a firm that in its first two years of existence has quickly established themselves as some of the leading VCs in the industry.
Rothenberg is currently taking applications for the 10 open slots in its accelerator program, applications will run through January 11th. River is currently looking for teams from all across the VR ecosystem, new infrastructure, platforms, applications, and of course content. Applications are now open so interested teams should look to apply quickly. Those interested should direct themselves here.