MIT’s Play Labs VR/AR Accelerator Unveils its First Batch of Summer Startups

Back in January VRFocus reported on Bayview Labs, LLC and Seraph Group, announcing the launch of a startup accelerator looking at developing playful technology across a broad range of disciplines, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in conjunction with MIT called Play Labs. Today, Play Labs @ MIT has revealed the first 13 startups for its summer accelerator programme.

Each of the 13 startups will receive an initial investment of $20,000 USD from the PlayLabs Fund, with those that graduate eligible for up to $80,000 in additional funding from the fund as well as outside investors.

Rizwan Virk - Bayview Labs Director

“We are excited at the quality and breadth of startups that we have in our first batch,” said Rizwan Virk, Executive Director of Play Labs @ MIT in a statement. “Being on campus at MIT gave us access to many innovative entrepreneurs and technologies, and while we had many applicants, the startups we selected in this first class represent the best applications of playful technology. I’m personally inspired to help the next group of MIT startups go on to great success.”

“The inaugural class began with teams of creative, passionate and determined people. This is history in the making,” said Tuff Yen, President of Seraph Group and Partner at Play Labs @ MIT.

The following is a list of the startups in the first batch:

  • Coresights: Coresights provides evidence-based training to improve wellness and enhance resilience. The platform combines VR and AR technologies with clinical-grade wearables to make training engaging and capture real-time data.
  • Datavized: Datavized looks at advancing enterprise and big data with 3D visualization. Combining the immersive power of VR with the delivery of the mobile web, the software enables cross platform collaboration and enhanced decision making.
  • Empathy Box: The Myth Machine is a first-person mystery-adventure set in the weird, magical world of tech start-ups. It is the first project by Empathy Box.
  • Escape Labs: Escape Labs uses AR and mixed reality (MR) technology in experiences for escape-rooms, team-building exercises and room scale puzzles.
  • Esports One: Esports One is an esports company, comprised of esportspedia, one of the largest esports information resources in the world, providing an advanced computer vision and real-time data analysis platform for esports
  • Hidden Switch: Hidden Switch is developing a digital card battler, Spellsource, whose new gameplay lets you connect with the biggest stars in eSports. Based on research at the MIT Media Lab, its mission is to make everybody part of a great player’s journey.
  • Minda Labs: Minda offers VR diversity training to companies who are looking for fresh, research-driven approaches to improving company culture. Its videogame simulations help employees build empathy and communication skills through practice and feedback from peers.
  • RidgeLine: RoVR is a realistic VR dog simulator.
  • SavvyStat: Deep learning and predictive tools and dashboards for managing virtual economies and virtual goods.
  • Team Future: Black Hat Cooperative is a stealth game that pits you and an ally against robot agents that seek to remove you from the system. Explore complex levels filled with hidden dangers, and work together to survive.
  • Total Respawn: Total Respawn creates real-life shooter games for action sports arenas with AR. The product lineup will feature experiences from shooting your way out of the zombie apocalypse to military-themed laser tag.
  • VRemedy: VRemedy Labs creates new, empowering locomotion for VR. The MIT startup is focused on mitigating nausea through movement design and training sequences that are specialised to teach motion in the most comfortable manner. Providing development tools alongside a “VR motion acclimation” app will allow developers to provide new levels of immersion for users prone to motion sickness.
  • Wonda VR: Wonda VR develops tools to turn 360° videos into engaging VR experiences. It provides a drag & drop interface and a one-click publishing solution that puts the power of experiential storytelling in the hands of every video creator.

This first batch of startups run from June-August, with a demo day held on 15th August, 2017 at 6:00 pm EDT at MIT in classroom 10-250. The Demo Day will be open to investors, members of the MIT community, and the general public. In addition to the physical event, Play Labs Demo Day will be streamed live on the web.

For any further updates from Play Labs @ MIT, keep reading VRFocus.