Founded this spring in Helsinki international business accelerator Nordic VR Startups has finished its first application round. After receiving nearly 70 candidate applications, six lucky winners were chosen to the program – five Finnish startups and one Swedish company, all working with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) innovations.
Nordic VR Startups team selected the startups based on how they integrated VR and/or AR technology into their product. Plus the accelerator paid attention at clear demonstration of strong teamwork and core competence that is on par with international standards.
Nordic VR Startups Program
Nordic VR Startups is a joint venture of the Japanese games company gumi Inc. and Nordisk Film. The goal of the incubator program is to identify and support promising Nordic (VR/AR) technology firms on their way towards the global market. In addition to seed funding and other resources, the program helps the involved companies to grow through an extensive network of mentors and industry experts.
Presented previously to the audiences of Arctic 15 and X Reality Day, Nordic VR Startups launched its application process for Nordic countries in early May. Harri Manninen, one of the acting directors of Nordic VR Startups, is pleased with both the results of the application process and the high quality of the candidates:
”Overall, we received a huge amount of highly qualified applications, but the selected companies really distinguished themselves during the evaluation process. There seems to be a demand for our program since the market is new and growing fast in Nordic countries”, Manninen says.
Co-Director of Nordic VR Startups & Senior Vice President of Nordisk Film, Suman Rath: ”The Nordic VR and AR industry is currently very attractive to many businesses. The local entrepreneur community has a strong will to become the leaders of future technology.”
This week all candidates moved into the incubator facilities, and started to work on their projects together with program mentors and business coaches. Program mentors include Hironao Kunimitsu (CEO, gumi.inc), Tipatat Chennavasin (partner, VR Fund), Peter Vesterbacka (founder, Slush, ex-Rovio) and more. The program will reach its peak during the Demo Day at Slush 2017 in Helsinki, where the startups get to pitch their offering and business ideas to a group of investors and other commercial partners.
The Young Entrepreneurs Wish to Expand the Outreach of VR and AR Technology
Here is the list of Finnish companies selected in the Nordic VR Startups program:
Immersal – platform for shareable AR content
Virva VR – VR arcades
Catland – independent games and VR studio
Evocat Games – VR game studio
HipFire Games – VR games developers
Sweden was represented by Advrty, specialized in VR/AR based advertising solutions. Here is what startup founders say about their participation in the program.
CEO of Evocat Games, Sami Koivisto: “We applied to the program in order to accelerate and develop our business with some help from experienced industry professionals. Nordic VR Startups provides us with tools for planning and executing our growth strategy. We expect to meet new professional contacts and gain fresh insights for both our business and product solutions.”
CEO and co-founder of Advrty, Niklas Bakos: “Getting the recognition in the Nordic VR/AR community means a lot for us. While we are building a service to help monetize both VR and AR content, we also want to initiate the industry standards for advertising in the new media of VR/AR and MR. Teaming up with Nordic VR Startups will bring us the top notch expertise and knowledge and the network we need to grow globally.”