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Top Companies and Players in
the VR/AR Education Space
An ecosystem guide for educators and edtech professionals
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July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Mercedes Bent
Founder of BenToppin
Message from the
Author
This is the guide I wish I had when I was working in edtech and looking to make the leap into
the VR/AR industry. It was made for edtech professionals who want to get involved in VR/AR
and educators who want to understand use cases of VR/AR in education. I hope you enjoy
reading it as much as I enjoyed making it, and please, email me with additions, corrections,
and questions!
info@bentoppin.com
Table of
Contents
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
01
Intro to VR/AR for
Educators
02
Key companies in the
space
03
Key players in the
space
04
Concluding Thoughts
VR is a Learning Tool that Excels at….
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Imagine shrinking down to the size of a blood cell and flying through the
circulatory system to learn about the human body or deconstructing a 3D
holographic automobile engine before a repair
ScaleImmersion 3D Perception
IntrotoVR/AR
[VR is] invaluable
for learning under
the right
circumstances such
as 3D dimensions,
perception, frame
of reference
- Chris Dede, Harvard GSE
“
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Intro to VR/AR for educators and edtech professionals
VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing.
Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment
The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR.
Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment
The recent wave of interest in VR/AR was reinvigorated in 2014 by Facebook's $2.3 billion
acquisition of Oculus
The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Understanding
the differences between these industries (and how VR, while similar, needs to be
approached completely afresh), will help provide some context for the industry
The terms VR/AR are often used together, but typically mean different things. VR = full
immersion, AR = holographic images laid on top of real world
IntrotoVR/AR
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Intro to VR/AR for educators and edtech professionals
VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing.
Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment
The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR.
This industry isn't new. The first modern references in science fiction came in 1935 and the
first headset was created in the 1960s
Many industries have been using VR/AR for training for decades - defense, aerospace,
medicine, and manufacturing have experimented with VR in many ways
88 million Google Cardboard headsets were sold in 2016 - as the least expensive headset
available, these are most likely to be used in education. For context, Google's G Suite for
Education program has 70 million users and dominates the US K-12 education market
Understand the tech basics - read CNET’s primer or Sky Nite's Virtual Reality Guidebook
so you understand how it works and how to experience it. See also page 35
IntrotoVR/AR
But Is VR Effective?
Several studies and corporate results point toward yes, for the right use cases
Research studies conducted by NCSU show
"significant improvement" in children's learning
(6th to 8th grade) after using zSpace's VR
platform
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Upskill, an augmented reality software training
company, has cited seeing an average 32%
improvement in the workforce of their clients
including GE, Boeing
Research by Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction
Lab highlights potential for learner improvement
with VR/AR due to effect of teacher gaze and
co-learners
The use cases for VR in
education extend
beyond learning - VR is
being used to recruit
students, save lab costs,
and host office hours
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Key Companies & Players
This section has VR/AR startups and companies broken down by educational area
K-12 Startups +
Companies
12 10 6 4 2
Postsecondary
Startups
Education Platforms
Educational Game
Studios
VR/AR Software
Consultancies
By the Numbers
Companies were chosen if they had a stated educational / training mission or suite of products designed specifically
for training/education purposes and had more products than a single app.
48% focus on K-12, 28% Postsecondary, rest a mix
52 Companies & Startups*
$1.3mm median funding amount
30 with funding data
46% located in the US, 17% in the UK (2nd largest)
8% of founders are female
$311mm total funding to the top 5 startups
2015 median launch year
* Not all companies are highlighted in this guide.
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
zSpace - Provides a "Zspace Learning Lab" comprised of a tablet, glasses, AR software, and
content. Focused on the K12 market, they teach subjects including math, science, engineering,
and biology. They've filed more than 30 patents Zspace.com
● Founder / Team: Paul Kellenberger, Mike Harper, Dave Chavez
● Location: Sunnyvale, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: AR software and hardware
● Stage: Raised Series C & Series D in 2015, total of $56.1mm funding
● Founded in 2007, they started making more significant revenue in 2014 (making $2.8mm
in 2014)
Nearpod - Builds classroom tools and virtual reality content that allow teachers to create
synchronized iPad lessons. It's a popular teaching tool and now reaches 5 million students
monthly. https://nearpod.com/
● Founder / Team: Guido Kovalskys, Felipe Somme, Emiliano Abramzon
● Location: Aventura, Florida
● Immersive Tech Used: They use a combination of iPads, 360 videos, and 360 photos
alongside VR/AR technology and traditional lesson plans
● Stage: Series-B backed company. Raised $30.2mm total, $21mm Series-B March 2017
● Founded 2012
In the K-12 market, startups are providing a VR “bento-box” solution for teachers,
complete with “ready-to-teach” lessons, software and sometimes hardware
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
Google helped pioneer this sub-field which has become the highest-venture
funded group of VR edtech startups with $185mm going to the top 3 startups
Google Expeditions Pioneer Program - Google created an "Expedition Kit" comprised of a
Google Cardboard, tablet, phones, router, and the curriculum needed for a teacher to take their
class on a virtual field trip. The team helps teachers with support so they have everything they
need.
● https://edu.google.com/expeditions/
● Founder / Team: Ben Schrom is the Product Manager for Google Expeditions
● Location: Mountain View, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: Cardboard
● Stage: Public Company
● Launched 2015 - Google Expeditions’ VR trips were announced Sept 2015
Lifeliqe - Allows students and teachers to easily drag and drop 3D models into lesson plans
and other e-learning resources. They have over 1,000 interactive 3D models related to STEM.
Partnership with Vive. Their interactive lesson plans are aligned to Next Generation Science
Standards and Common Core State Standards, as well a major textbooks in the USA.
● Founder / Team: Ondrej Homola
● Location: San Francisco, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: 3D models
● Stage: early, no funding data, works with 15,000 schools
● Founded 2015
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
MergeVR’s Merge Cube - AR cube hold in your palm, educational content for kids such as
"occipital lobe". Built their own headset. Also announced a $1mm fund for others to create VR
experiences.
● https://mergevr.com/cube
● Founder / Team: Merge Labs founders are Franklin Lyons, Andrew Trickett
● Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
● Immersive Tech Used: Merge Goggles work with iPhone or Android
● Stage: Raised $11.3mm total with a $1.7mm seed in 2014 and $10.1mm in 2016
● Founded 2013
Curiscope - VR startup that created experiences that allow you to learn about the body in a
collaborative way. One person wears a t-shirt and another person, using a smartphone, learns
about objects on the shirt in a unique way.
● https://www.curiscope.com/
● Founder / Team: Ben Kidd, Ed Barton
● Location: Brighton, East Sussex, England
● Immersive Tech Used: Use a mix of 360 videos, Google Daydream, Coded Tshirts
● Stage - Ran a Kickstarter campaign and raised ~$120k in crowd funding in March 2016
● Founded 2015
Two startups are making learning even more tactile and engaging with VR cubes
and t-shirts
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
Immersive VR Education - Best known for its Titanic and Apollo 11 VR award winning VR titles
which allow students to relive historical events. Immersive VR also has a platform called
Engage which allows teachers to create their own virtual lessons without writing any code. They
also have a medical app (ERVR) which helps medical students practice real-world scenarios.
● http://immersivevreducation.com/
● Founder / Team: David Whelan
● Location: Waterford, England
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created experiences
● Stage - early, received $1.06mm in a seed round in Feb 2017
● Founded 2015
Unimersiv - Unimersiv is a VR learning platform which releases educational content on a
monthly basis. The content in Unimersiv’s app is more individualized and immersive
https://unimersiv.com/
● Founder / Team: Baptiste Greve
● Location: San Mateo
● Immersive Tech Used: CG, works on Gear, Rift, Daydream, Cardboard, Vive
● Stage: Early, seed funding $25 -$100k from going through Boost VC's accelerator.
Claims to be largest VR education platform
● Founded: 2015
Other K-12 VR edtech startups are placing a greater emphasis on creating
original and moving content such as the Titanic and Apollo 11 VR experiences
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
Discovery VR - Discovery is an age-old storyteller
and created a VR app to help education students
in a new way. They've created sample lesson
plans and correlating VR experiences on topics
like the swamp, rainforest, and oceans so teachers
can fit into their curriculums.
● http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Disc
overyNow/vr.cfm
● Founder / Team: Rebecca Howard is the
head of the VR team at Discovery - she is
SVP Emerging Platforms and Partnerships
● Location: Los Angeles, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: 360 videos for
Cardboard, Gear VR
● Stage: Public Company
● Launched 2015 - Discovery VR apps were
launched in August 2015
Discovery, an age-old master in producing compelling content, has used the
medium to elicit empathy and action from viewers concerning animal extinction
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
Augthat - Provides AR software to teachers to aid as teaching tools. Their app delivers 360
models alongside activity sheets that can be used with smartphones. They are now in ~300
schools across the USA.
● http://www.augthat.com
● Founder / Team: Adam Newman
● Location: New Jersey
● Immersive Tech Used: Mobile AR app
● Stage - no funding data available
● Founded 2013
Jig Space - Jigs allows anyone to explain, show, or teach anything in an intuitive and
memorable way. Allows consumers to create 3D models and use these in VR/AR experiences
(if someone wants to). Jigspace's goal is to make creating 3D technology accessible for all.
● https://jig.space/
● Founder / Team: Zac Duff, Sam Duff, Numa Berton
● Location: Melbourne, Australia
● Immersive Tech Used: Allows users to create 3D models in the web browser
● Stage - early, $25 -$100k from going through Boost VC's accelerator.
● Founded 2015
Teacher tools in the form of 3D models and interactive software are useful for
teachers who may not need a full lesson but want to apply tools selectively
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
K-12:KeyCompanies
ThingLink - Provides interactive media tools,
allowing you to add interactive tags to any image,
2D or 3D including VR images on the web. While
applicable to any industry, they cater specially to
the education market with education pricing and a
gallery showcasing how teachers are using the
tool in the classroom.
● http://demo.thinglink.com/vr-editor
● Founder / Team: Ulla-Maaria Engerstrom
● Location: Palo Alto, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: Editing tool for 360
and VR images
● Stage - Raised $3.3mm to date, $1.3mm
seed raised in Feb 2016, 2.5mm content
creators
● Founded 2010
ThingLink allows teachers to annotate 2D and 3D images, in VR or for desktop,
giving teachers the ability to quickly build their own interactive lesson
Siemens used VR to
decrease first-time
assembly from
480 minutes to 45
minutes
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
These startups are expanding the use of VR/AR to train employees beyond the
traditional industries of defense and aerospace
HigherEd:KeyCompanies
Upskill - augmented reality software that allows workers to complete tasks more efficiently and
collaboratively. Two main products, Eyesight (great for remote collaboration) and Skylight (AR
software). Formerly was known as APX Labs. https://upskill.io/
● Founder / Team: Brian Ballard, Jeff Jenkins, Chris Hoyt
● Locations: DC, Bay Area, Austin TX
● Immersive Tech Used: AR software on Google Glass
● Stage: $40.5mm in funding total. Last raised Series B in April 2017. Customers include
Boeing, GE
● Founded 2010
Strivr - Formerly focused on athletic training, Strivr expanded to corporate training, signing a
deal to train Wal-Mart's US centers in May 2017. They now train companies including Visa,
Google, Walmart, ABC, Pepsi, and many more. Their focus is on using VR for accurate
assessment of performance. http://strivrlabs.com/
● Founder / Team: Derek Belch, Jeremy Bailenson, Trent Edwards
● Location: Palo Alto, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: 360 video
● Stage: Venture Funded ($5mm), generating revenue with major clients
● Founded 2015
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
HigherEd:KeyCompanies
Viscopic works with companies to develop mixed reality solutions, primarily in the areas of 1)
training 2) using VR/AR for marketing / sales purposes. Had also done training with Deutsche
Ban. https://viscopic.com/en/home-en
● Founder / Team: Marco Maier, Felix MeiBgeir, Thomas Knauer
● Location: Munich
● Immersive Tech Used: Headsets range from Hololens to Cardboard to Rift and Google
Glass
● Stage: Very Early, raised $25k seed
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/viscopic#/entity
● Founded: 2015
Medivis - Focuses on medical visualization and use cases in education, especially for students
in their residency program http://www.mediv.is/ -
● Founder / Team: Osamah Choudry, Christopher Morley
● Location: NYC
● Immersive Tech Used: Hololens and AR software (holographic imaging)
● Stage: early, no funding data
● Founded 2016
VR/AR is now being used to train sales representatives, football quarterbacks,
customer service reps, doctors….
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
HigherEd:KeyCompanies
Primitive - Primitive's VR software allows engineering teams to visualize their codebases quickly
and easily, allowing new team members to get up to speed quickly.
● Primitive.io
● Founder / Team: John Voorhees
● Location: Palo Alto, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: CG environment works on Rift or Vive
● Stage: early, received $700k in seed funding in 2016
● Founded 2015
Mursion - Works with companies to develop custom VR training experiences to improve
professional performance. They're currently focused on the areas of healthcare, education,
hospitality, etc. They have an experience that focuses on increasing teacher preparedness
and effectiveness. https://mursion.com/
● Founder / Team: Mark Atkinson, Argun Nagendran
● Location: San Francisco, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments
● Stage: early, funding from government and philanthropic arms including Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation
● Founded 2015
…..as well as teachers and software engineers
HigherEd:KeyCompanies
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Gamar - Allows museums to create engaging tours with visitors through using augmented
reality. Museum visitors use their phones to point at objects and learn more about them. Based
in England, they work with the British Museum, The Royal Collection, and the National Maritime
Museum
● http://gamar.com/
● Founder / Team: Venu Tammabatula
● Location: London, England
● Immersive Tech Used: Mobil e AR App
● Stage: raised an angel round in Jan 2014
● Founded 2013
Boulevard (formerly Woofbert VR) - Focuses on bringing art to VR. They partner with
museums to provide VR experiences that highlight pieces of art. These user-controlled
experiences allow individuals to go on a field-trip to the museum and learn about pieces they
couldn't access otherwise.
● http://blvrd.com/
● Founder / Team: Robert Hamwee, Elizabeth Reede
● Location: New York, NY
● Immersive Tech Used: CG-created environments, Gear or Rift
● Stage: Raised $5.3mm in two seed rounds
● Founded in 2013
Museums are embracing VR, aided by VR Edtech startups
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
HigherEd:KeyCompanies
Virtual Speech - Produces courses in VR to train specific skills - first two are 1) Public speaking
and 2) Job Interview Success. Courses range $65-$170 per download. Tackling 74% of people
who suffer from speech anxiety. https://virtualspeech.com/
● Founder / Team: Dom Barnard, Arthur Grzybowski, Sophie Thompson
● Location: London, UK
● Immersive Tech Used: CG, consumed through Google Cardboard or Merge VR
headset
● Stage: 150,000 downloads of public speaking course, $25 -$100k from going through
Boost VC's accelerator.
● Founded 2016
Skill Hub’s Speech Center - Skill Hub’s courses include speech training, vision therapy, and even
dating lessons, all designed to help individuals master
● https://cerevrum.com
● Founder / Team: Dmitry Kirillov, Natasha Floksy, Alexey Zinchenko, Denis Tambovtsev
● Location: San Francisco and Russia
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments, viewed on Gear VR and Daydream,
planning to release on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive soon
● Stage: 30 employees, $1mm in seed funding
● Founded 2015
VR can be used to improve soft skills - these startups are producing courses to
tackle public speaking and job interviewing
VR/AR is being
used to learn
Spanish and
English, to learn
constellations,
and to build
virtual classrooms
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Platforms:KeyCompanies
Cospaces encourages users to make their own VR experiences and caters especially to
the education market. They highlight a few examples of exercises that could be built
including storytelling, virtual exhibitions, modeling, infographics and more.
Skill Hub - Skill Hub is a platform by Cerevrum that also has pre-built VR simulations. These
simulations focus on soft skills. Their Simulation Management System is similar to a
web-based LMS that you can use to assign training sessions to students, track their
progress, organize training sessions with coaches and students working in real-time, etc.
Virbela - Bill themselves as "the social virtual platform for business and education."
Schools, businesses and organizations that want to meet on "virtual campuses." Founded
by Dr. Alex Howland and Dr. Ron Rembisz, based out of UCSD, they received initial funding
from GMAC in 2010, now have ~15 team members and many clients.
These startups are the “WordPress” or ‘Squarespaces” of VR - platforms that
allow users to customize their own VR worlds, catering specifically to EDU
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
GameStudio:KeyCo’s
Schell Games - Schell was founded in 2002 as a game studio. One of their more popular
education titles include Water Bears VR. They also received a grant from the US DoE to
develop SuperChem VR, a vr game that helps students learn chemistry.
https://www.schellgames.com/
● Founder / Team: Jesse Schell
● Location: Pittsburgh, PA
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments
● Stage: Primarily a self-sustaining studio, although they launched an Indiegogo
campaign to help fund a new game in 2016, and received grants from the DoE
● Founded 2002
Alchemy VR - Alchemy VR is a production studio that has created an impressive amount of
VR education experiences. They've partnered with Google's Education team to create virtual
field trips for K-12. http://www.alchemyvr.com/
● Founder / Team: Anthony Geffen
● Location: London, UK
● Immersive Tech Used: 360 video and CG created environments
● Stage - Alchemy is a sub-division of Atlantic Productions, which is a world-leading
production studio. Self-sustaining studio.
● Founded - Atlantic Productions was founded in 1992, Alchemy VR was launched in
2014
Seasoned game studios are bringing their expertise to VR, partnering with the US
Dept of Education to create projects like Super Chem VR, a gamified chem lab
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
GameStudio:KeyCo’s
DISCOVR Labs - They're a VR content studio focused on educational experiences. They've
created experiences focusing on medical training and K-12 applications, and allow teachers to
see what the students are seeing alongside analytics.
● http://discovrlearning.com/
● Founder / Team: Gemma Busoni, Josh Maldonado
● Location: Los Angeles and Toronto
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments
● Stage - early, raised seed funding ($170k) through Rothenberg and River studios. Had
100k downloads
● Founded 2015
Filament Games - A long-time developer of 2D learning games, this studio is beginning to
make their foray into VR experiences. With experience working with folks like Caterpillar,
McGraw Hill Education, and the Smithsonian Institution for Science and Education, they are
sure to make a wave in VR.
● https://www.filamentgames.com/
● Founder / Team: Dan Norton, Dan White, Alex Stone
● Location: Madison, WI, USA
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments
● Stage - Self-sustaining studio
● Founded 2005
Others are newer and have focused on both K-12 and higher-ed solutions such
as DISCOVR Labs
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
SoftwareConsultancies
Sentient - Software consultancy that works with the mining and resources industry, creating VR
for training purposes
● http://sencom.com.au/
● Founder / Team: Doug Bester (Managing Director) and Apolon Ivankovic (Chief
Developer)
● Location: Perth, Australia
● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments, Oculus Rift
● Stage: Mature consultancy with over 30 clients around the globe
● Founded 2000
EON Reality - They're a VR/AR development shop in Irvine. They've built several educational
products including a virtual trainer and a AI-driven AR training programs
https://www.eonreality.com/
● Founder / Team: Dan Lejerskar, Mikael Jacobsson, Matts Johansso
● Location: Irvine, CA
● Immersive Tech Used: They create VR/AR software for individuals and group
experiences
● Stage: Self-sustaining, development shop with ~300 employees on LinkedIn
● Founded in 1999
Several software consultancies or dev shops have tailored their focus to
the burgeoning VR/AR industry as well
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Who’s Doing What
Key Players
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Universities &
Research
KeyCompanies&Players
Harvard - Christopher Dede, professor of
technology, innovation and education has led
a host of groundbreaking research
Stanford - Jeremy Bailenson and Stanford's
Virtual Human Interaction Lab lead
experiments in VR & psychology/empathy
MIT - Scott Greenwald is a PhD student
researching VR
Brown - Adam Blumenthal at Brown leads VR
through his role as VR Artist in Residence
Columbia University - Runs
virtualrealityforeducation.com through
Communications department
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Investors, Government, and Alliances
KeyCompanies&Players
Boost VC is an accelerator and investor that has had their hand in a number of VR
education startups including ones on in this guide: Unimersiv, Primitive, Jigspace, and
Virtual Speech
Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has begun funding some VR experiences including
Mursion
● Department of Education funded the launch of the EdSim Challenge
● NYC DOE & MOME launched a $6mm RFP to build the VR/AR Lab for NYC in 2017
● HEGVA is an alliance focused on bringing together schools and universities
teaching games and VR
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Edtech + VR
Consultancies
KeyCompanies&Players
xpereal, an immersive experience consultancy focused on the needs of the education and
training industry
● https://www.xpereal.com/
● Founder / Team: Peter Campbell (formerly of Pearson and Blackboard)
● Location: San Diego, CA
● Founded 2016
BenToppin, a edtech and VR/AR consultancy, helps corporations and startups develop
edtech VR/AR strategies and helps edtech startups scale
● www.bentoppin.com
● Founder / Team: Mercedes Bent (formerly of General Assembly, UploadVR)
● Location: Palo Alto, CA
● Founded 2017
Alternative Schools
Companies and Institutions (non-accredited) teaching VR/AR as their primary offering
KeyCompanies&Players
Upload - offers workshops, multi-week night courses, and
full-time programs in SF and LA
Fused VR - online Youtube tutorials on how to get started in
VR/AR
Unity - teaches free workshops, has a number of online
tutorials, and provides licenses for educators
Oregon Story Board - offers classes taught in Oregon
Chronos Academy - offers courses in Seattle
https://aframe.io/ - provides examples and open source
code snippets for VR/AR creation
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Other Guides and
Resources
Where Virtual Reality Meets Education - Techcrunch
Top 10 to Watch VR/AR - Disruptor Daily
Top 10 VR/AR Education - by Touchstone Research
Top 12 VR/AR Education Companies - Digital
Marketing Bureau
VR/AR Landscape by Tiptat Chennavasin
New School VR podcast http://newschoolvr.com -
run by Pinky Gonzales at Concordia University
Level Up Report: http://www.levelupreport.com/
https://virtualrealityforeducation.com/about-us/ -
by Columbia University
“Experience on Demand” by Jeremy Bailenson
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
KeyCompanies&Players
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Ready to get involved? Here are a few tips as you start your journey
VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing.
Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment
The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR.
Join communities - online and offline. Check out your usual suspects and these:
Women in VR/AR Facebook Group | VRARA chapters | Twitter list of VR/AR co’s
Start attending VR/AR related conferences and the related parties. If you're able to snag a
ticket (try volunteering), you’ll see familiar faces. Check out this or this list of conferences
Accept some Facebook friend requests from people in VR/AR. People in the VR/AR
community like to friend each other on Facebook. I was initially really surprised by this but
now I’m accustomed to it. Get ready to “friend” some new folk
Start learning and building. There are great tutorials and classes by Fused VR, SVVR, Upload,
VR Scout, VRLA, VR Playhouse, VR Base, and more
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Concluding Thoughts
VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing.
Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment
The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR.
With $395mm in funding across the top 15 VR/AR edtech startups, the industry is still just
a sliver of the broader edtech market where $2.88 billion has been invested in the top 15
Due to the infancy of the technology, the number of mature edtech categories is smaller
in VR/AR as well: ~10 distinct categories, while edtech has 15+ categories
Areas of edtech that have not been tackled with VR/AR yet include broad online learning
for adult consumers, learning analytics & a learning management system in VR/AR, test
prep, online program management for VR/AR, and more
The supply side of the VR/AR education market is bursting with meaningful and effective
solutions. The challenge over the next few years will be to increase adoption
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Get Involved.
Contact BenToppin to discuss
your interest in VR/AR or Edtech
There is a lot going on in VR/AR & Education.
July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
Mercedes Bent
info@bentoppin.com
Mercedesbent.co
BenToppin.com

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Top Companies and Players in the VR/AR Education Space

  • 1. Top Companies and Players in the VR/AR Education Space An ecosystem guide for educators and edtech professionals Best viewed full screen July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
  • 2. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Mercedes Bent Founder of BenToppin Message from the Author This is the guide I wish I had when I was working in edtech and looking to make the leap into the VR/AR industry. It was made for edtech professionals who want to get involved in VR/AR and educators who want to understand use cases of VR/AR in education. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it, and please, email me with additions, corrections, and questions! info@bentoppin.com
  • 3. Table of Contents July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com 01 Intro to VR/AR for Educators 02 Key companies in the space 03 Key players in the space 04 Concluding Thoughts
  • 4. VR is a Learning Tool that Excels at…. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Imagine shrinking down to the size of a blood cell and flying through the circulatory system to learn about the human body or deconstructing a 3D holographic automobile engine before a repair ScaleImmersion 3D Perception IntrotoVR/AR
  • 5. [VR is] invaluable for learning under the right circumstances such as 3D dimensions, perception, frame of reference - Chris Dede, Harvard GSE “ July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
  • 6. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Intro to VR/AR for educators and edtech professionals VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing. Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR. Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment The recent wave of interest in VR/AR was reinvigorated in 2014 by Facebook's $2.3 billion acquisition of Oculus The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Understanding the differences between these industries (and how VR, while similar, needs to be approached completely afresh), will help provide some context for the industry The terms VR/AR are often used together, but typically mean different things. VR = full immersion, AR = holographic images laid on top of real world IntrotoVR/AR
  • 7. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Intro to VR/AR for educators and edtech professionals VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing. Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR. This industry isn't new. The first modern references in science fiction came in 1935 and the first headset was created in the 1960s Many industries have been using VR/AR for training for decades - defense, aerospace, medicine, and manufacturing have experimented with VR in many ways 88 million Google Cardboard headsets were sold in 2016 - as the least expensive headset available, these are most likely to be used in education. For context, Google's G Suite for Education program has 70 million users and dominates the US K-12 education market Understand the tech basics - read CNET’s primer or Sky Nite's Virtual Reality Guidebook so you understand how it works and how to experience it. See also page 35 IntrotoVR/AR
  • 8. But Is VR Effective? Several studies and corporate results point toward yes, for the right use cases Research studies conducted by NCSU show "significant improvement" in children's learning (6th to 8th grade) after using zSpace's VR platform July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Upskill, an augmented reality software training company, has cited seeing an average 32% improvement in the workforce of their clients including GE, Boeing Research by Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab highlights potential for learner improvement with VR/AR due to effect of teacher gaze and co-learners
  • 9. The use cases for VR in education extend beyond learning - VR is being used to recruit students, save lab costs, and host office hours
  • 10. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Key Companies & Players This section has VR/AR startups and companies broken down by educational area K-12 Startups + Companies 12 10 6 4 2 Postsecondary Startups Education Platforms Educational Game Studios VR/AR Software Consultancies
  • 11. By the Numbers Companies were chosen if they had a stated educational / training mission or suite of products designed specifically for training/education purposes and had more products than a single app. 48% focus on K-12, 28% Postsecondary, rest a mix 52 Companies & Startups* $1.3mm median funding amount 30 with funding data 46% located in the US, 17% in the UK (2nd largest) 8% of founders are female $311mm total funding to the top 5 startups 2015 median launch year * Not all companies are highlighted in this guide.
  • 12. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies zSpace - Provides a "Zspace Learning Lab" comprised of a tablet, glasses, AR software, and content. Focused on the K12 market, they teach subjects including math, science, engineering, and biology. They've filed more than 30 patents Zspace.com ● Founder / Team: Paul Kellenberger, Mike Harper, Dave Chavez ● Location: Sunnyvale, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: AR software and hardware ● Stage: Raised Series C & Series D in 2015, total of $56.1mm funding ● Founded in 2007, they started making more significant revenue in 2014 (making $2.8mm in 2014) Nearpod - Builds classroom tools and virtual reality content that allow teachers to create synchronized iPad lessons. It's a popular teaching tool and now reaches 5 million students monthly. https://nearpod.com/ ● Founder / Team: Guido Kovalskys, Felipe Somme, Emiliano Abramzon ● Location: Aventura, Florida ● Immersive Tech Used: They use a combination of iPads, 360 videos, and 360 photos alongside VR/AR technology and traditional lesson plans ● Stage: Series-B backed company. Raised $30.2mm total, $21mm Series-B March 2017 ● Founded 2012 In the K-12 market, startups are providing a VR “bento-box” solution for teachers, complete with “ready-to-teach” lessons, software and sometimes hardware
  • 13. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies Google helped pioneer this sub-field which has become the highest-venture funded group of VR edtech startups with $185mm going to the top 3 startups Google Expeditions Pioneer Program - Google created an "Expedition Kit" comprised of a Google Cardboard, tablet, phones, router, and the curriculum needed for a teacher to take their class on a virtual field trip. The team helps teachers with support so they have everything they need. ● https://edu.google.com/expeditions/ ● Founder / Team: Ben Schrom is the Product Manager for Google Expeditions ● Location: Mountain View, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: Cardboard ● Stage: Public Company ● Launched 2015 - Google Expeditions’ VR trips were announced Sept 2015 Lifeliqe - Allows students and teachers to easily drag and drop 3D models into lesson plans and other e-learning resources. They have over 1,000 interactive 3D models related to STEM. Partnership with Vive. Their interactive lesson plans are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards, as well a major textbooks in the USA. ● Founder / Team: Ondrej Homola ● Location: San Francisco, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: 3D models ● Stage: early, no funding data, works with 15,000 schools ● Founded 2015
  • 14. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies MergeVR’s Merge Cube - AR cube hold in your palm, educational content for kids such as "occipital lobe". Built their own headset. Also announced a $1mm fund for others to create VR experiences. ● https://mergevr.com/cube ● Founder / Team: Merge Labs founders are Franklin Lyons, Andrew Trickett ● Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA ● Immersive Tech Used: Merge Goggles work with iPhone or Android ● Stage: Raised $11.3mm total with a $1.7mm seed in 2014 and $10.1mm in 2016 ● Founded 2013 Curiscope - VR startup that created experiences that allow you to learn about the body in a collaborative way. One person wears a t-shirt and another person, using a smartphone, learns about objects on the shirt in a unique way. ● https://www.curiscope.com/ ● Founder / Team: Ben Kidd, Ed Barton ● Location: Brighton, East Sussex, England ● Immersive Tech Used: Use a mix of 360 videos, Google Daydream, Coded Tshirts ● Stage - Ran a Kickstarter campaign and raised ~$120k in crowd funding in March 2016 ● Founded 2015 Two startups are making learning even more tactile and engaging with VR cubes and t-shirts
  • 15. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies Immersive VR Education - Best known for its Titanic and Apollo 11 VR award winning VR titles which allow students to relive historical events. Immersive VR also has a platform called Engage which allows teachers to create their own virtual lessons without writing any code. They also have a medical app (ERVR) which helps medical students practice real-world scenarios. ● http://immersivevreducation.com/ ● Founder / Team: David Whelan ● Location: Waterford, England ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created experiences ● Stage - early, received $1.06mm in a seed round in Feb 2017 ● Founded 2015 Unimersiv - Unimersiv is a VR learning platform which releases educational content on a monthly basis. The content in Unimersiv’s app is more individualized and immersive https://unimersiv.com/ ● Founder / Team: Baptiste Greve ● Location: San Mateo ● Immersive Tech Used: CG, works on Gear, Rift, Daydream, Cardboard, Vive ● Stage: Early, seed funding $25 -$100k from going through Boost VC's accelerator. Claims to be largest VR education platform ● Founded: 2015 Other K-12 VR edtech startups are placing a greater emphasis on creating original and moving content such as the Titanic and Apollo 11 VR experiences
  • 16. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies Discovery VR - Discovery is an age-old storyteller and created a VR app to help education students in a new way. They've created sample lesson plans and correlating VR experiences on topics like the swamp, rainforest, and oceans so teachers can fit into their curriculums. ● http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Disc overyNow/vr.cfm ● Founder / Team: Rebecca Howard is the head of the VR team at Discovery - she is SVP Emerging Platforms and Partnerships ● Location: Los Angeles, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: 360 videos for Cardboard, Gear VR ● Stage: Public Company ● Launched 2015 - Discovery VR apps were launched in August 2015 Discovery, an age-old master in producing compelling content, has used the medium to elicit empathy and action from viewers concerning animal extinction
  • 17. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies Augthat - Provides AR software to teachers to aid as teaching tools. Their app delivers 360 models alongside activity sheets that can be used with smartphones. They are now in ~300 schools across the USA. ● http://www.augthat.com ● Founder / Team: Adam Newman ● Location: New Jersey ● Immersive Tech Used: Mobile AR app ● Stage - no funding data available ● Founded 2013 Jig Space - Jigs allows anyone to explain, show, or teach anything in an intuitive and memorable way. Allows consumers to create 3D models and use these in VR/AR experiences (if someone wants to). Jigspace's goal is to make creating 3D technology accessible for all. ● https://jig.space/ ● Founder / Team: Zac Duff, Sam Duff, Numa Berton ● Location: Melbourne, Australia ● Immersive Tech Used: Allows users to create 3D models in the web browser ● Stage - early, $25 -$100k from going through Boost VC's accelerator. ● Founded 2015 Teacher tools in the form of 3D models and interactive software are useful for teachers who may not need a full lesson but want to apply tools selectively
  • 18. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com K-12:KeyCompanies ThingLink - Provides interactive media tools, allowing you to add interactive tags to any image, 2D or 3D including VR images on the web. While applicable to any industry, they cater specially to the education market with education pricing and a gallery showcasing how teachers are using the tool in the classroom. ● http://demo.thinglink.com/vr-editor ● Founder / Team: Ulla-Maaria Engerstrom ● Location: Palo Alto, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: Editing tool for 360 and VR images ● Stage - Raised $3.3mm to date, $1.3mm seed raised in Feb 2016, 2.5mm content creators ● Founded 2010 ThingLink allows teachers to annotate 2D and 3D images, in VR or for desktop, giving teachers the ability to quickly build their own interactive lesson
  • 19. Siemens used VR to decrease first-time assembly from 480 minutes to 45 minutes
  • 20. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com These startups are expanding the use of VR/AR to train employees beyond the traditional industries of defense and aerospace HigherEd:KeyCompanies Upskill - augmented reality software that allows workers to complete tasks more efficiently and collaboratively. Two main products, Eyesight (great for remote collaboration) and Skylight (AR software). Formerly was known as APX Labs. https://upskill.io/ ● Founder / Team: Brian Ballard, Jeff Jenkins, Chris Hoyt ● Locations: DC, Bay Area, Austin TX ● Immersive Tech Used: AR software on Google Glass ● Stage: $40.5mm in funding total. Last raised Series B in April 2017. Customers include Boeing, GE ● Founded 2010 Strivr - Formerly focused on athletic training, Strivr expanded to corporate training, signing a deal to train Wal-Mart's US centers in May 2017. They now train companies including Visa, Google, Walmart, ABC, Pepsi, and many more. Their focus is on using VR for accurate assessment of performance. http://strivrlabs.com/ ● Founder / Team: Derek Belch, Jeremy Bailenson, Trent Edwards ● Location: Palo Alto, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: 360 video ● Stage: Venture Funded ($5mm), generating revenue with major clients ● Founded 2015
  • 21. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com HigherEd:KeyCompanies Viscopic works with companies to develop mixed reality solutions, primarily in the areas of 1) training 2) using VR/AR for marketing / sales purposes. Had also done training with Deutsche Ban. https://viscopic.com/en/home-en ● Founder / Team: Marco Maier, Felix MeiBgeir, Thomas Knauer ● Location: Munich ● Immersive Tech Used: Headsets range from Hololens to Cardboard to Rift and Google Glass ● Stage: Very Early, raised $25k seed https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/viscopic#/entity ● Founded: 2015 Medivis - Focuses on medical visualization and use cases in education, especially for students in their residency program http://www.mediv.is/ - ● Founder / Team: Osamah Choudry, Christopher Morley ● Location: NYC ● Immersive Tech Used: Hololens and AR software (holographic imaging) ● Stage: early, no funding data ● Founded 2016 VR/AR is now being used to train sales representatives, football quarterbacks, customer service reps, doctors….
  • 22. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com HigherEd:KeyCompanies Primitive - Primitive's VR software allows engineering teams to visualize their codebases quickly and easily, allowing new team members to get up to speed quickly. ● Primitive.io ● Founder / Team: John Voorhees ● Location: Palo Alto, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: CG environment works on Rift or Vive ● Stage: early, received $700k in seed funding in 2016 ● Founded 2015 Mursion - Works with companies to develop custom VR training experiences to improve professional performance. They're currently focused on the areas of healthcare, education, hospitality, etc. They have an experience that focuses on increasing teacher preparedness and effectiveness. https://mursion.com/ ● Founder / Team: Mark Atkinson, Argun Nagendran ● Location: San Francisco, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments ● Stage: early, funding from government and philanthropic arms including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ● Founded 2015 …..as well as teachers and software engineers
  • 23. HigherEd:KeyCompanies July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Gamar - Allows museums to create engaging tours with visitors through using augmented reality. Museum visitors use their phones to point at objects and learn more about them. Based in England, they work with the British Museum, The Royal Collection, and the National Maritime Museum ● http://gamar.com/ ● Founder / Team: Venu Tammabatula ● Location: London, England ● Immersive Tech Used: Mobil e AR App ● Stage: raised an angel round in Jan 2014 ● Founded 2013 Boulevard (formerly Woofbert VR) - Focuses on bringing art to VR. They partner with museums to provide VR experiences that highlight pieces of art. These user-controlled experiences allow individuals to go on a field-trip to the museum and learn about pieces they couldn't access otherwise. ● http://blvrd.com/ ● Founder / Team: Robert Hamwee, Elizabeth Reede ● Location: New York, NY ● Immersive Tech Used: CG-created environments, Gear or Rift ● Stage: Raised $5.3mm in two seed rounds ● Founded in 2013 Museums are embracing VR, aided by VR Edtech startups
  • 24. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com HigherEd:KeyCompanies Virtual Speech - Produces courses in VR to train specific skills - first two are 1) Public speaking and 2) Job Interview Success. Courses range $65-$170 per download. Tackling 74% of people who suffer from speech anxiety. https://virtualspeech.com/ ● Founder / Team: Dom Barnard, Arthur Grzybowski, Sophie Thompson ● Location: London, UK ● Immersive Tech Used: CG, consumed through Google Cardboard or Merge VR headset ● Stage: 150,000 downloads of public speaking course, $25 -$100k from going through Boost VC's accelerator. ● Founded 2016 Skill Hub’s Speech Center - Skill Hub’s courses include speech training, vision therapy, and even dating lessons, all designed to help individuals master ● https://cerevrum.com ● Founder / Team: Dmitry Kirillov, Natasha Floksy, Alexey Zinchenko, Denis Tambovtsev ● Location: San Francisco and Russia ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments, viewed on Gear VR and Daydream, planning to release on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive soon ● Stage: 30 employees, $1mm in seed funding ● Founded 2015 VR can be used to improve soft skills - these startups are producing courses to tackle public speaking and job interviewing
  • 25. VR/AR is being used to learn Spanish and English, to learn constellations, and to build virtual classrooms July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
  • 26. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Platforms:KeyCompanies Cospaces encourages users to make their own VR experiences and caters especially to the education market. They highlight a few examples of exercises that could be built including storytelling, virtual exhibitions, modeling, infographics and more. Skill Hub - Skill Hub is a platform by Cerevrum that also has pre-built VR simulations. These simulations focus on soft skills. Their Simulation Management System is similar to a web-based LMS that you can use to assign training sessions to students, track their progress, organize training sessions with coaches and students working in real-time, etc. Virbela - Bill themselves as "the social virtual platform for business and education." Schools, businesses and organizations that want to meet on "virtual campuses." Founded by Dr. Alex Howland and Dr. Ron Rembisz, based out of UCSD, they received initial funding from GMAC in 2010, now have ~15 team members and many clients. These startups are the “WordPress” or ‘Squarespaces” of VR - platforms that allow users to customize their own VR worlds, catering specifically to EDU
  • 27. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com GameStudio:KeyCo’s Schell Games - Schell was founded in 2002 as a game studio. One of their more popular education titles include Water Bears VR. They also received a grant from the US DoE to develop SuperChem VR, a vr game that helps students learn chemistry. https://www.schellgames.com/ ● Founder / Team: Jesse Schell ● Location: Pittsburgh, PA ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments ● Stage: Primarily a self-sustaining studio, although they launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a new game in 2016, and received grants from the DoE ● Founded 2002 Alchemy VR - Alchemy VR is a production studio that has created an impressive amount of VR education experiences. They've partnered with Google's Education team to create virtual field trips for K-12. http://www.alchemyvr.com/ ● Founder / Team: Anthony Geffen ● Location: London, UK ● Immersive Tech Used: 360 video and CG created environments ● Stage - Alchemy is a sub-division of Atlantic Productions, which is a world-leading production studio. Self-sustaining studio. ● Founded - Atlantic Productions was founded in 1992, Alchemy VR was launched in 2014 Seasoned game studios are bringing their expertise to VR, partnering with the US Dept of Education to create projects like Super Chem VR, a gamified chem lab
  • 28. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com GameStudio:KeyCo’s DISCOVR Labs - They're a VR content studio focused on educational experiences. They've created experiences focusing on medical training and K-12 applications, and allow teachers to see what the students are seeing alongside analytics. ● http://discovrlearning.com/ ● Founder / Team: Gemma Busoni, Josh Maldonado ● Location: Los Angeles and Toronto ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments ● Stage - early, raised seed funding ($170k) through Rothenberg and River studios. Had 100k downloads ● Founded 2015 Filament Games - A long-time developer of 2D learning games, this studio is beginning to make their foray into VR experiences. With experience working with folks like Caterpillar, McGraw Hill Education, and the Smithsonian Institution for Science and Education, they are sure to make a wave in VR. ● https://www.filamentgames.com/ ● Founder / Team: Dan Norton, Dan White, Alex Stone ● Location: Madison, WI, USA ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments ● Stage - Self-sustaining studio ● Founded 2005 Others are newer and have focused on both K-12 and higher-ed solutions such as DISCOVR Labs
  • 29. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com SoftwareConsultancies Sentient - Software consultancy that works with the mining and resources industry, creating VR for training purposes ● http://sencom.com.au/ ● Founder / Team: Doug Bester (Managing Director) and Apolon Ivankovic (Chief Developer) ● Location: Perth, Australia ● Immersive Tech Used: CG created environments, Oculus Rift ● Stage: Mature consultancy with over 30 clients around the globe ● Founded 2000 EON Reality - They're a VR/AR development shop in Irvine. They've built several educational products including a virtual trainer and a AI-driven AR training programs https://www.eonreality.com/ ● Founder / Team: Dan Lejerskar, Mikael Jacobsson, Matts Johansso ● Location: Irvine, CA ● Immersive Tech Used: They create VR/AR software for individuals and group experiences ● Stage: Self-sustaining, development shop with ~300 employees on LinkedIn ● Founded in 1999 Several software consultancies or dev shops have tailored their focus to the burgeoning VR/AR industry as well
  • 30. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Who’s Doing What Key Players
  • 31. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Universities & Research KeyCompanies&Players Harvard - Christopher Dede, professor of technology, innovation and education has led a host of groundbreaking research Stanford - Jeremy Bailenson and Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab lead experiments in VR & psychology/empathy MIT - Scott Greenwald is a PhD student researching VR Brown - Adam Blumenthal at Brown leads VR through his role as VR Artist in Residence Columbia University - Runs virtualrealityforeducation.com through Communications department
  • 32. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Investors, Government, and Alliances KeyCompanies&Players Boost VC is an accelerator and investor that has had their hand in a number of VR education startups including ones on in this guide: Unimersiv, Primitive, Jigspace, and Virtual Speech Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has begun funding some VR experiences including Mursion ● Department of Education funded the launch of the EdSim Challenge ● NYC DOE & MOME launched a $6mm RFP to build the VR/AR Lab for NYC in 2017 ● HEGVA is an alliance focused on bringing together schools and universities teaching games and VR
  • 33. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Edtech + VR Consultancies KeyCompanies&Players xpereal, an immersive experience consultancy focused on the needs of the education and training industry ● https://www.xpereal.com/ ● Founder / Team: Peter Campbell (formerly of Pearson and Blackboard) ● Location: San Diego, CA ● Founded 2016 BenToppin, a edtech and VR/AR consultancy, helps corporations and startups develop edtech VR/AR strategies and helps edtech startups scale ● www.bentoppin.com ● Founder / Team: Mercedes Bent (formerly of General Assembly, UploadVR) ● Location: Palo Alto, CA ● Founded 2017
  • 34. Alternative Schools Companies and Institutions (non-accredited) teaching VR/AR as their primary offering KeyCompanies&Players Upload - offers workshops, multi-week night courses, and full-time programs in SF and LA Fused VR - online Youtube tutorials on how to get started in VR/AR Unity - teaches free workshops, has a number of online tutorials, and provides licenses for educators Oregon Story Board - offers classes taught in Oregon Chronos Academy - offers courses in Seattle https://aframe.io/ - provides examples and open source code snippets for VR/AR creation July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com
  • 35. Other Guides and Resources Where Virtual Reality Meets Education - Techcrunch Top 10 to Watch VR/AR - Disruptor Daily Top 10 VR/AR Education - by Touchstone Research Top 12 VR/AR Education Companies - Digital Marketing Bureau VR/AR Landscape by Tiptat Chennavasin New School VR podcast http://newschoolvr.com - run by Pinky Gonzales at Concordia University Level Up Report: http://www.levelupreport.com/ https://virtualrealityforeducation.com/about-us/ - by Columbia University “Experience on Demand” by Jeremy Bailenson July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com KeyCompanies&Players
  • 36. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Ready to get involved? Here are a few tips as you start your journey VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing. Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR. Join communities - online and offline. Check out your usual suspects and these: Women in VR/AR Facebook Group | VRARA chapters | Twitter list of VR/AR co’s Start attending VR/AR related conferences and the related parties. If you're able to snag a ticket (try volunteering), you’ll see familiar faces. Check out this or this list of conferences Accept some Facebook friend requests from people in VR/AR. People in the VR/AR community like to friend each other on Facebook. I was initially really surprised by this but now I’m accustomed to it. Get ready to “friend” some new folk Start learning and building. There are great tutorials and classes by Fused VR, SVVR, Upload, VR Scout, VRLA, VR Playhouse, VR Base, and more
  • 37. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Concluding Thoughts VR is early - very few VR/AR companies are making significant amounts of money at the time of writing. Education is projected to be the 4th largest sector of VR/AR for investment The VR/AR industry has its roots in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Many pioneers in those industries are now leading VR/AR. With $395mm in funding across the top 15 VR/AR edtech startups, the industry is still just a sliver of the broader edtech market where $2.88 billion has been invested in the top 15 Due to the infancy of the technology, the number of mature edtech categories is smaller in VR/AR as well: ~10 distinct categories, while edtech has 15+ categories Areas of edtech that have not been tackled with VR/AR yet include broad online learning for adult consumers, learning analytics & a learning management system in VR/AR, test prep, online program management for VR/AR, and more The supply side of the VR/AR education market is bursting with meaningful and effective solutions. The challenge over the next few years will be to increase adoption
  • 38. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Get Involved. Contact BenToppin to discuss your interest in VR/AR or Edtech There is a lot going on in VR/AR & Education.
  • 39. July 2017 | Mercedes Bent | BenToppin.com Mercedes Bent info@bentoppin.com Mercedesbent.co BenToppin.com