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New virtual and augmented reality hub launched in Vancouver

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Kenneth Chan Oct 30, 2018 3:45 pm 323

Vancouver’s rapidly growing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tech sectors will greatly benefit from a new VR and AR hub created by Launch Academy.

The technology incubator has opened a VR and AR hub at its existing office at 300-128 West Hastings Street in downtown, in partnership with VR/AR Association Vancouver. Immersive tech companies have access to desk space, mentorship programs, VR/AR equipment rentals, investor relations connected to Silicon Valley, advisory services, and community events and workshops.

A device lab currently being built will have the latest immersive tech, including HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, Magic Leap, Occipital’s Bridge Headset, Structure Sensors, and HoloLens.

Alex Chuang, the Chief Strategy Officer with Launch Academy, believes there is an opportunity for Vancouver’s emerging tech industry to be at the forefront of this new technology – to the extent that it could become the global hub for VR and AR.

“We believe immersive technologies are going to be the next mediums for bettering our lives,” Chuang told Daily Hive.

“We believe there is no better time than now to build the support infrastructure for the founders who are diving in to build startups for this future.”

Within the Vancouver tech industry, the immersive sector has grown from 15 companies working in VR and AR in 2015 to 220 organizations today.

In just a few short years, 3D development enterprises have already created 17,000 jobs and generated over $2.3 billion in revenue for the province.

Globally, the VR and AR market is expected to hit a value of $108 billion by 2021, with tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft investing billions into product development.

Launch Academy says it has incubated over 600 companies that have collectively raised over $150 million and created more than 1,000 jobs since 2012.

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com
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