The HTC Vive headset has already been anointed the clear winner of the early VR hardware skirmishes and now the company wants to ensure there’s a rich supply of content ready to capitalise.
The company has today announced Vive X, a $100m (around £68m) fund for virtual reality start-ups and developers.
The accelerator program will offer funding and mentoring to help interested parties create valuable VR experiences for the Vive headset.
In a press release on Tuesday, the company wrote: “With a $100m investment fund led by HTC, the program is designed to help cultivate, foster and grow the global VR ecosystem by supporting start-ups and providing them with expertise, special access to advanced VR technology, financial investment, mentorship and unmatched go-to-market support – ultimately building them into valuable content producers or content enablers for the Vive platform.”
The pilot program will begin in three cities, Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco, while other ‘global hubs’ will be targeted in future.
The fund will offer investment, coaching and office space during the incubation period, while participants will receive intensive training with HTC’s first-party development studios.
Related: HTC Vive review
“A Small Amount Of Equity”
Something that won’t go unnoticed is that HTC is demanding a “small amount of equity” in any firm that receives funding via the Vive X program.
If those companies become successful as a result, HTC should be recovering plenty of its investment funds.
It’ll also secure HTC’s access to some of the top VR talent on the market and could be considered somewhat of a landgrab in that sense.
HTC says the program will be open to companies from any industry who’re creating tools that “enrich the VR ecosystem and end-user experience.”
Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC, said: ”We are very excited about gathering the brightest and the most creative minds to join Vive X. Virtual reality is changing the world, yet to do that effectively it needs a healthy eco-system to expand into the mass market.
“Through HTC Vive, we look forward to enabling global talent to create interesting and compelling content and to help shape the future of this industry.”