Yesterday we did a story on how one executive at HTC believes that the smartphone market will be eclipsed by that of the VR headset market as early as 2020. While such a prediction certainly seems quite unlikely, perhaps executives at HTC are aware of variables that the general public may not be privy to. One such variable may have been HTC’s plan to announced a $100 million accelerator program to boost the virtual reality ecosystem. The program, being dubbed Vive X, was just announced at the HTC VIVE China Strategic and ecosystem Conference today to the surprise of many in attendance.
The Accelerator Program for virtual reality will launch in three cities, Beijing, Taipei and San Francisco, and provide startups with key development help along with funding. Besides the money, startups accepted into the program will have access to accounting, finance, human relations, programming and legal utilities; pretty much everything a startup would need so that they can focus on their tasks at hand.
“Through our Asia Pacific partners, today we have launched the virtual reality industry alliance. HTC will join all the good partners working together, so that we can accelerate the development of the market, and ultimately benefit more people,” stated Cher Wang, HTC Chairwoman and CEO.
What HTC seems to be doing is ensuring that they have a robust developer community partial to their platform, so that they can better compete in what is sure to be a very crowded space over the next few years. If the VR headset market does surpass the smartphone market by 2020, than this $100 million investment will likely be a drop in the bucket when compared to the potential revenue that the company could bring in as one of the leaders within the space. While it appears as if HTC is targeting more of the developer community in order to ramp up content for the Vive, it is not out of the question that the Vive X fund could be distributed to hardware or peripheral startups as well. If you have any interest in perhaps working with HTC via this Accelerator Program, you can submit an application right away here. The application will ask questions regarding your experience within the VR space and details on the project you are seeking funding for.
It will be interesting to hear which companies eventually are able to take advantage of the Accelerator Program over the coming months. If you’ve applied, let us know in the HTC Vive X Accelerator Program forum on VRTalk.com.