Established in Helsinki, Finland this spring, the international business incubator Nordic VR Startups has now finished its first application round. After receiving almost 70 candidate applications, six companies in total were chosen to the program – five Finnish firms and one Swedish company that are all working with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) innovations.
Regarding the evaluation phase of the first application round, the Nordic VR Startups team looked for firms that had integrated VR and/or AR technology into their product. Other significant criteria that affected the final selections included a clear demonstration of strong teamwork and core competence that is on par with international standards.
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.”
The cooperation with the selected startups kicks off on 10th July as the firms move into the incubator facilities. In addition to the monthly meetings with the program mentors, the firms will receive support from the Nordic VR Startups team with everyday practicalities. 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
In Finland, the following companies were selected to become part of Nordic VR Startups program: Immersal (platform for shareable AR content), Virva VR (VR arcades), Catland, Evocat Games and HipFire Games (VR games developers). Specialized in VR/AR based advertising solutions, Advrty from Sweden was also accepted to 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.”
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. For more information, please visit: www.nordicvrstartups.com
About gumi Inc.
Founded in 2007, gumi Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 3903) is a leading global mobile game publisher and developer headquartered in Japan, with overseas operations in France, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. The company has proven success in launching titles worldwide, such as the widely popular role-playing games Brave Frontier and Phantom of the Kill. With ongoing publishing and development projects on various platforms, including iOS, Android, and more, gumi aims to change the world through innovative entertainment products and services, including both original content and collaborations with popular IP. For more information, please visit: http://www.gu3.co.jp/en/
About Nordisk Film
Founded in 1906, Nordisk Film is the leading producer and distributor of films in the Nordic countries and operates the largest cinema chains in Denmark and Norway. Nordisk Film has digital businesses within gift cards, ticketing services, computer games development and eSports and is the distributor of PlayStation in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Nordisk Film is part of Egmont – Denmark’s largest media group with 6,200 employees and activities in 30 countries. These include Egmont Publishing, which publishes more than 700 magazines, TV 2 in Norway and several book publishers. Egmont is a commercial foundation that generates revenue amounting to EUR 1.6 billion and donate more than EUR 13 million a year to help improve the lives of children and young people. More information: http://www.nordiskfilm.com