The WVRF Annual Summit gathered more than 3,000 international attendees from across the globe and brought together various VR/AR content providers from creative, technical as well as research fields. It is a unique event that draws VR/AR leaders and enthusiasts in the charming Swiss Alps, at Le Regent Congress Center, Crans-Montana 11 – 14 May, 2017.
As we are talking about a brand new market, it is important to create a platform proposing not only excellence in VR/AR, but also giving an opportunity to young talents to meet with potential investors. This is what the Market is all about.
For this first opening of the Market, we brought together experts in Virtual and Augmented Reality to enable them to exhibit their innovative projects.
The Swiss Pavilion gathered many students who were happy to show their latest achievements, promising young start-ups as well as more experienced companies promoting their latest products.
One could be transported into the skin of an animal mum teaching life to its young, surf the virtual seas, gently get hypnotized, discover the richness of Swiss music through Swiss Music Prize, enjoy an educational mat with their children, get lost at the bottom of a dungeon, and observe many products to create or experience Virtual Reality.
The booths were rich, generous and very friendly, bringing in positive vibes. In total, 20 stands were present, including 17 representatives of the Swiss Pavilion, IAO VR, Amstad Digital, Adventures-Lab, Watcher (game), Oniroforge, Virtual Switzerland, Wowl, Zugsoft, Limbic Life, MN Signal Processing, Sycoforge, LHS, Smart Tech Solutions, HES-SO, He-Arc, Right Here/Right Now Productions, one neighbouring Belgian company, VRT and two sponsors, Go Pro and Ricoh Theta.
The other Market focus was the Walking Experiences. These experiences are called this way because they allow the visitor to walk untethered on a surface. Indeed, each visitor carries a backpack with a computer and sensors which allow to enjoy the experience in complete freedom. For this first edition, three companies took possession of the premises including: two Swiss booths, Kenzan Studios, Dreamscape Immersive (a spin-off of Artanim), and Hyperverse – a young Russian company based in the United States.
Kenzan Studios proposed two different experiences, the first called The Lost Pit is a multiplayer game for six players, with three people going against the other three, propelled in an arena where the colonists clash in clan fights. The second experiment called EnigmAttic is a cooperative game for four players who transform into ghosts and have to solve a puzzle by helping each other as a team.
Finally, Hyperverse allowed a high level of tracking of people and managed to offer an amazing experience avoiding the sensors and technological apparatuses such as the sensors, simply with basic and inexpensive materials.
The Market also hosted a content market dedicated solely to VR content through a digital library on a Vive and an Oculus. More than 10 Swiss and international companies have registered in this unique library. The aim was to enable young companies to show their products to visitors, but above all to show them to investors in a confined space.
Last but not least, investors selected by WVRF participated in the expansion of the Market space and gave the opportunity to all to be able to pitch their project in front of a jury of professionals and experts in a privatized space while allowing an opportunity for young creators and investors to accumulate contacts.
During the first three days of the Summit, some 50 pitching sessions were organized intensively in the Market Place. A unique boot camp was first launched and hosted by James C. Roberts III. Pitch session participants were guided by experienced VCs to have a fresh look, or to recap of how to pitch in front of investors.
From Day 2, each pitch session participant had 10 minutes to present their project and to receive feedback from investors. It was a great opportunity for VR talents to have an in-depth discussion with investors in a private setting. The pitch sessions were very appreciated by participants; everyone wanted more time than the allocated 10 minutes. From the investors/VCs’ side, WVRF received very positive feedback concerning the quality of the projects showcased.