Photo cred - the verge
22-year-old Josh Maldonado is a fourth year Radio & Television Arts students at Ryerson University trading in his cap and gown for an early departure to San Francisco where he has been chosen to participate in the first ever, Virtual Reality accelerator class.
The New York Times released a video feature last week making an argument for the impending take off of virtual reality and how it will shape the future, two days later, Mike Rothenberg of Rothenberg Ventures announced the companies he had selected to bring to California to take part in the three month program.
The companies participating will receive $100,000 investments, San Francisco office space for three months, the aid, education and mentorship of industry veterans as well as access to networking opportunities with talent, investors, and other VR startups also looking to change the world and propel this way of consuming stories and experiences forward.
Maldonado says that his passion for educational VR started as soon as he was introduced to the Rift and in September of 2014 he pitched his first experiment with the technology, Vessels, a virtual journey through the human body, guided and narrated by a friendly robot named PAL.
Not only is Maldonado the youngest participant selected, his company, DISCOVR is also the only Canadian company. Over 150 companies and more than 200 sole entrepreneurs applied for the prestigious program. Maldonado says that he is interested in ‘building a history curriculum in virtual reality’, with the help of Bernard Frischer, who's one of the founders assisting with the project. He lands in the West Coast on Friday.
Not only can Ryerson be incredibly proud of Maldonado but so can Canada- this may very well be the future of Transmedia storytelling.