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HTC’s $100 million accelerator program geared toward virtual reality startups

Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends
For startups, especially in a budding market like Virtual Reality, getting projects off the ground can be difficult if not impossible without the right investors. In some instances, companies accept money from venture capitalist organizations normally based in China. Other times, corporations might shell out some of their own cash to help smaller companies grow in markets where they foresee a huge return.

This is the case with HTC, which, because of its success with the Vive, is pioneering a VR accelerator program, expending $100 million of its own capital on the initiative. Dubbed Vive X, HTC is targeting startups in Beijing, Tapei, and San Francisco for its initial launch, with other cities being considered for future revisions.

Companies that apply and are subsequently approved can expect to receive assistance in obtaining money from investors, first-rate entry to the latest VR tech, and mentorship. As an example, HTC says it will lend office space out to qualifying companies and allow them to use its space for things like demo days for prospective investors.

Rather than coming from HTC exclusively, the company claims the initiative is instead “led by HTC”. It’s not clear just how much of the investment is coming from HTC, who the other investors are, or even if the program is limited to Vive-only developers, although the company does admit that it’s trying to “support a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for the Vive.”

Those companies who successfully register for the program will be awarded somewhere between $50,000 and $200,000 in exchange for “a small amount” of their revenues, in addition to the other aforementioned benefits. With HTC struggling in every area outside of VR, this move could give the company an advantage over its most noteworthy competitor, Oculus, which has shied away from the Chinese VR market in the past.

A pilot program for Vive X will begin in Beijing next month.

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