Announcing the 2016 Oculus Launch Pad Scholarship Recipients

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
November 21, 2016

We’re excited to share that 11 members of our inaugural Oculus Launch Pad group have been selected to receive scholarships for their VR projects.

Oculus will distribute $250,000 in funding to support the development of these unique VR experiences from a variety of content creators.

Announced in March of 2016, Oculus Launch Pad aims to inspire diversity of thought in the VR community by helping people from different backgrounds break into VR. The 2016 program began with a one-day bootcamp at Facebook headquarters, where participants received hands-on training, mentorship, and a free Samsung Gear VR.

Through Launch Pad 2016, we’ve worked with more than 100 new developers to deliver VR experiences that more accurately represent our global audience. Today, we’re excited to introduce the winners of the Launch Pad 2016 scholarship contest, whose projects will receive funding and go on to launch as full VR experiences:

Shamir Allibhai, Unveiled Labs

The UnveiledVR app is an exploration of how we can democratize VR short story creation and share our experiences in an immersive way with friends and family using just our phones.

Hassan Karaouni, My: home

My: home invites VR creators to submit content showcasing one place we all love: home. The project explores how aspiring 360 content developers can contribute to a meaningful platform from the comfort of their own homes and communities.

Erica Layton, SkyIslandsVR

SkyIslandsVR is a narrative adventure game for Gear VR. Uncover the ecological mysteries of an ancient world, with the guidance of a helpful creature.

Jewel Lim, Found + “Project Dragonfly”

Found is an interactive virtual reality film, created by a six-person team as a proof of concept in the span of three weeks. It explores the intersection between storytelling and the use of game mechanics. An entirely separate project, code name “Project Dragonfly” will continue exploring that same intersection with a stronger narrative. Found is currently available on Steam.

Jeris JC Miller, Shifting POV

This four-part VR/AR Mixed Reality film series follows women and indigenous cultures—from the Standing Rock Water Protectors through the Himalayas, to our own Klamath-Siskiyou Bio Region, known as the American Galapagos. Can we conserve Earth’s last great pristine biodiverse regions as we create and inhabit virtual worlds and journey to Mars? This VR experience seeks to answer this question and more through immersive storytelling.

Mohammad Musa, EyezVR

According to Mohammad Musa, the EyezVR app includes several eye exams in VR that traditionally couldn’t be easily done at home. The app can be used without supervision on a regular basis to alert the user of potential eyesight degradation problems before they become noticeable.

Francisco A. Rojas, Ph.D., PHOBOS

PHOBOS is a modern virtual reality exposure therapy application that psychologists can use to treat patients for a variety of fears and anxieties. The tool lets you choose from various scenes and filters, depending on the desired treatment type.

Lakshmi Sarah, Tiny World Productions

Experimenting with 360 video and VR, Lakshmi tells stories through a series of small-scale journalistic projects in collaboration with Melissa Bosworth for Tiny World Productions. The goal of this initiative is to encourage and experiment in the field of immersive storytelling with a journalism angle.

Rico Stenson, Starship Disco

Starship Disco™ is a music-driven VR shooter that lets you import your own tunes. Blast aliens to the beat of your favorite songs using your head or hands in this unique VR rhythm action game. Starship Disco is available now for both Rift and Gear VR on the Oculus Store.

Emre Tanirgan, Paradiddle

Paradiddle is a VR drumming application that lets users explore their percussion skills without the limitations of the real world. The app aims to give its users the power of creative expression in VR, coupled with the ability to become better musicians in the process.

Lisa Walkosz-Migliacio, Reviva

Take flight as Bailey, a spunky older sister who prides herself in looking after her mischievous younger brother, Chase, who has destroyed the world. Explore the ruins and bring them back to life with your magical camera that restores lost memories.

The work coming out of the Launch Pad incubator is truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to share the final projects over the coming months.

Applications for our next Launch Pad group open in March of 2017—we’ll share more information and details on how to apply soon!

— The Oculus Team