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Meet the 2017 Oculus Launch Pad Scholarship Recipients
Oculus Blog
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Posted by Oculus VR
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December 14, 2017
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Earlier this year, we kicked off the second year of Oculus Launch Pad, a program designed to support promising VR content creators from diverse backgrounds with the hope of inspiring new developers that represent our global audience to share their voices with the world. Now, we’re excited to announce that 14 VR projects have been selected to receive Oculus Launch Pad Scholarships totaling $620K!

From immersive documentaries and narrative-driven films to games, educational simulations, and more, the winning projects showcase the myriad ways in which VR can connect us to new experiences, communities, and ideas—and we’re proud to introduce you to them today.

Avaloki
Priyam Parikh

You are a myth. All but forgotten, you glow into being as curious footsteps draw near. A brother and sister, lost deep in the riddles of an ancient cavern—will you return to help them? For this pilot episode, you embody an Avaloki in a coming-of-age story of two siblings in search of their exiled father.

Being Henry
Sarah Berkovich

Henry Evans is not your typical robotics engineer. After suffering a stroke that left him paralyzed, he uses cutting-edge technology to keep him connected to the things he loves. In this first-person interactive documentary, see the world through Henry’s eyes—and the eyes of his robots.

Chrysalis
Brenda Chen

Chrysalis is a VR adventure game in which players assume the role of an explorer who gets trapped within the innards of a cocoon-like monster while traveling at sea. In the belly of the beast lies a surreal ecosystem filled with mysteries to be discovered and countless wonders and creatures that players can interact with to uncover clues for escape.

Conjure Strike
Andy Tsen

Conjure Strike is an adrenaline-pumping multiplayer game that combines the exhilarating action of titles like Overwatch with the immersion of VR. Two-player teams choose unique characters with epic abilities and compete against each other in stunning virtual worlds. Click here to learn more.

Danciverse
Nathan Haskins, BunnyGun

Danciverse is a series of story-centric adventure games in which you travel throughout the galaxy saving alien planets through the power of dance. Where you go and who you meet depends on your choices—and there are plenty of secrets hidden within each world for you to discover. Visit bunnygun.com to learn more.

Home with America
Alvaro Morales, Sumak Productions

Exploring the nature of nostalgia, family separation, and the concept of home, this live-action VR film follows “G” as she’s transported to the home she left behind and can’t return to. This piece is the first public release from the Family Reunions Project, an initiative that uses VR to reunite undocumented immigrants with their families, hometowns, and home cultures. For more information, click here.

I Am A Man: VR Experience
Derek A. Ham

I Am A Man is an interactive VR experience set to the historic events of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. This project lets people experience the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and the events leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To learn more, visit IAmAManVR.com.

NeuroExplorer VR (working title)
Fifer Garbesi

Experience the development of the human brain from brainstem to neocortex and stimulate brain function with the Neuron Wand. This VR experience is an educational tool to introduce anyone to the complex, yet increasingly important field of neuroscience in this critical phase of humanity’s evolution as we begin exploring brain-machine interfaces. Visit neuroexplorervr.com for more information.

Noodles
Thu Vu Kim Nguyen

Noodles is a VR interactive short film that tells the slice-of-life story of a little girl named Kat, who celebrates her birthday by going out to eat noodles with her father. Follow Noodles on Facebook for future updates.

Shadows of Society
Jonathan Williams, Virtual Reality Xperience (VRX)

VRX’s Shadows of Society is a VR documentary series that shares the stories, triumphs, and challenges of those whose voices go unheard. This immersive series takes you to the street—to not only witness the story, but to experience it. For more information, click here.

Study of a CommodityVR
Caroline Running Wolf

Glimpse into Pikuni (Blackfeet) culture and traditions that informed Louis Still Smoking’s painting Study of a Commodity. This interactive VR experience encourages you to push aside modern distractions in favor of a different perspective on reality.

Synesthesia
Sarah Jane Hong

Sound is invisible—but it doesn’t have to be. In Synesthesia, your auditory and visual senses are fused as you enter a virtual 3D environment that reacts vividly in real-time to sound. Click here to learn more.

Teacher’s Pet
Clorama Dorvilias and Jessica Outlaw

Teacher’s Pet delivers anti-implicit bias training for teachers. Using evidence-based training simulations in VR, Clorama Dorvilias and Jessica Outlaw hope to promote healthy K-12 classroom environments by reducing bias in a more accessible, comfortable, and positive way. Follow Teacher’s Pet on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Where Angels Meet
Micah Jackson, AVCV (Angeles Vista Creative Ventures)

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an angel? Where Angels Meet is a narrative, animated VR experience that follows the life of a young man named Marcus—from a uniquely angelic perspective. Click here to learn more.

Through Oculus Launch Pad, we’ve worked with roughly 200 aspiring developers, providing access to networking, training, workshops, feedback, and mentorship on their path to making their dreams a reality. Applications for our 2018 Launch Pad Boot Camp will open up in March. We’ll have more details and program updates to share in the months ahead.

We can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

— The Oculus Team