I’m starting this week out on a thankful note. And a recent conversation with Nick got me here.
He and I were talking about the upcoming GAN Virtual Demo Day. While we were chatting, there was one thing that struck me: He kept bringing up the truly diverse set of places that participating founding teams are from.
Places like Helsinki, Tel Aviv, Vancouver, and New York.
It’s a truly global demo day.
Without him realizing it, I started to get chills down my arms, hearing his excitement and sensing how incredible it really is. And over the weekend, I couldn’t get it off my mind. I kept thinking about how the GAN Community has provided this kind of unique opportunity—and what exactly led to it. Three things kept coming to mind:
I can’t believe we live in a world where people from disparate cultures and geographies can actually come together to share what they’re doing. For all of the issues raised by the Internet, tech, and global connectivity, this is—no surprise—one of the best things it’s added to our world.
And this kind of connectivity really matters a lot to me personally, too, because I spent almost the entirety of my undergraduate work focused on how to actually bring different cultures together. Now, we get to do it. We have the honor of doing this.
Second: Our Core Purpose
GAN—the highly curated group of independent accelerators, partners, and investors who make up our community—exists to give startups the power to create and grow their businesses and make a meaningful impact, wherever they call home. When we look at the eight companies participating in our first global demo day, the fact that they’re from so many different places across the world means that companies really are being given the human and financial capital they need start and grow—everywhere. The fact that they exist and have not only been through a GAN Accelerator but are participating in an event that puts them in front of a global audience and potential investors means we’re living in a world where companies truly can start anywhere.
Third: A Rising Tide
Finally, I think what hit me most when Nick and I were talking was how open to collaboration and sharing this community really is. We’re part of an industry and work with groups who refuse to be insular. We aren’t limited by walls, political or otherwise. So many of you are open to sharing your ideas with the world, believing that—the more we all open ourselves up to others—the more successful we’ll all be.
So I hope you join us for our first public virtual demo day. Not only will you get to see a group of startups focused on gaming, AR, and VR, but you’ll meet a group of founders who are incredibly talented, smart, humble—and excited to figure out ways to work with you.
If you haven’t yet, register here to receive a link that will allow you to tune in with us. By registering, you’ll have 48 hours to watch the startups present at your leisure between June 27–June 29.
For now, I’d love to introduce you to the startups who will be presenting.
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Accelerator: Play Labs @ MIT
Empathy Box creates story-driven interactive experiences that move you, challenge you, and transform the way you see the world. We combine over 10 years of interactive storytelling expertise with proprietary story-creation technology to achieve the unforgettable.
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Accelerator: Tampa Bay Wave
Verapy utilizes virtual reality (VR) technology to empower patients to participate in their physical therapy treatments. This immersive experience turns mundane exercises into fun and engaging games, improving efficiency in the clinic while increasing patient retention and compliance.
Location: Toronto, Canada
BreqLabs allows users to merge physical and virtual worlds using mobile AR and VR displays. Their proprietary ultrasonic sensing technology provides unparalleled accuracy, ease of use, power consumption, size, and cost for hand interactions with mobile displays.
Accelerator: Boomtown & Upramp
EyeFlite develops augmented and virtual reality technologies for people with disabilities that enable greater independence in their daily lives.
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Accelerator: Play Labs @ MIT
Inthegame builds apps that gamify the viewing experience of eSports and live broadcast, powered by computer vision, AI, and a patented algorithm recently approved by the USPTO.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
3DBear allows teachers to become makers and helps students learn in a creative way. With 3DBearAR, a tool for visualising creative thinking using teaching and AR technology, users can create 3D models in augmented reality, 3D print them, and share them with students in the real world.
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Accelerator: Iowa Startup Accelerator
APEX Officer uses virtual reality to give police officers the most realistic, effective, and practical firearm, use of force, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training simulators worldwide.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
MashUp Machine is an A.I. Lab developing a new entertainment format: Interactive animated movies that audiences can customize, personalize, co-create, and share on social media. Our platform is driven by an AI that’s learning narrative storytelling and updates/completes each movie in real-time based on viewer inputs. It’s a lot like Minecraft, but for animated movies.