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Get the help you need to develop and bring your VR experience to market.

Apply until May 20!

Since 2016, Oculus has invited promising developers from underrepresented backgrounds to get hands-on coaching that helps them meet their VR development goals by joining the Launch Pad program.

Apply by May 20 to join this diverse range of creators, and get the help you need to bring your VR experience to market!

What’s included in the program?

Oculus Launch Pad kicks off with a two-day boot camp at Oculus HQ June 23 and 24, where expert instructors will offer hands-on workshops to build up the technical skills you need to tackle the challenges of building a VR prototype.

For the following three months, developers will receive live-streamed educational programming, and join the growing online community of VR developers with coaching from Oculus, Unity, and experienced peers. The program wraps up with an opportunity to compete for Oculus Launch Pad Scholarships, worth up to $250,000!

Who is this program for?

Now in its third year, Oculus Launch Pad provides women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people from other underrepresented backgrounds with funding and resources to ensure diversity of thought in the VR ecosystem.

Unity was proud to power many of the 14 winning projects of the Launch Pad 2017 Scholarship contest, which received funding to support their launch as full VR experiences.

[For a full list of winners, see the Oculus 2017 Launch Pad blog]

Spotlight: Teacher’s Pet by Clorama Dorvilias & Jessica Outlaw

After the 2017 boot camp with Unity’s own Sarah Stumbo, Launch Pad participants Clorama Dorvilias and Jessica Outlaw connected over a shared interest: how to use VR to reduce cognitive bias. Outlaw’s expertise is in research that studies behavior and culture in VR, and applied to Oculus Launch Pad in 2017 with an interest in de-biasing applications of immersive technology. Dorvilias, bringing experience both in developing VR applications with Unity, also had several years of developing anti-bias projects for clients. After a fateful meet-cute during a shared Lyft ride, the two partnered their matched skills.

After three months in development, they submitted the made with Unity prototype of Teacher’s Pet and won the 2017 Oculus Launch Pad scholarship. The experience, which was brought to market as Teacher’s Lens, leverages the unique capability of Virtual Reality to train teachers to avoid bias through the power of evidence-based gameplay.

After the experience with the Oculus Launch Pad, and empowered through Unity’s technology, Dorvilias established Debias VR, which creates playful and effective evidence-based testing and training apps across industry verticals. These apps that have demonstrated that they help better engage employees, maximize profits, and unlock the proven potential of diverse teams. Outlaw remains a valued partner at Debias VR in an advisory role to ensure the research at the core of Teacher’s Pet continues to meet the highest standards.

VR is a valuable tool that inspires creators, artists, and educators and, via integrated programs like Oculus Launch Pad,  reach a broad audience, supporting diversity of thought across the industry. Teacher’s Lens will be available for download on the Oculus Store in May

Clorama Dorvilias (left) and Jessica Outlaw (right) demoing ‘low tech VR’ at Unity’s San Francisco Headquarters.

Take the next step with your VR development

If you’re ready to share your perspective in games and VR development, the Oculus Launch Pad program will be your opportunity to take on new challenges and develop the skills you need to be at the forefront of emerging technology.

Apply by May 20th to join this diverse range of creators, and get the help you need to bring your VR experience to market!

14 replies on “Oculus Launch Pad 2018 is here!”

I’m really feeling the love in the comments here. Jk. I wanted to know if all the participants who were accepted for 2018 have already been contacted. *fingers still crossed* Thanks

Here’s a couple facts to add to the conversation – I’m a straight, white, blue eyed male from the mid west, and I got accepted into Oculus Launch Pad in 2017, as did others white people male and female. At the end of the day, I even won a grant.

So. Yeah – That happened…. I agree that their marketing is.. really focused on ‘diversity’ and people may be reading into it the exclusion of white people…. but in reality, that assumption is inaccurate.

Congratulations to both Unity and Oculus for making the effort to help newcomers, regardless of their circumstances. Having at least one program that targets traditionally underrepresented groups might even help improve the unfortunate public image of game developers.

As an old guy, I can tell you that nothing is fair. No playing field is even. As someone who has managed a lot of teams, I can also tell you the best work always comes from the team with the most perspectives — as long as everyone on the team is honored and listened to.

Every independent game developer struggles. So do writers, artists, composers, inventors, and everyone else willing to take a risk to do work they love in order to create something wonderful. The odds against success are staggering. The best games ever made have probably never been downloaded.

If the path to someone’s success happens to have taken them through programs like these, good for them. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely its graduates will to do any better than the rest of us.

So, don’t worry about them. Instead, celebrate the fact that we have incredible tools to create worlds no one has ever imagined and do with them, whatever we like. That’s a privilege even if we never get rich, or even to quit our day jobs.

More fodder for the anti white male conspiracy. :P

Seriously though, “positive” discrimination is still discrimination.

Wow as a person of color i feel like we are moving backwards and its things like this that makes me discussed in our communities, this is discussing and wish those who see this as ok to basically realise your just as bad as the racism your fighting to stop.

I had trouble following your line of thought. The paragraph was just a long, run-on sentence. When you wrote discussed did you mean “disgust”? Please elaborate

Wow as a person of color i feel like we are moving backwards and its things like this that makes me discussed in our communities, this is discussing and wish those who see this as ok to basically realise your just as bad as the racism your fighting to stop.

That is a real racism, sexism and discrimination.

What a joke. Using discrimination to fight discrimination. Wake me up.

Asian here. So if you’re a broke white male, you’re not allowed to get help starting up your VR game like the others? Sounds like discrimination to me, especially since the linked Oculus Start doesn’t limit itself to white males only.

Unity – separates?
Hell is full of good meaning and wishings…

1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly United Nations resolution 217 A (III)
of 10 December 1948
Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, politi-
cal or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status…
Article 26
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.
Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher
education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

P.S. Let’s just make games, all together … in Unity

Why is it that I see all of these initiatives that look so promising for an up-and-coming VR dev like me… and then they say I’m not allowed to join in because I’m a white male? Seriously. It’s disheartening sometimes to be locked out of opportunities just because of race and skin color, especially when I’m struggling to make ends meet just like everyone else.

To those who are qualified, you’re very lucky. Make great things.

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