This year, Seattle Startup Week had the grandest XR track yet.
We loved learning about (and demoing) products from our fellow virtual, mixed, and augmented reality startups at Seattle Startup Week 2017. XR industry leaders shared insights about creating accessible, inclusive tools, along with offering helpful tips for newbies and experts.
Here’s just a few of the many local XR companies that participated:
Pluto VR, Foundry 10, Verge of Brilliance, Big Bang Billiards, BuilderBoxVR, Boneyard Encounters, Hashbang Games, uGen, Virtual Spaces, SpellBound, Holospark, VREAL, Comotion, Microsoft, Doghead Simulations, ARVR Academy, Electric Dream Factory, Invrse Studios, Divergent Thinker, Filmmaker Live VR, Imbue Reality, CityBldr, Object Theory, IDEAbuilder, MXTReality, Layour, RE360, Tosolini Productions, Hardlight VR, Tomorrow Today Labs, POP, University of Washington Bothell’s Digital Future Lab, Genius Plaza, and more.
— Drew Stone (@stonedrew) October 4, 2017
— Julia Fryett (@juliavirtually) October 2, 2017
The talented Heather Zweig and Xuny Haley are the dedicated and passionate community organizers behind this robust track. We caught up with Heather to investigate how and why XR became a core program of SSW.
XR at Seattle Startup Week
Pixvana: What’s your perspective on the growth of the X-Reality community in Seattle?
Zweig: X-Reality is growing because people are mobilizing around great ideas and being exposed to ways of interacting with the world that they never saw possible. I think Seattle’s XR community has been growing intentionally – with a focus on bringing as many parties to the table as possible to talk about what the best experience can be for everyone. This causes us to be slower in our execution, yet hopefully means we are making the right choices instead of the easiest choices for rapid adoption.
“I was on a panel for the web back in the 90s when people said it was a fad. We’re repeating history with VR right now.” –@jamesbrunk
— Xuny Haley (@exyouenwhy) October 4, 2017
Pixvana: Is this the first time there has been an AR/VR/MR track at Seattle Startup Week? What informed your decisions about the kinds of panels and speakers you organized?
Zweig: This is the second year that there has been a track dedicated to the Realities. Last year, I put together a large demo night and created a few panels that went well and started some great conversations. This year, the focus was on injecting VR/AR/XR into as many other tracks as we could, so that a large swath of SSWers would be exposed to the concept and include it in their thinking. We still had several panels that were focused on XR alone, and those were great for people who knew they wanted to learn about. This year, I hope that we peaked the interest of people who might have gone into the week not recognizing how their startup could benefit from these new technologies.
— Xuny Haley (@exyouenwhy) October 5, 2017
— Drew Stone (@stonedrew) October 5, 2017
— Pixvana (@pixvana) October 5, 2017
Thanks so much, Heather and Xuny, for the work you do to organize and grow our X-Reality ecosystem here in Seattle! We’d also like to shout out Shawn Whiting for helping to organize the XR demo events.
Heather Zweig is the operations manager for Pluto VR, a communications software company.
Heather enjoys process at all levels of business and has helped organize several community driven gatherings, including the Seattle VR Hackathons, Seattle Virtual Reality Meetups, and the VR/AR Collective.