MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a highly merited school in the United States, known for it’s advanced curriculum in teaching students about technology. They’ve put together many programs that help advance its students into the real world. And as of recent MIT Game Lab has launched Play Labs to accelerate incubators and startups in the augmented and virtual reality industry.
Current students, recent graduates, and alumni of MIT have a chance to participate in Play Labs program to help grow their ideas. The program will offer funding, facilities, and guidance from mentors in the industry.
“The first batch of Play Labs will be in the summer of 2017, and will consist of 5-10 MIT-affiliated startups who will receive an initial investment (of $20k), hands-on mentoring, a curriculum of speakers and advisors designed to help them make their startups successful, introductions to industry experts, and the ability to get a follow-on investment after graduating from the incubator as part of their seed round (up to an additional $80k).” – Play Labs @ MIT
Even though this program was intended for MIT, it was developed by a private venture, Bayview Labs. MIT alumni, Riz Virk, is the executive director of the venture group who is overseeing this project.
“MIT has been the starting point for many successful startups over the years,” said Virk, in a statement. “Recently, a lot of focus for playful and gaming technologies, particularly VR/AR, has been on the West Coast, but I believe that the ecosystem around MIT in Boston has great talent and startup ideas in these areas.”
In addition, MIT and Bayview Labs have teamed up with the Seraph Group to help fund the project and the startups participating in the program.
You’ll also find a dedicated VR student organization called [email protected] participating in the Play Labs program. They’re made up of current students at MIT who are exploring the new VR, AR, and MR space. They also help create awareness and help other students and startups in the VR industry.
Applications for participants opened today, January 18th and will run through February 20th of 2017. Below are the general guidelines to applying for the program.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Play Labs is open to teams of MIT-affiliated founders at any stage which are using playful technologies in any industry (see examples below). Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams.
At least one founder must be an MIT alumni, MIT student, or Faculty member. Alumni or students can be from any full time or part-time undergraduate or graduate program. To ensure the MIT affiliation, the MIT founder should use their MIT address at submission time.
Play Labs is open to startups at any stage – pre founding, pre-seed, seed, etc. – however, upon acceptance into the program, the founders/team must establish their startup as a legal entity to get the investment. If you are a new startup, we will help you with the process of establishing your company.
Play Labs will be expected to admit 5-10 startups. However, that number is flexible to change after their screening process.