It's been an exciting week for the startup community, thanks to Boise Startup Week. We've been attending several helpful workshops ranging from raising funding as a startup, recruiting millenials to the workforce, to demos in virtual and augmented reality. Hashtag, radical.
Last night, we headed over to the VR Bash, put on by the Idaho VR Council (IVRC.) Personally, I was excited to see what the Idaho VR scene looked like, as we don't usually hear much chatter about VR/AR. I wasn't expecting a massive turnout, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there were actually over 800 people in attendance!
It was very entertaining to play with beta products, mingle with fellow tech-lovers, talk nerdy, and pick the brains of young entrepreneurs and influencers. The air was full of positive energy, excitement, and innovation.
When Ryan DeLuca, Chairman of the Idaho VR Council, took the stage, he shared with us that Idaho will always be famous for potatoes and BSU's blue turf, but it doesn't have to be that way forever. He wants to make Idaho a place of movers and shakers in the VR/AR industry. The vision of the IVRC is to bring together people, tech, and companies, to create a thriving industry for the economic and social benefit of Idahoans.
All in all, I thought the event was a success. The Boise tech scene is growing every day – new startups are emerging left and right, we're seeing an influx of tech events and highly specialized meetups, and best of all – entrepreneurs, investors, and technophiles alike are open to sharing their experiences to help one another out.
To me, the most exciting aspect of the growth is the proof that there is, in fact, amazing talent, right here in Boise, Idaho. Examples include Black Box VR, our neighbors in Boise's downtown Bodo neighborhood. They are building the first virtual reality gym experience. Other companies like Vynyl and Wirestone are dipping their toes in the VR/AR/MR world, to diversify their product offerings and to better service client needs. This goes to show that if you have a big idea, you don't need to move to the Silicon Valley to make it come to life. With the right team, anything is possible.
The growth we're seeing signifies innovation, education, and ambition. Thanks to Boise Startup Week, Idaho Virtual Reality Council, and all of the other contributors that are encouraging people to pursue their dreams and turn them into a reality (or a virtual reality.)