BadVR is using government grants to build a business that’s independent of venture capital – TechCrunch

When the Los Angeles-based expanded reality data visualization company, BadVR, Has previously heard that one of its early beneficiaries, Magic Leap, Was about to shed 1,000 jobs and was fighting for his lifeThe young startup was surprised.

Despite very public relations BadVR Magic leap, As one of the enterprise applications on the platform, the startup was more untouched than other businesses from the axis away from consumer-centric apps.

The first phase was receiving money from the government’s paycheck protection program. To get more capital and maintain your top. Eventually, the company managed to land additional funding in the form of a $ 1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

This is the second grant the company has taken from the NSF and is an example of how startups can turn government funding for capital and avoid some of the pitfalls of venture capital funding.

To make sure, even Magic Leap Traveling on the verge of collapse won’t be bad for BadVR, which makes enterprise applications for augmented reality devices.

The Magic Leap story suggests that companies do not need to take venture capital to build it. Indeed, as the cost of equipment and remote work is reduced, access to a country that is still working with engineering talent, frugal startups can get the capital they need from government sources and corporate innovation grants. Require from

In this way BadVR received the majority of the $ 3.5 million in financing. Some of the money came from grants from BadVR, while at least $ 1.25 million has come from the government in the form of two National Science Foundation Cooperative agreements through small business innovation research financing mechanisms.

A headset capture of BadVR’s climate change application designed for Magic Leap One headset. Image Credit: BadVR

BadVR uses virtual and augmented reality devices to visualize geospatial data for a range of government and commercial applications. The startup’s technology is already being used by large telecom companies to accelerate the planning and deployment of 5G networks. And, within the public safety sector, the company’s technology is used to improve situational awareness for first responders and reduce training, staffing, and operating costs.

“Society has become aware of the power of data and its impact on our daily lives. It is critically important that we make data access to every organization easy, Regardless of technical skill level or background, ” Said Susan Borders, Chief Executive and fOunder of BadVR in a statement.

For boundaries, the key to harnessing government funds is about proper advance planning. “Those people take a long time,” Seema said. “When you honor them, you are looking at a year of effort. [Our grant] There was a will for us which was planning about a year ago. “

These grants are usually milestone-based, so as long as BadVR was meeting its goals, it can be quite reassuring that the money will be there.

“NSF is proud to support future technology by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, effective ideas in all markets and fields of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships . NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that meet tremendous needs.”

Other government competitions are giving the company additional non-dilutive cash and the opportunity to kcik tires on new capabilities.

A capture from BadVR’s augmented reality geospatial data environment, which allows users to visualize multiple live and historical datasets through overlays relevant to their environment. Image Credit: BadVR

Which has translated into traction for the company’s Augmented Reality Operations Center. AROC is a new offering for the product that envisions data for first responders. BadVR Eureka, Mo., through a challenge organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Was able to work with the Fire Department to develop a prototype for a specific emergency situation.

This is the development of the initial product the company developed where enterprises can make digital twins of their factories or shops into virtual reality and walk-through to examine various situations.

BadVR is not all geospatial in that visualization is the work that BadVR does not necessarily do. The company can take all types of data and integrate it into an environment that makes it easy to view data. Borders sees the company’s services expand to create all kinds of collaborative environments for companies.

“The system sheds light on the things that are important to see,” said Border. “It is virtualizing the data visualization experience and bringing it into an immersive environment – and creating a more collaborative aspect to that experience.”

As the COVID-19 epidemic has forced businesses across the country to virtually operate, Border said that type of demand. The product his company is making – with the help of the government – has only grown.

“This is due to the increasing demand for remote collaboration tools,” said Border. “We’ve increased interest in people across the board – but tools that have remote collaboration capabilities – and bring people together for an immersive data experience … that are taking away.”