For this year’s Collab/Space Chicago event, we decided to focus on the emerging technology that everyone is buzzing about: virtual reality. We brought in seven innovative startups and projects from media companies – BuzzFeed 360 Video, CNN’s Courageous, Haptical, InContext Solutions, Nvelop Media, Sightpath and Snips Media – to present their work, identify their biggest challenges and then brainstorm solutions in the afternoon. And of course we used improv comedy techniques, facilitated by Andy Boyle, to help the breakout sessions learn to work better together.
Here’s a round-up of photos, feedback and a Storify to share the highlights of the event. If we missed anything, let us know and we’ll update the post.
Photos at Collab/Space Chicago by Mel Brunelle
Photos at Collab/Space Chicago Mixer by Jesus Montero
Feedback from Participants
“I would have preferred some more focus on the production side, but that is just my personal perspective. Overall a very good and informative seminar.”
“Super event. Learned a lot and met some smart, VR-savvy people.”
“The event was a great taste of how VR/AR are impacting Chicago businesses. I came with students, so we thought the tech was awesome and it even inspired us to focus a bit more on our math classes. However, most of the companies were having trouble creating buy-in for VR with older people. In that respect, our feedback may not have been very helpful.” -Vinesh Kannan, Illinois Institute of Technology
“Several [startups] were rather half-baked — more of a loose collection of ideas than a business per se.”
“Less of a focus on news than I had expected.”
“I learned so much and was pleased to get a better understanding of VR’s application for journalism. I know there were a few students in attendance but it would’ve been great to have more. Perhaps have attendees introduce themselves, too, and state objective for signing up.” -Sheila Solomon, Rivet Radio
Bianca Fortis is the associate editor at MediaShift. Her work has been published in newspapers throughout the country. She was a recipient of the 2011 Scripps Howard Foundation’s Semester in Washington Fellowship and won the 2013 I.F. Stone Award for Emerging Journalists through the Nation Institute. She is a founding member of the Transborder Media storytelling collective. Follow her on Twitter @biancafortis.