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HTC pledges $100 million to fund VR content

The maker of the Vive virtual-reality headset launches a $100 million startup accelerator to help build out a VR ecosystem.

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Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
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Sarah Tew/CNET

Virtual reality is amazing, but there's not a lot to do in VR quite yet. Now the maker of the HTC Vive virtual-reality headset is doing something about that. HTC is launching a global startup accelerator with $100 million in funding, with the hopes of investing in ambitious software and hardware ideas for virtual reality.

The pilot program will begin this May in Beijing, China, where "selected startups from around Asia" will be provided with office space, coaching and a small investment of between $50,000 and $200,000. In exchange, the HTC-led investment fund will take "a small amount of equity."

The resulting VR applications won't need to be exclusive to the HTC Vive, according to an HTC representative.

Should the pilot succeed, HTC plans to expand the Vive X accelerator to San Francisco and Taipei, and extend to other global hubs after that.

HTC isn't the first to launch a startup accelerator specifically for virtual-reality applications. Rothenberg Ventures launched a $10 million program in San Francisco last year, providing $100,000 for each of 13 different startups to begin their businesses. The firm now offers upward of $200,000 for each venture.

You can read HTC's press release here.