Thought you were way ahead of the curve? Think again. There’s a whole load of entrepreneurs and industry leaders who’re making staggering advances in virtual reality. What’s more, the men and women are driving innovation with the help of VR across countless industries, from media and advertising to education and healthcare. But, who are they?

Cortney Harding

Founder, Friends With Holograms

Courtney Harding

Cortney Harding, Founder, Friends With Holograms

Cortney Harding started Friends With Holograms two years ago and has since enjoyed a remarkable string of successes. Her firm lends its interactive communication expertise to many high-profile clients including Accenture, Coca-Cola, US Air Force and Verizon.

Earlier this year, Friends With Holograms won a Glomo Award at Mobile World Congress for building a first of its kind voice-activated piece that allows social workers to learn how to better interact with a family in crisis.

Prior to launching the AR/VR agency, Cortney worked at Moth+Flame VR where she worked on projects for brands like AT&T, Discovery Communications and Ram Trucks. She has also spent several years consulting for music-tech companies and served as the music editor of Billboard Magazine.

Chris Lai

Founder and CEO, MassVR

Chris Lai - Founder and CEO of MassVR

Chris La, Founder and CEO, MassVR

Chris Lai is doing pioneering work in the field of interactive gaming. MassVR, a pop-up in Chicago, is the first-of-its-kind virtual reality eSports arena where participants can walk, run and jump in 32,000 square feet of the playable area. Chris has gamercised VR in a way that it combats the stereotype of VR gaming as a sedentary lifestyle.

MassVR VR Champions Player 3.1

PHOTO: MassVR Champions Player

Chris Lai is also the co-founder and co-CEO of SafeSpeed, MassVR’s former parent company.

John Collings

CEO, StayHealthy

It’s sobering to consider how little we actually know about the effect of nutrition on health, and this is precisely what John Collins is striving to change. StayHealthy’s children’s app, Color Quest AR, is designed to teach kids about health, nutrition, and their organs. The augmented reality health app allows children to color entertaining, animated characters of fruits, vegetables, and bodily organs. For instance, a child can color a dancing liver which leads to a visual prompt about how the liver functions.

Collin’s work is providing ever-more insights into the endless potential of VR/AR and is one of the most ambitious endeavors in this field.

Rachel Lanham

COO, Pixvana

rachel-headshot leaders in VR

Rachel Lanham, COO, Pixvana

Operating from Seattle’s creative HQ, Rachel Lanham works with clients that are looking to tailor Extended Reality (XR) solutions using storytelling and immersive media. If it sounds too simple to be true, don’t cross out – Pixvana has established an innovative way to foster VR Learning.

Prior to joining Pixvana, Lanham served as an executive and client partner at Avenue A, which became aQuantive before being sold for $6.3 billion to Microsoft.

Frits Klok, Ray van Brandenburg, Arjen Veenhuizen, Rob Koenen
Founders, Tiledmedia

TiledMedia Leaders

(L-R) Frits Klok, Ray van Brandenburg, Arjen Veenhuizen, Rob Koenen
Founders, Tiledmedia

Ever wondered who was responsible for the next frontier in live streaming? Look no further than this quartet, the brains behind Tiledmedia. Frits Klok (CEO), Ray van Brandenburg, Arjen Veenhuizen (COO) and Rob Koenen (CBO) developed the revolutionary software that breaks down the entire 360 sphere in tiles and only streams those tiles that you can see in high-resolution. As a result, viewers can enjoy a 4x higher quality video experience.

TiledMedia Preview Image

PHOTO: TiledMedia

Since its launch, Tiledmedia’s technology has been used in streaming clips from global events such as the Mobile World Congress, French Open Tennis Championships, and FA Cup. The pioneering technology is acknowledged as one of the most important VR endeavors in history.