Visioncamp, our accelerator for early stage companies building camera-based products, ended in April 2018. Betaworks was joined by co-investors GGV Capital and Greycroft's GC VR Gaming Tracking Fund. Snap, the Lowe's Innovation Lab, Gunderson Dettmer, and L’Oreal USA were program partners.
The program followed 2016’s botcamp and 2017's voicecamp, which brought together eight founding teams working on conversational interfaces/chatbots, and voice interfaces respectively. Similarly, visioncamp was designed to support early-stage companies working at the forefront of augmented reality, computer vision, and 'camera-first' applications/services. Everything that becomes possible when the camera knows what it's seeing.
Tying these themes together is a conviction that, as computing becomes more ubiquitous, the best software will deliver experiences that are more conversational, more ambient, more frictionless, and more context-aware, whether textual, audio or visual.
As a continuation of that conviction, visioncamp explored emerging ways to augment and enhance how we view and understand our surroundings. New products in this category leverage smartphone cameras and sensors, as well as AR headsets. They employ computer vision techniques and take advantage of an explosion of available visual data. They create stickers, filters, overlays, and more immersive “mixed” realities, experiences only now possible with cameras that understand what they see.
The above mentioned partners were joined by leading players in the ecosystem as mentors to help the development of participating companies. Those included tech platforms such as Snap, Apple, Giphy, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Venture capitalists like ENIAC, Loup Ventures, Bowery Capital, WTI, Shasta, General Catalyst, Greycroft, BBG, LDV Capital, Lerer Hippeau ventures, and Benchmark. Related startups like 8th Wall, Sketchfab, Viro, and Clarifai. And media companies like The Guardian, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
What is visioncamp?
Visioncamp is an eleven-week program for a select group of builders that began on January 17, 2018 and concluded April 17, 2018. During that time, participating companies worked with betaworks and leading thinkers on computer vision, augmented reality, and visual computing. The betaworks team, along with industry partners, work with the teams on product, platform integration, data science, branding, and fundraising.
8% of common stock in each company is allocated to betaworks. A $200,000 uncapped, SAFE note with a 25% discount is offered to all visioncamp companies. Each company selected into visioncamp gets:
- Eleven weeks in residence at betaworks in New York City with optional office space for 1-2 cofounders.
- Hands-on guidance from the betaworks team in areas such as product, platform integration, data science, branding, and fundraising.
- Sessions on various aspects of building your company from user acquisition to computer vision toolkits by the people who are building those platforms and tools.
- Access to our early adopter network, openbeta.
- Speakers from the top platforms supporting visual computing.
- Work with mentors from VC funds actively investing in the category.
- Promotional credits from vendors such as AWS, Digital Ocean, Twilio, Azure, SVB, etc.
We will open applications for livecamp, our upcoming program focused on the intersection of live streaming and audience participation soon. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or more information.
A few more of our thoughts:
- The State of Mobile AR by Peter Rojas
- Inflections and Reflections and camps@betaworks by Patrick Montague
- Listening to Bots and betaworks fund by John Borthwick
- Interfaces on Demand by Matt Hartman
- visioncamp: a closer look by Fahim Abouelfadl