In 2014, identifying the huge potential in VR, Mike Rothenberg decided to build the world's first startup accelerator focused on VR companies, and named it The River Accelerator Program. The program founded by Mike Rothenberg has evolved to now be part of a bigger vision called River Ecosystem.
Oh and yes it is THAT Mike Rothenberg, the one who earlier this year was described by many a media outlet as a VR Great Gatsby, a person with a Wolf of Wall Street personality, a man steering his VC fund Rothenberg Ventures like it was the Titanic. Come to think of if I think tech media really has a thing for Leonardo Dicaprio films.
Well perhaps those things about Mike are true, I don't know the guy personally but I can say he sure has some Steph Curry like attributes to him. First one up is vision. Just take a look at some of the companies Rothenberg Ventures has helped in some sort of fiduciary capacity. I mean come on this is just in the VR/AR space. I know the word ecosystem gets tossed around a lot but really how do you describe what the River/Rothenberg team were trying to pull together before a lot of news came out about a lot of alleged things. We still have no true answers on those allegations so I can really only do one thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERm_WNxGs1U
River, Rothenberg, Frontier Tech, or whatever the team was using as its main identity for the past few months continued pushing for a goal of a true VR/AR future of growth not a constant stream of fads. In fact Mike threw a small intimate post AWE 2017 event in which he spoke about his vision of a VR/AR ecosystem and a future of content creators not just tech evangelists. Check that video at the top of the page. Robert Scoble was in attendance and you know if Scoble is jumping on the bandwagon the team must be doing something right at this time. That was a joke Scoble, lets grab a drink sometime.
Oh back to Steph Curry, one of the biggest things about Steph Curry is his ability to understand the value of the players around him and maximize their potential. Just look at how Javale Mcgee is playing this year. Just look at how KD seems just happy to be able to work like a teammate with Steph. This brings me to the point of the people River has on the squad. VR/AR evangelist and all around good person Dulce Baerga was brought on to be the CEO of River Studios. That is that a major free agent acquisition for River Ecosystems that brings a lot of passion to the court. Dulce is a #WomenInVR #WomenInTech #PERSONINVR #PERSONINTECH to look out for as she helps grow the ecosystem. Check her talking about the future of River Studios including a new version of Quarteback Snap. QB Snap was one of the first if not the first football game for the HTC Vive.
Just like the Golden State Warriors, the River Ecosystem team has a solid lineup including Nick Canifax, Skye Jordan, and many more. Skye was on site and Dulce made sure to point out the value Skye is brining to the table with the events element of the River Eco equation.
Check out just some of the interesting events and programs River Ecosystem have done in the last few months.
All in all there has been a lot of negative press thrown at Rothenberg and by proxy the River team. I however am not getting paid to write negative press, in fact I am not getting paid for positive press either. I am however willing to give a team who is trying to grow VR/AR and actually understand what ecosystem means a chance. River may not be dead in the water. What that means exactly is for another day, thats why this is called A River Resurrection Part One. The Future Iz Meow!