Being a full-time student and budding entrepreneur can be taxing, but not for one Ryerson University Graduate Josh Maldonado. With the motivation to change how one sees the world through virtual reality, Maldonado has taken advantage of his Radio and Television Arts (RTA) degree, founded DISCOVR, a business venture having to do with ground-breaking technological platforms.
Truth is, at first Josh had the convicting belief that he would be running a marketing boutique or production company after graduation. However, destiny had it that once he was exposed to virtual reality, his vision for DISCOVR came into fruition more clearly than before. As a result, Josh found it easier to balance school and his business as he saw where the two overlapped and was able to make use of the opportunity.
His passion and love for this field came from watching the Pirates of Silicon Valley, which was a documentary about the relationship between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and the overall formation of the personal computer industry. He had a different aspiration from the conventional and traditional use of the Virtual Reality (VR) systems in that he wanted to somehow incorporate experience-based learning. This was to be done by students being able to perform their classroom tasks while getting hands-on experience in the field without the risk of danger. For example, the use of chemicals and the observation of chemical reactions in the lab without having to encounter them hands on, but virtually.
He believed that this endeavor would be the next big step in the educational learning process.
It was other entrepreneurs and their stories that inspired me. Men and women who took a chance on completely unproven media platforms and premature markets that would eventually define the ways we apply comm. tech to our lives.” – Josh Maldonado [Comm. Tech means: Communications technology -TV, Radio, Internet, and all forms of mass media]
Although he found himself being pulled in two different directions as his love for two fields, RTA and Virtual Reality, he learned over the period how to combine the two without having to abandon either. Thus, through research he found similarities between the two and took advantage of the uniqueness the end product of merging of VR and RTA brought to his learning experience.
“The honest truth is that there are only few ‘super-humans’ that can actually succeed at both being a great student and a great entrepreneur simultaneously,” – Josh Maldonado
Maldonado recalls receiving a call, which to this day changed his life, from the CEO of Rothenburg Ventures who brought the good news that he was selected to be a participant, along with his business venture DISCOVR, in the virtual reality program. DISCOVR was the only Canadian company accepted to participate in the Virtual Reality Program in San Francisco, despite two hundred other applicants. He entered the program with high hopes of leaving more knowledgeable and while the three month program was rigorous, he was extremely grateful.
He worked alongside companies in his field who were established, like Dreamworks and Unity Technologies and he was able to optimize his virtual reality educational project during the program. In addition to the skills he obtained from the experience, he also received a one hundred thousand dollar grant from the Rothenburg Ventures to develop his startup. His dream became one step closer to reality.
Josh was able to network and form relationships with big companies who offered him invaluable advice for his start-up projects and his company as well as the skills he honed since he was a part of the program. His hopes doubled from the experience and believed that there are no limitations to what he can do or accomplish and how far he can take his passion.
Although he has not made a strategic plan of his next steps, he awaits what the future brings and takes a pragmatic approach to dealing with situations as they occur. While he is innovative, determined and creative, he still finds that he is very outgoing and spontaneous. He also trusts his intuition and his ability to be successful.
Learn more at Discovr Learning Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/vesselsvr?fref=ts
By Alexandra Daley