Real-life success in a virtual world

davidwhelan1An award-winning Waterford company that has brought the Apollo 11 moon landing to life, an emergency department experience and the soon to launch Titanic Virtual Reality experience recalls a very positive real life experience with Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

Immersive VR Education, based in the Waterford IDA Technology Park, provides an educational platform for students of all ages and abilities to learn through experience.  Using virtual reality environments, students can be placed in any real world or virtual situation, giving them the opportunity to play an active role to improve their learning and engagement.

Sandra Whelan, Head of Operations at Immersive VR said “Waterford LEO was always going to be our first port of call once we had a very first draft business plan completed. I remember making the first contact and within a few hours I had an email back offering a day to meet. This was so very reassuring, especially in the early days of a business when you hear that there are supports available but you aren’t entirely sure how accessible they will be to you once you decide to progress.”

“The priming grants we received were invaluable in that they allowed us to hire staff and establish a business and most importantly get a product to market.”

Since the company’s first meeting with Waterford LEO just over two years ago,  Immersive VR Education has grown its team to 14 staff, has won five international awards and has attended events in Korea, China and the U.S. as guest speakers to peers in the field of virtual reality technology.

Whelan added, “We hope we can continue expanding, growing our team and making new and innovative software to entertain and educate people all over the globe.”

Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford LEO said that VR Immersive Education’s success was testament to the foresight, commitment and innovation shown by the team.

“Waterford is leading the way in terms of innovative tech-companies.  Now, more than ever, the resources are in place to encourage entrepreneurs to progress their ideas and bring them to the next stage.  From mentoring, marketing assistance, feasibility, priming and business expansion grants the 31 LEO’s throughout the country are providing these support services to help drive business in Ireland.”

According to figures from business and credit risk analysts the number of new company start-ups increased 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

Mr. Walsh continued, “Start-ups are the backbone of the Irish economy, they inject a confidence and vibrancy into society and it behoves us to continue to support them.”

A list of LEO support services is also available on