Oculus CEO donated $31 million to UMD virtual reality lab
Coding and video game development are two of the newest lessons in the curriculum, with kids learning coding as early as five in some schools around the world. In order to further push video game development, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe is donating $31 million to the University of Maryland, to create a virtual reality lab.
The University of Maryland has a lot of history for Iribe, who dropped his course to start his own company Scaleform, acquired by Autodesk in 2011. At the time, Iribe hired one of his professors to work at the company, before skipping ship to Oculus in 2013.
The $31 million donation is the largest any university has ever been given, but Iribe is not the only Oculus worker donating to the center, focused on artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computer vision, robotics and virtual reality.
Iribe will invest another $1 million in a scholarship fund for Oculus co-founder Andrew Scott Reisse, who was killed in a police chase last year. Iribe’s mother will donate $3 million to create two endowed chairs for the new science department at the University of Maryland.
Oculus’ Chief Software Architect Michael Antonov, who is also a UMD graduate, will donate $4 million. $3.5 million will go to the proposed building, $500,000 to the funding of scholarships at the college.
Lots of dropouts who become entrepreneurs return to their college, in order to fund some projects or receive some awards. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both got certifications, even though Gates dropped out of Harvard and Jobs didn’t attend Stanford.
Oculus looks like the new bridge in the market, virtual reality is on the edge of a huge spurt in growth, according to the CEO Brendan Iribe. He believes that in the next few years, virtual reality, robotics and artificial intelligence will really become a huge market, capable of overlapping the mobile and current video games market.