As entrepreneurs continue to battle it out, it was Equal Reality co-founder Brennan Hatton that was the first to sneak through to the semi-final round of RiverPitch.
In rewarding Hatton with a ticket to the next round, Peter James, veteran investor and mentor of the Sydney round, applauded the virtual reality (VR) business for solving “an important problem with modern technology”.
“Equal Reality does diversity and inclusion training in virtual reality. We actually allow you to step into the shoes of someone else and experience discrimination from their perspective and practice your behaviour like a fire drill for high stakes social interactions,” founder Hatton told Your Money Live.
The idea comes off the back of a study conducted by international consultancy firm McKinsey & Co that concluded that it would take 100 years for the world to achieve gender equality alone, despite billions of dollars in investment.
“Virtual reality can improve memory retention from 10 per cent with traditional methods to over 70 per cent with virtual reality, but also increase empathy, reduce bias and lead to behaviour change,” Hatton explained.
Equal Reality has already had quite some success, working with one of Australia’s biggest banks as well as Cornell University and the Royal Australian Navy.
The business effectively sells a platform with which businesses can make their own training modules to suit their needs.
In providing a platform, Equal Reality is selling access to VR for much less than it traditionally costs.
Having expanded to the US as well, Hatton sees a huge market for the training.
“The States, in particular, is really hungry for it right now. There’s a lot of people that really want to take action on this.”