MR company Magic Leap has recently announced the Independent Creator Program. The program aims to help content producers gain access to funding as well as resources and development and marketing support.
Can You Apply For The Grant?
Applicants to the program can request funds between $20,000 and $500,000 in funding for their idea. Grant recipients will also have access to resources that Magic Leap’s partner companies offer. Furthermore, applicants will be provided with hardware from the MR company if necessary, meaning that they don’t even need to own their own glasses to apply.
You do have to have a creator account with Magic Leap in order to apply for the Grant though. Creating an account only takes a few minutes. Longer if you read the terms and conditions. Other than the requirement of having a profile, anyone can apply.
Recipients will also receive support from Magic Leap’s development and marketing teams to help take their ideas beyond their initial funding.
One of the most surprising and exciting things about the program is that creators retain the right to their product and are free to market it to any MR company once it is complete. You do need to have the content available on Magic Leap, however. Further, the projects that Magic Leap is most excited about will be invited to launch at the 2019 L.E.A.P conference.
What’s The Catch?
So what’s the catch? There’s no catch, per se. However, the window of opportunity is really tight. Grant applications are due on December 15th. That’s an excruciatingly short window.
The good news is that the application is very short. If you printed it out, it would probably only be one double-sided page. It asks questions like whether you’re applying for an organization or MR company, how many developers will be working on the project, and what stage the project is in. So, you don’t have as much time as other grants give you, but the application process is also not as time-intensive.
There’s more good news: Magic Leap states that further funding opportunities will be available next year. So, while December 15th is the last day you can apply for this funding cycle, this isn’t your last chance to apply. Magic Leap didn’t give any specific dates on future deadlines. So, if you can’t make this one it might be good to prepare in advance for another brief window.
Applicants will be notified of their success by February 15th of 2019. Considering that they want the best projects to display at their conference that same year, that’s a fairly tight turnaround time. That’s especially aggravating considering that the MR company hasn’t yet announced when or where the 2019 conference will be held. They also haven’t announced how many recipients they will choose.
Should You Apply For The Grant?
If you’re already a developer, especially if you already registered with Magic Leap, applying shouldn’t be too hard despite the tight deadline. However, you need to be pretty ambitious for two reasons.
The first reason is that the deadlines for applying to the grant and for delivering a product to the MR company are both really tight, so you need to be willing to work. The second is that the smallest amount that you can apply for is $20,000. That’s a lot of money and if you want it you’ll have to have an idea that needs and deserves it.
If you have the know-how and you need the money, applying can’t hurt. And look at it this way: you can always apply next year.