Viacom Virtual Reality Fellowship

NYC Media Lab collaborated with Viacom’s New Experience Team (NEXT) for the Viacom Virtual Reality Fellowship that took place in summer 2016. Viacom NEXT, led by Chaki Ng, with Rob Ruffler and David Liu, is focusing intensely on VR. The Fellowship was a way to foster a sharing of techniques with young talent from local NYC universities where there is tremendous interest and enthusiasm for rapid prototyping in VR.

NYC Media Lab sourced applications from campuses ranging from Columbia Engineering and NYU Courant to Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts. Following a competitive application process where university filmmakers, creative technologists, animation artists and engineers proposed their VR storytelling prototype ideas, Viacom selected six Fellows to participate.


Over eight weeks, the Fellows gained access to cutting-edge VR gear like the HTC Vive and connections to Viacom mentors from divisions like Nickelodeon, MTV and Paramount. The Fellows and the mentors participated in weekly show-and-tell feedback sessions to share how VR is a new medium for storytelling. The Fellowship concluded in a demo day when the Fellows shared their prototypes to an audience of Viacom executives as well as other VR innovators from NYC’s media and technology industry.

The Fellowship resulted in new hires to Viacom NEXT.