VR-Based Training Simulations
Chalkbites is a software company that’s created a library of virtual- and augmented-reality-based training programs.
These programs teach and test workers whose job duties can be dangerous and expensive — members of law enforcement, construction workers, loggers, and machine operators. This is a $1.5 billion market opportunity.
Using a head-mounted VR display and a library of programs, workers simulate scenarios such as:
• “Shoot or no-shoot” situations for police officers.
• Hanging wires for electricians.
• Rescuing individuals from a burning building for firefighters.
Traditionally, training for these situations is expensive, unsafe, and impossible to realistically recreate.
Chalkbites provides a solution with virtual training that's inexpensive, safe, and effective.
According to a study by the University of Michigan Medical School, surgeons who used VR training for two hours improved their task completion time by more than 83%, and were more than 70% more efficient in movement and measurements.
A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Surgical Association showed that surgeons who trained via VR were 29% faster and made 6x fewer errors than those who had trained with traditional methods.
Finally, a study by the University of Maryland showed that participants who trained in their profession using VR demonstrated 9% better information recall and made 41% fewer errors than those who trained via non-VR methods.
Chalkbites sells its training programs for an initial cost of $15,000. This includes the VR headset, setup, and access to the training library. The company also charges an annual subscription fee to the library that enables customers to receive product updates and new simulations.
Before targeting clients with dangerous professions, Chalkbites created virtual realty projects for companies including John Deere (NYSE: DE), Minute Suites, and CBRE (NYSE: CBRE), a real estate company.
In August 2018, to complement its training software, the company opened Paradigm, a brick-and-mortar training and gaming center. This space hosts VR corporate training events, as well as VR gaming and “e-sports” tournaments.
Now, as it pivots to offer corporate training programs, Chalkbites has hired one of the nation’s leading consulting firms to assist with the creation of law enforcement training, and has a distribution agreement with Synnex (NYSE: SNX), a software supply chain company.
Chalkbites aims to complete its law enforcement de-escalation and crime scene investigation training programs by the end of 2019.
It will then look for its first 10 agencies to purchase the training package and deploy the content by the end of 2020.
Steve has domain experience working in virtual reality and developing software training programs.
Prior to starting Chalkbites, he co-founded VictoryXR, a VR-enabled educational tutoring platform for schools.
Before that, he spent 20 years as owner of VictoryStore, a marketing company that produces yard signs and banners.
Steve earned a Law degree from the University of Iowa.
Kelli began her career practicing law with Stanley, Lande & Hunter, an Iowa-based law firm.
She left the practice and partnered with her husband, Steve, to run the VictoryStore business. While there, she helped grow the company to $23 million in sales.
She earned a Law degree from the University of Iowa.
Before starting Chalkbites, Jim spent 27 years with John Deere (NYSE: DE). While there, he developed a subsidiary focused on healthcare, John Deere Health.
John Deere Health initially handled insurance claims for its employees, and then began offering coverage to other employers.
John Deere Health was eventually sold to UnitedHealthcare.