RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Vytal Studios, a technology-based education and training content developer and producer, will invest $6.8 million to relocate its corporate headquarters from Austin, Texas to the City of Richmond. The company will renovate the facility at 1802 Semmes Avenue to include studio space for filming content and office space for development and post-production functions. Virginia successfully competed with Florida and North Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.
“With one of the largest skilled tech workforces in the nation, Virginia continues to attract creative, forward-thinking businesses like Vytal Studios,” said Governor Northam. “Central Virginia’s strong education system, talent pipeline, and quality of life have helped make our Commonwealth an epicenter of entrepreneurial activity and technology growth. We are thrilled to welcome Vytal Studios to the City of Richmond and thank this innovative company for bringing new jobs and opportunity to our capital city.”
Established in 2018, Vytal Studios is a technology company that builds and delivers custom employee and online training through immersive learning on a proprietary platform. Vytal Studios leverages the power of its state-of-the-art LED Video Wall production, Virtual Studio, combined with Epic Games Unreal Engine technology to create custom learning and development content. Vytal Studios can create any environment or simulation its clients desire to resemble a learner’s work experience and maximize training effectiveness. With a team of learning specialists and best-in-class production managers, Vytal provides everything a company needs to create and deliver high-quality, engaging learning content, from script to finished product.
In addition to content creation, The Vytal App incorporates patented methods and processes to assess the aptitude, attitude, and interest of employees or potential employees for a particular job and then provides training and mentors specifically to their identified needs. Vytal intends to engage the local community and collaborate with Virginia Commonwealth University and local stakeholders to develop an extended reality cluster in Richmond through a nonprofit organization called One Vytal Difference.
“Our tech talent was a major driver in Vytal Studios’ decision to relocate from Austin to the City of Richmond and continue its fast-growing momentum,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Virginia’s higher education system is committed to providing the training and opportunities to build the workforce of the future to attract and retain high-caliber companies, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Vytal.”
“Virginia, specifically Richmond, has everything an emerging creative technology company wants,” said Jim Smith, Vytal Studios CEO. “Access to talent and higher education institutions, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, local and state governments that get it, and just a super cool vibe that reminds me of Austin 10 years ago. I feel we can be a ‘Vytal’ member of the community and drive growth that draws the extended reality industry as a whole to a home in Virginia.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Richmond with the project. Vytal Studios is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“Technology companies like Vytal Studios are attracted to Richmond’s growing and talented workforce, and Vytal’s addition to our emerging extended reality industry cluster will further contribute to the city’s already vibrant economy,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “The company’s new headquarters location is yet another innovative example of older industrial buildings in the city being transformed into unique 21st-century work environments.”
“Vytal Studios made a fantastic decision to move its headquarters and invest in Richmond,” said Senator Joseph D. Morrissey. “With COVID-19 having significant effects on the job market in Richmond, residents of the surrounding area will benefit tremendously from the creation of 155 jobs. Southside Richmond is a delightful area and one that will welcome Vytal with open arms.”
“I am so excited and pleased to see Vytal Studios come to Southside Richmond,” said Delegate Betsy Carr. “Not only will the company provide much-needed, good-paying jobs, its goal is to provide training to allow participants to become more successful employees and companies—a win-win for everyone. Moreover, its commitment to forming a nonprofit and working with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop an extended virtual reality cluster will enhance our community, making it even more appealing for families and businesses.”
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