Foundry 45 at 5: VR Training Comes of Age

Foundry 45 is officially five! 

We are truly grateful to be able to celebrate this moment. While a lot has changed over the past years, we realize that at our core we are still the same inspired, driven, and purposeful organization that we started out to be.

Over the past five years, we have immersed more than 10,000 employees into an experiential world for a hands-on adventure, which allows them to practice and apply new skills and problem-solving techniques in a safe, cost-effective, and real-time environment. 

As a company, our team has more than tripled in size in just the past two years alone, all while working with more than a dozen different Fortune 100 companies. We truly value and celebrate the impact our team has had on the learning and retention programs for a wide range of industries and their employees.  

Looking back, it has been amazing to see not only how we have grown but how the VR training industry itself has matured as well. 

While the concept of a pair of goggles being the portal to a fictional world can be traced back to 1930s sci-fi, the term Virtual Reality wasn’t even coined until 1987. Yet, even throughout the 90s and 00s, Virtual Reality was seen as more of a gaming gimmick than a viable piece of technology that can transform our lives. 

When Foundry 45 entered the scene in 2015, we did so with the desire to utilize VR as a way to make a difference within organizations, and still today, “purpose” remains one of our core attributes

Early on, we found that just getting the word out to explain what VR training actually was and did proved to be an uphill battle. Organizations were unsure how to utilize it, what technology was needed, and how to integrate it into their already established learning and development programs. It seemed difficult and expensive. We had to prove that it wasn’t. 

As organizations began to understand the benefits of VR training, such as up to a 50% greater retention rate than traditional training methods, the next hurdle was to help them make the business case for utilizing it in their programs. 

Yes, there is a cool factor and there’s something to be said for having a “cutting-edge” training program, but without the ROI to back it up, all the rest is futile. By measuring from recruitment through training and retention, as well as accounting for hard costs such as travel and physical environment needs, VR training quickly proved itself as a viable solution with a real ROI for enterprises. 

Today, with more organizations than ever recognizing the need for VR training, understanding how to roll it out at scale has become one of their primary concerns. As a result, we often step in to help guide organizations to efficiently and effectively integrate VR beyond a single department or single training instance. 

Additionally, our partnerships have also allowed us to see how VR can truly be used for the greater good. We are so proud that through all the changes we have seen over the past five years, our team has stayed focused not only on how VR can impact our clients, but also impact others in our communities and around the globe. 

The past five years have been an exciting ride for both Foundry 45 and the industry as a whole. As we look ahead to the next five and beyond, we can’t wait to see what is in store for us, our clients, and our industry. Thank you all for being part of this journey with us.