By Riley Kaminer
In early 2020, Edwin Rivera, President of augmented reality consulting and implementation firm CG1 Solutions, got an unexpected call that would shape the company’s trajectory.
The call was from a contracting officer at a large federal agency. Rivera told Refresh Miami that the officer had heard of CG1’s AR work with clients such as Walmart, Disney Consumer Products, and Mitsubishi, and was getting in touch to see if CG1 could provide that agency with AR instructions for some of its most vital equipment, including the all-important ventilators.
“This contracting officer was asking us to put together a package for them to be able to help train people quickly and do preventive maintenance,” said Rivera. “They had a problem: they couldn’t get these manufacturer reps on site because their sites were closed.” CG1’s AR tools help because they enable this to be done completely virtually.
Rivera, a serial entrepreneur, founded CG1 in 2016. In 2018, he started working on creating what would become Reality Hub, shifting slightly away from the advisory services model and more towards product development. He built the consulting business on the thesis that enterprise customers increasingly see the value of the metaverse, but are cautious against making an investment into building their own content and development teams. With Reality Hub, the idea is to further unlock the power of the metaverse, at scale.
When Rivera and team were first building Reality Hub, they were not dead set on the healthcare space. But Rivera said that the engagement with the contracting officer confirmed that the medical space makes sense for the platform.
The target customers for Reality Hub are hospital systems, who will purchase a subscription to the platform for their training needs. The company provides iPads loaded with content about that hospital’s equipment. All hospital personnel would have to do is follow the instructions to get hands-on training instantly. That’s a big improvement from the old system, where staff had to wait for a company rep to come by and train the personnel.
While Rivera was hesitant to oversimplify the product, he noted that Reality Hub has been described as a sort of Netflix for the medical field – FDA approved and HIPAA compliant as necessary, of course.
Currently, CG1 has five full-time employees, plus three developers and four content creators. Rivera expressed pride in the fact that he has been able to tap into the local talent pool from Miami Dade College’s MAGIC program.
Miami-based Rivera, a former Desert Storm Marine whose company has been designated a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, has bootstrapped the company thus far. “We’ve been able to build something slowly and use the experience that we have to avoid making mistakes,” he said.
Since beginning to publicize Reality Hub, Rivera reports “overwhelming interest” from health systems who want to get in on the private Beta. Now that Reality Hub has gained some traction in the market, Rivera hopes to raise a seed round of $250-350k within the next couple of months. That funding would enable CG1 to make some key hires to accelerate their content development, as well as work on some IP and file a patent.
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