HTC has selected the first batch of virtual reality startups that will be supported by the company's Vive X Accelerator program, in addition to announcing a new location for the program.

The first batch of companies, composed of 33 startups, was selected from about 1,200 applicants from all over the world. The startups focus on a wide range of aspects of virtual reality technology, including content and apps, enabling systems and innovative services and devices. Among the covered specialties are gaming, education and entertainment.

Alongside the announcement of the first batch of startups for the Vive X Accelerator program is the introduction of Shenzhen as one of the locations of the program, in addition to Beijing, San Francisco and Taipei. Shenzhen, specifically, will have a bigger focus on virtual reality hardware projects.

"We are extremely excited about the breadth and quality of the Vive X Batch-1 companies," said HTC VR China Regional President Alvin Graylin in a statement, adding that the startups are a representation of the best and brightest companies that will contribute to the movement of changing the world and the way that people interact.

The selected companies will receive challenges over the next four months to prepare content and products that will be presented to potential investors. The Vive X Accelerator program, along with HTC and the program's mentors and advisors, will actively support the startups along the way.

While the program is still in its early stages, it continues to be an integral part of HTC's future plans for virtual reality. It is also a great sign that HTC has opened the door to hardware-focused startups, despite the company's VR business offering the HTC Vive headset as its flagship product.

The Vive X Accelerator Program, which was launched earlier this year in April, was established alongside the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance, which is a consortium made up of 28 venture capital companies that are willing to make investments in virtual reality.

The VRVCA was previously reported to have a collective $10 billion in capital. The capital offered by the VRVCA has now been updated to over $12 billion, as the number of companies involved in the consortium was also revealed to have increased to 36.

Startups interested in joining the Vive X Accelerator program to possibly receive investments from the VRVCA can begin to send in their application for the second batch by November. The program is also planning to expand to more locations in Europe and the Asia Pacific next year.

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