Dynamic duo David and Sandra Whelan, founders of Immersive VR Education, have been announced as Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Waterford Business Awards, organised by Waterford Chamber and supported by Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber, WLRfm and Waterford City & County Council.
Congratulating David and Sandra, Danette Connolly, Waterford Chamber President said: “Waterford is lucky to have a wealth of incredible entrepreneurs in its midst and David and Sandra are a shining example of how hard work and determination can lead to very positive outcomes.”
David and Sandra founded their award-winning virtual reality software company in 2014, dedicated to advancing how people collaborate and consume content globally.
Based in Waterford’s Cleaboy Business Park, Immersive has a team of 60 and a reputation for delivering outstanding virtual reality experiences over its short history and has won global awards for not only its bespoke experiences but its globally used ENGAGE Communication Software Platform.
Sandra and David Whelan listed their company on the London Stock Exchange and Euronext in March 2018, less than four years from the company’s inception and became the first tech company to list on the Exchange in 17 years.
The company has partnered with leading educational institutes including University of Oxford, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, BBC, Facebook/Oculus and the US Rocket and Space Centre in Alabama. In May 2020, HTC became a partner in Immersive VR Education.
Commenting during the awards ceremony, which was hosted by WLR’s Damien Tiernan and Mary O’Neill, Sandra said: “It is very special to be recognised on home soil and thank you to Faithlegg for sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We are proud Waterford people and are committed to the South East, which has a world class emerging tech community.
“We are so proud of our team- they are the best in the business and we look forward to many more years of creating innovative products for our global market.”
David is a multi-awarding winning VR director and producer and the Winner of a Time Warner Award. He was nominated at the Venice Film Festival as best director for his work with the BBC on the 1943 Berlin Blitz VR experience for which he was also awarded Best Director at the BBC Royal Television Awards.
Sandra has been a finalist for the Irish Women’s Awards which recognises female professionals in all industries. She holds voluntary roles on the New Frontiers National Entrepreneur Development Programme and the Local Enterprise Office Evaluation Committee and recently went back to college where she received her Diploma in Project Management from the University College Dublin.
Both Sandra and David have been the recipients of the Irish Times Business People of the Month Award and represented the South East at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.