Stage One Startup,

EP031: Fownders Part 5 – Creating the next Step in Virtual Reality and Changing the Way the World Views Experiences w/ Tech Startup Founder, Cody Ross

January 30, 2017


This Week’s Guest: Cody Ross

Before we get started on the last of the Fownders episodes, let’s talk about Instagram for a minute! If you haven’t seen our Instagram page lately, go check it out, and make sure to appreciate the new grid posts. (And if you’re interested in doing grid posts yourself, check out the Instagrids app. It’s much easier than Photoshop!)

And now onto our final Fownders guest. Cody Ross, the man behind Slingshot VR, originally hails from the Midwest but now lives in New York. Throughout the episode, you’ll learn more about Slingshot VR, a virtual reality ecosystem designed to allow users to experience environments and events that they may never have been able to experience otherwise. (In less techie terms, it’s a cutting-edge virtual reality production company.)

If you’re not already excited about the idea — and you should be — just listen to Cody’s passion as he explains how this can change users’ lives and bring people closer to each other and to the experiences they cherish. He’s just as enthusiastic as he discusses Fownders, where he was part of the first cohort.

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Part 1 of 2: Cody talks about his history (in general and in relation to virtual reality), and explains what VR is. He then touches on meeting Gerard Adams of Fownders before discussing virtual reality in greater depth.

7:13 – Cody tells us a bit more about himself, discussing his past and giving listeners a glimpse into how his experiences have led him to where he is today.

10:30 – We learn about Cody’s first forays into entrepreneurship and how he stumbled into VR. He then talks about how much the VR industry is changing from day to day.

12:21 – For listeners who might not be completely familiar with VR, Cody explains what it means and how it can function.

14:58 – Cody goes back in time a bit, discussing the very beginnings of Slingshot VR. We learn that the seed was planted when he was working in the MBA, but researched VR only as a hobby for the next several years.

18:48 – We hear about Gerard Adams’ first time experiencing virtual reality, and how this led to Cody’s involvement in Fownders.

20:52 – Cody discusses the concept behind Slingshot VR.

23:13 – What goes into the project on the software side of things? Cody gives us a glimpse behind the scenes. He takes a moment to explain the complexities, but also to rave about the possibilities.

29:56 – We hear about how some virtual environments look so real that people think they’re photos.

31:25 – Cody recommends looking up Unreal Paris, which features an apartment that looks absolutely real.

32:35 – How will Slingshot VR work in terms of the practical details?

35:33 – Cody talks about older generations and their adoption of technological advances.

Rocket Round Q&A

  1. What one book helped you out in the early stages? The Lean Startup (he thinks; he tells a story from the book but isn’t entirely positive this is the right one).
  2. Who is your entrepreneurial idol? Gerard Adams (of Fownders). Another of his idols is Elon Musk.
  3. What is your definition of success? “Freedom” and “the ability to live your life on your own accord.”
  4. What’s your favourite
    startup out there that you’re watching closely?
    He loves Tesla, which he calls “a different class of startup.” He also likes what Snapchat is doing with augmented reality.
  5. What do you do in your spare time? He loves his dog, Leo, a Rhodesian ridgeback. He spends a lot of time with his dog and his girlfriend. Another of his hobbies is flying drones.

Part 2 of 2: We hear more about Cody’s involvement with Fownders as he explains that he was part of the first cohort. He then talks more about Fownders in general before discussing the future of Slingshot VR and virtual reality in general.

50:36 – Cody goes into more depth about how Gerard and Fownders have helped him. We also hear about his personal history, and how going to college showed him that school wasn’t it for him.

55:20 – Fownders is a great resource, Cody explains, and points out that you don’t find something like Gerard’s expertise in a classroom.

56:07 – Cody shares the process of his development with Fownders. He points out that Fownders does a great job of explaining the process of building a business from the earliest stages, and the steps between having a brilliant idea and having a successful business.

59:11 – When is Slingshot VR going live? Cody’s goal is to have an application and broadcasting platform available and functioning by summer 2017.

60:58 – Cody offers some examples of how Slingshot VR will be valuable, giving the example of The Wolf of Wall Street.

62:00 – Does Cody think we’ll get to a point in VR where there will be a charge to experience various things? He definitely sees it going that way, and explains why.

64:49 – Cody flips the interview around, asking our hosts who their football teams are.

Here’s where you can find Cody:

By email at (coming soon!)


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