Transfr Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024

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When Transfr was first founded, training with virtual reality (VR) was not widely accepted. In fact, the technology itself was often dismissed as mere entertainment, relegated to gadgets under the Christmas tree.

Fast forward to today and our company has just been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2024 in the education category. Since 2008, Fast Company has recognized organizations across the globe that have introduced groundbreaking products, fostered positive social impact, and reshaped industries through their transformative approaches.

It is such an honor to join the ranks of previous winners such as OpenAI, Microsoft, SpaceX, Roblox, and Tesla, to name a few. To be in the same sphere as these world-renowned titans of innovation is incredible. At the same time, it’s a massive responsibility that we now bear to carry the torch for our industry and mission to help everyone get on a pathway to upward mobility.

Creating opportunity

With two-thirds of American workers lacking a college degree and middle-skilled jobs accounting for more than half of the US economy, there is a massive opportunity for VR training programs to bridge the gap and create alternative pathways to employment. The problem is even more pervasive on a global scale.

Over the past year, Transfr has embraced this challenge, securing Series C funding, expanding our reach tenfold, and pushing the boundaries of what VR can do.

VR-powered career exploration programs

In January 2023, we partnered with one of the largest providers of free, comprehensive after-school programs in the US — After-School All-Stars — to bring virtual and augmented reality career simulations to disadvantaged youth at after-school programs in LA, Cleveland, Newark, and Miami.

The “Stars at Work” initiative leveraged Transfr’s pioneering VR technology to let students explore various career paths and gain hands-on, real-world insights into more than 20 in-demand industries like automotive, manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare. So far over 103,000 individuals have gone through 123,000 simulations.

Tackling the healthcare worker shortage with VR

In April, we unveiled the Health Sciences Virtual Healthcare Clinic (VHC) to help address the nationwide shortage of qualified healthcare workers. The innovative VR simulations gave aspiring health professionals the opportunity to experience real-world scenarios like infection control and safety practices, obtaining vital signs, and activities of daily living in a distraction-free, safe environment.

We also joined forces with The National Organization of Area Health Education Centers (NAO) to develop and train America’s healthcare workforce. This led to an initiative at the Metropolitan Indianapolis Central Indiana Area Health Education Center, which coordinates education, training, and community outreach efforts with area colleges and universities, a major regional health system, and Indiana’s largest K-12 school system. By building coalitions within a regional healthcare ecosystem, these cooperative efforts can address shortages of talent and diversity from multiple directions.

And most recently, Transfr’s VHC received the National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE)’s official endorsement.

Addressing re-entry and recidivism

Last October, we partnered with the Allen County Juvenile Center and the Jim Kelley Career Pathway Center of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne to facilitate career exploration and skills training for juvenile offenders in the Indiana Juvenile Justice System. The simulated training program allows students to explore potential career pathways and learn key skills to prepare them to successfully enter the workforce and have a sustainable and fulfilling career upon their re-entry into society.

Transfr has also partnered with numerous jails, prisons, correctional institutions, nonprofits, probation/parole boards, community colleges and workforce development boards across the nation to provide industry-aligned skills training for in-demand local careers. To date, 646 individuals have participated in this program, with over 11,000 simulations completed.

Looking ahead to a brighter tomorrow

In an era when technology and innovation are catalysts for change, Transfr is excited to leverage spatial computing to drive the outcomes that we want to see in the world. Each partnership forged, each simulation developed, and each learner empowered underscores our unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with XR in education and job training. For those in the juvenile justice system and students in underserved communities, it’s a chance for a better future. In the hands of employers and educators, it’s a tool to cultivate a skilled and informed workforce.

Being recognized by Fast Company for our innovations in education would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our exceptional team, partners, and investors. We’re finding new solutions to old problems and seizing each day with more questions than answers.

Thank you for helping us emerge as a leader in VR-based skills training for undiscovered talent!

Want to learn more about Transfr’s efforts to help justice-impacted youth?

Picture of Bharani Rajakumar
Bharani Rajakumar
Bharani Rajakumar, Transfr founder and CEO, was also the co-founder of math tutoring software vendor LearnBop. In 2016, Bharani received the "Outstanding Leader of the Year'' award from the US Distance Learning Association. He founded Transfr in 2017 using his understanding of how people learn, what gets them excited, and what skills they need to master in order to create their own pathways to career success.