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Unisolating The Isolated


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Unisolating The Isolated


 

Our Vision

Balboa is a non-profit foundation focused on delivering support to people who are experiencing shut-in situations and bringing them to places that they can’t go on their own. Virtual reality can help make up for lack of socialization for both children and adults.

 
 
 
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"I WAS NO Longer IN MY HOSPITAL ROOM"


"I WAS NO Longer IN MY HOSPITAL ROOM"


Despite being extremely tech savvy and having frequent visits from family and friends, the Balboa Foundation founder, Drew Olanoff still found his experience in the hospital last year for four weeks at a time to be a frighteningly lonely experience. 

While he embarked on a daily walk to the community room with gorgeous window views, he realized that it had been weeks since he had heard outside sounds. No birds. No people talking. No cars. No whoosh of the wind. Nada. Zip. Zero. With a PS4, a laptop, an iPhone, a tablet, wifi and all of the media one could want, it wasn't until he received a Gear VR and a Samsung Note 4 as a gift from a friend that he actually felt he had the opportunity to be outside of his hospital room. 

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The Opportunity


The Opportunity


Since the first hand experience of feeling released from the hospital's isolation with virtual reality, Olanoff is dedicated to helping people feel less isolated in constrained environments with the Balboa Foundation. Below are two videos produced by the National MS Society that illustrate the incredible opportunity VR technology presents in broadening people's experiences beyond what they might be able to do physically.

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About Us


About Us


Drew Olanoff & April Conyers (co-founders)

Drew is a geek who first worked at AOL when he was 16 years old. With experience in tech communications and PR for startups including River Studios, Drew has also spent time as a senior writer at TechCrunch. Drew is the former Head of Global Communications at Rothenberg Ventures and is the co-founder of the Balboa Foundation. 

April is a communications expert, working with a variety companies during her time at Brew PR in NYC. She is currently the head of communications for San Francisco based Postmates. Her work in isolation is a personal one, as her husband is the subject of our mission and thesis.


Board of directors

The Balboa Foundation board includes: Ellen PaoRyan HildebrandMarkus Spiering, Sivan IramJonah Loop. Join us.