2020 Young Alumni Award
Chief Executive Officer, Equal Reality
Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) / Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry), 2014
Rick Martin has built an extraordinary career at the nexus of social entrepreneurship, people and technology design, working to tackle complex human issues through empathy in inventive new ways.
Rick is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Equal Reality, a tech start-up that harnesses virtual reality (VR) to create immersive training in inclusion, diversity and soft skills. Founded in late 2016 with former UOW student Brennan Hatton, the company has developed innovative proprietary software for the creation of high-quality simulations focused on human social interactions.
Users can effectively step into the shoes of another person, experiencing firsthand how discrimination or inappropriate behaviour feels. Equal Reality’s VR simulations also allow users to practise social interactions in a safe space that they can control.
In a few short years, Rick has guided the company to remarkable success. He shares his time between Australia and the United States, leading a borderless global team of community builders and change makers that stretches from Silicon Valley to London, South America, Vietnam, rural Australia, and beyond.
Equal Reality’s product is utilised by Fortune 500 companies, governments and military organisations to transform their learning and development programs. Among its impressive client list are Google, Amazon, JP Morgan, Procter & Gamble, Intel, Thales, PWC, NSW Police and the Royal Australian Navy. Equal Reality also partners with a host of leading international universities.
A creative and dynamic entrepreneur, Rick is an esteemed alumnus of MIT’s Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the United Nations’ UNLEASH Innovation Lab for Sustainable Development Goals, Remarkable Inclusive Start-ups and Advance Queensland’s Hot DesQ program. Equal Reality also won a place in Washington DC’s prestigious Halcyon Incubator program and was one of a handful of top innovators selected by industry body JFF Labs.
Rick is committed to social justice, embedding in his company culture a shared vision of using immersive technology to help humanity progress compassion, knowledge and understanding for a more inclusive world. Last year, he made the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 list, singling him out as an inspirational young entrepreneur determined to create a better future.
He remains deeply engaged with education, and recently signed an MOU with Johns Hopkins University to work with its globally renowned School of Nursing to build Equal Reality’s VR-based inclusion training into preparing future nurses. The company was awarded the Institute of Learning Professionals’ Learning Technology of the Year and Technical.ly DC’s Invention of the Year, and is partnering with Cornell University and ViacomCBS to build the next generation of its technology.
Chancellor, Rick Martin is an impressive young leader committed to advancing diversity and inclusion through technology. He exemplifies the power of entrepreneurship to illuminate a brighter path forward for humankind.
I am delighted to present Rick Martin for the Young Alumni Award.