Virtual reality may be a hot technology, but there’s still a relative dearth of media being produced for its devices.
To spur more companies to produce content that takes advantage of the emerging hardware, HTC (HTC) announced Tuesday that it’s rolling out a $100 million investment fund for virtual reality-centric startups.
According to a company statement, startups that receive the funding would get “special access” to HTC’s virtual reality platform, office space, mentorship, and sales support in order to turn the startups into “valuable content producers or content enablers for the Vive platform.”
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HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset launched on April 5 with more than 120 games and other pieces of immersive content available. Competing devices include Facebook’s (FB) Oculus Rift and Sony’s (SNE) upcoming PlayStation VR, which is slated for an October release.
The Taiwanese device manufacturer said the cash will be used to fund startups in Beijing, Taipei, San Francisco, and eventually other locales.
In May, HTC will roll out its Vive X startup accelerator program and fund in Beijing and will invite a select group of Asia startups to apply. Each startup will receive an amount of funding in exchange for a “small amount of equity,” the company said. These startups will have to specialize in creating VR content, apps, tools, or accessories that the company deems suitable for its Vive device.
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“Virtual reality is changing the world, yet to do that effectively it needs a healthy eco-system to expand into the mass market,” said HTC CEO Cher Wang in a statement. “Through HTC Vive, we look forward to enabling global talent to create interesting and compelling content and to help shape the future of this industry.”
HTC did not say when the startup accelerator program will initiate in San Francisco or Taipei.