philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


St. Thomas Student Creates Virtual Reality Program for Seniors

Before Enzo Vinholi was the CEO of a growing virtual reality startup, he was just a high school student who wanted to do something nice for his grandmother.

“When we talked she would always ask about places in St. Paul we used to visit together, like the cathedral and Grand Avenue,” Vinholi said. “You can send photos of those places, but it’s not the same as being there.”

Vinholi started his company, Like It Was Yesterday, as a senior in high school. Now a rising junior in the Schulze College of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas, Vinholi spends most nights continuing to build his company, which designs virtual reality programs for senior citizens living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Like It Was Yesterdays’s programs are designed to improve the quality of life for seniors suffering from conditions ranging from limited mobility and Arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease. The company offers more than 1,000 hours of virtual reality programming for users seeking to recreate a variety of memories and life experiences. Users can revisit favorite vacation spots, cities where they used to live, even the place where they had their first kiss decades earlier.

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