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Speaker topics include content creation, education, entertainment, enterprise, healthcare, investment, storytelling, training, and much more.
Cathy Hackl is an Emmy-nominated communicator turned virtual reality & augmented reality global speaker, producer, and futurist. Linkedin recently named her the #4 Top Voice in Technology globally on the platform in 2018. She's a Lead Futurist at You Are Here Immersive Labs, one of the Southeast's most prominent XR labs. Prior to that, Hackl worked as an HTC VIVE VR Evangelist during the launch of their latest headset, the VIVE Pro, and during the company’s partnership with Warner Brothers’ blockbuster, Ready Player One. She's the author of Marketing New Realities: An Introduction to VR & AR Marketing, Branding & Communications. Hackl was named by IZEA and Onalytica as a leading augmented reality and virtual reality influencer and also by NBC News as one of the top women working in virtual reality. Hackl served as chief communications & content officer for Future Lighthouse, one of the world's top VR studios focused on branded VR narrative, where she collaborated on projects with brands like Sony Pictures Entertainment, Oculus, Beefeater, and William Morris Endeavor. Hackl was also selected as a 2017 Oculus Launch Pad Fellow, a program designed to support promising diverse VR content creators and help them bring their unique ideas to market. She's the founder of Latinos in VR/AR and has spoken about VR and social media in more than 10 countries. Hackl has been featured in media outlets like Mic, CNN, Silicon Beat, Entrepreneur, CMO.com, Forbes, VentureBeat and Mashable. She is a global advisor for VR AR Association and a leading voice in the VR AR marketing space. Before working in AR, VR and social media, Hackl worked as a journalist for CNN, Discovery Communications, and ABC News. She's also the creator of the holographic press release. She loves all things spatial computing, tech, AI and blockchain.
Matt is renowned as one of the AR industry's thought leaders through his influential blog posts. 6D.ai is his 3rd AR startup, he also helped found SuperVentures (investing in AR), built AR system prototypes at Samsung, and had a long commercial and technical career in mobile software infrastructure before jumping into AR software infrastructure back in 2009.
Galit is a TechnoFuturist and an immersive space explorer. She is passionate about a future that will integrate technology into our everyday lives, but not control it. As a TED speaker and a thought leader in Augmented Reality, she explores the wild and imaginative side of immersive technologies, but also their impact on our cultures, behaviors and ethical issues related to them. Her book ‘Augmenting Alice – The Future of Identity, Experience and Reality’ offers a context and futurescape to Augmented Reality applications, considering its impact on our public, personal and intimate space, that ultimately alters the way we experience reality and our sense of self. Galit’s goal is to bridge the gap between digital, physical, and mental spaces to create tools & platforms that help people experience these worlds in new ways.
Jimmy Vainstein leads the Interactive Media Program of the World Bank Group in Washington, DC. His efforts brought the deployment of immersive tools across the development organization in order to virtually transport stakeholders and audiences to areas of focus and connect them with issues affecting people living in poverty and engage. His initiative of implementing Augmented and Virtual Reality throughout the organization has found a place in enhancing communications efforts, support field operations and decision making for true impact. Jimmy has a Bachelor in Economics and a Master’s of Science from the School of Media Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
As Director of Learning Technology & Innovation at Mastercard, Travis May is leading the conceptualization and application of Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) concepts in entirely new ways for the company. Focusing on fully immersive, real world business interactions, Travis is truly globalizing Mastercard’s interactions among employees, rapidly scaling the technology programs and giving employees on opposite sides of the world the opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate, and role play in innovative ways that is revolutionizing the way Mastercard approaches training and business development.
Recognizing the power of VR/AR, Travis is taking Mastercard’s training into the future and with fully immersive development for “soft skills” – negotiations, influence, and presentations. Leadership and management skills are also being enhanced and evaluated via fully immersive VR, where employees from around the world will meet in various multi-player environments – such as being stranded together on an island – and learning influence and negotiation concepts to react in real time, think strategically, and find solutions to problems. Additional VR/AR initiatives of enhancing the onboarding experience, future of operations, virtual tours, team collaboration sessions, and artificial intelligence integrated experiences are in various stages of exploration, development and scaling across the enterprise.
Mastercard teams from around the world are now collaborating and training together in ways that budget constraints hampered in the past. Travis’ innovative initiatives now allow real time, multi-site interaction and the sharing of global perspectives among employees from Sydney and Singapore to St. Louis, helping improve enterprise-wide thought leadership and collaboration. Travis is passionate about translating future technologies from the workplace to communities and is working closely with local universities and innovation ecosystems to tie entrepreneurs, companies, schools, and government together to connect cultures and thought.
Charlie Fink is a former Disney, AOL and AG Interactive executive who writes a popular column about XR for Forbes, He is a consultant to some of the leading companies in the space. As a 28 year old junior executive at Disney, Fink famously came up with the idea for The Lion King. In the 90s, he was EVP & COO of VR pioneer Virtual World Entertainment. Variety calls him “XR’s explainer-in-chief.”
In addition to his work as head of story development for Disney Feature Animation during the second golden age of Disney animation (‘85-’92), Fink was SVP & CCO of AOL Studios (‘95-’99) and President of American Greetings Interactive (00-04). His past experience also includes successful exits from several startups.
Fink is the author of the critically acclaimed AR-enabled books Charlie Fink's Metaverse (2018) and Convergence, How The World Will Be Painted With Data (2019). He teaches XR at Chapman University Film School in Orange, CA.
Jeff Meador is the founder of JMXR and also serves as the co-chair the VR/AR Association's training committee. He began his career working with Stanford’s Multimedia Laboratory in the 1990s, developing some of the first online interactive experiences for classrooms. He has maintained his passion for leveraging and extending technology to create effective and engaging methods of learning. In recent years, his focus has turned to immersive media such as virtual and augmented realities. He works directly with both enterprise and start up clients, providing a clear, straightforward path to successful implementation and adoption of immersive reality technology. He is a champion of standards, best practices, and the science of learning, having authored or co-authored several white papers for the VR/AR Association in support of using immersive reality to augment traditional training. His proactive, results-oriented approach has led to numerous awards and accolades from diverse sources such as Forbes, Engadget, Time Magazine, and more.
Amy Peck is the founder of EndeavorVR, a global VR/AR strategy & consulting firm. Amy travels the world speaking about and evangelizing Enterprise VR/AR. She also is the Co-chair of the VRARA Enterprise Committee. Her own personal mission is to see VR/AR fundamentally improve every aspect of our lives with the goal of making this technology accessible and transformative for everyone.
Leo Chan is the Worldwide AR/VR Tech Leader at AWS. He leads technical, creative and design communities to show the AR/VR possibilities at the intersection of immersive 3D computer graphics, machine learning and globally distributed content. He thrives in the dialog created when Art calls and Technology answers. He is a 3D graphics pioneer, coding seminal industry tools such as Maya and Houdini, and a production proven leader, leading teams at Electronic Arts and Pixar.
Leo and his family live on a small Gulf Island near Vancouver, B.C. where they grow vegetables and continuously forest bathe.
Ms. Heidi Buck joined the Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific (NIWC PAC) in 2002 after receiving her Master’s Degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in Electrical Engineering with a focus in Signal and Image Processing. She spent 13 years of her career at NIWC PAC working on computer vision systems to support the warfighter, focused primarily on automatic target recognition systems. In 2008 she received a Navy’s Top Scientist and Engineer Award for her work in these fields.
In January 2015 she founded the Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) Lab, a space for innovative thinkers to leverage low cost commercial sector technology in the mixed reality (virtual and augmented reality) space for collaboration between warfighter, researcher, government, industry and academia. Since then the lab has received national attention, including visits from the Secretary of Defense, Congressmen, Fortune 500 CEOs, military leaders and numerous other VIPs. It has handled visits and demonstrations to nearly 11,000 people, including numerous STEM and outreach events, and has been the recipient of two Secretary of the Navy Innovation Awards for technology that began in the lab as warfighter concepts.
Norm Li is the founder of Canada's leading architectural visual content studio by the same name. Since 2002, he and his team have collaborated with designers and developers to communicate their vision to the public. They create engaging visual content that take the story of a space to the next level. Norm works to constantly push the boundaries of his team; they are Always Better in all that they do. Best known for their renderings, they also provide animation, virtual reality, and photography services. If it involves design + visual communication, Norm and his gang can figure it out.
Matt is a creative and marketing multimedia professional focusing on web design, broadcasting, creative production, 3D rendering and virtual/augmented reality.
Matt started his career in multimedia in 2002 as a camera operator for a local news channel in his native New Zealand. After visiting Vancouver he fell in love with the city and has lived here since. Initially working in Vancouver’s film industry, Matt co-founded the Real Estate Channel television network in 2005 and was a founding Partner at LNG Studios shortly after in 2009.
Since then Matt has been the creative force behind these companies, bridging the gaps between marketing, technology and multimedia production. His career has seen him work with established creatives such as Aurthur Erickson, Foster + Partners and James Cheng as well as corporate clients such as Ikea, BMW, Jaguar, Best Buy, DDB, The Four Seasons, the Government of Canada and the BC Lottery Commission.
When Matt’s not in the boardroom, he’s playing music with his band or enjoying the sunshine on his boat.
Marco is the co-founder and a general partner of The Venture Reality Fund, leading early stage venture fund focusing on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), Immersive and Spatial (“XR”) Computing. He has extensive experience in executive roles with leading technology companies and in global investments. Previously he was a Managing Director with Evolution Media Capital (“Evolution”), an investment fund under TPG Capital and associated with the Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”). Marco actively advises numerous media and technology startups in AI and XR sectors and has been collaborating with the Women in XR (“WXR”) Fund to ensure balanced gender representation. Prior to joining Evolution, he was president and chief executive officer of the leading mobile game studio, PlayFirst, which he sold to Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU) in 2014. Marco currently serves on the Boards of the Fund’s portfolio companies Apprentice.io, Phiar, and Virtualitics. Marco holds a Master of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University; a postgraduate Engineer degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University; a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University; and a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United States Naval Postgraduate School. His postgraduate studies at Stanford and research at NASA/Ames focused on parametric modeling and digital control of helicopters, drones, and robotics.
Amy LaMeyer is Managing Partner at the WXR Fund investing in early stage companies with female leadership that are transforming business and human interaction using spatial computing (VR/AR) and AI. Amy is also on the board of ARVR Academy which promotes diversity in emerging technologies through education. She is the author of ‘Sound and AR’ in the book “Convergence: how the world will be painted with data”. She created EnteringVR.net to assist others to learn about the potential of AR/VR across industries. Amy has over 18 years of experience in a high growth technology industry in corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, engineering and finance.
Martina Welkhoff is an entrepreneur and early-stage investor. She’s a General Partner at the WXR Fund, a venture fund focused on women-led spatial computing companies, and a Venture Partner at Jump Canon, a San Francisco fund focused on underrepresented founders in emerging tech. She is on the advisory board of the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking at the University of Washington, and for over five years was the President of Seattle Women in Tech as well as previously serving on the board of Seattle Angel.
Terry Sanderson is a Producer with 20+ years’ experience and knowledge in interactive entertainment software development currently producing state of the art VR attractions for global theme park clients with DreamCraft Attractions in Victoria, B.C. Dreamcraft utilizes motion base robotics, haptics, embodiment, and agency to deeply immerse guests into tightly structured narratives and environments in both VR and AR. A graduate of one of the first full-time 3D Animation courses at the Vancouver Film School, Terry has a history in the Vancouver game development scene with high profile companies such as Electronic Arts, Blue Castle Games, and Capcom working on hit console titles such as the SSX series, MVP Baseball, and Dead Rising.
Krystian Guevara discovered his passion for creativity at a very early age. He spent much of his youth having adventures taking place in worlds of his own making, and quickly identified art as an outlet that allowed him to create and share his exciting and otherworldly adventures with others.
With a background in both traditional and digital arts, Krystian pushes the boundaries of unique immersive experiences in his work as Creative Director and Co-Founder at DreamCraft Attractions.
Krystian Guevara has over fifteen years experience pushing the limits of art and design through his work in different entertainment industries. He has been at the forefront of new product development for leaders and trendsetters such as Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and THQ in the development of video games, film, and animation, and currently in spatial computing and advanced technology for the LBE industry (theme parks) with DreamCraft Attractions.
Chris Pfaff is a leading new media and technology producer and strategist. He is renowned for integrating leading-edge technology into the media and entertainment community. He was the first to use IRC for an interactive corporate webcast; produced one of the first DVDs, in March, 1997; produced the first HD animated logo; produced numerous multipoint broadband events in the late-1990s; produced some of the first mobile short films in 2002-2003, and produced the first Twitter Wall in 2011.
His company, Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC, provides strategy and marketing services for leading technology service providers, technology firms, and new media companies worldwide. Since founding Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC in 2002, Chris has represented a wide range of clients, including strategic ventures from Eastman Kodak, PRIMEDIA, Cantor Telecom, and ASCAP, and firms ranging from mobile content distributor Thumbplay, video encoding firm On2 Technologies (sold to Google), and 3D face and body animation production studio face2face animation. He leads a global team that works with a large, and growing, number of North American and European ventures.
Chris was one of the founders of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) New Media Council East, and served as chairman of the group from 2007-2013. He served as the vice chairman of the national PGA New Media Council from 2011-2013, for which he served as a delegate from 2006-2013, and also served as a delegate on the PGA Board of Directors from 2008-2013.
Prior to launching Chris Pfaff Tech/Media, Chris was involved with the early-stage ventures GeoVideo Networks and MobileQ, and previously had helped launch more than 16 ventures with the Lucent New Ventures Group and Bell Labs, including Lucent Digital Radio (now iBiquity Digital), SyChip (sold to Murata), e-Ink, Flarion (sold to Qualcomm), and savaJe (sold to Sun Microsystems), among many others. While at AT&T Corp., he helped launch AT&T WorldNet Service and the AT&T NetWare Connect Service, and also helped launch the AT&T Personal Online Services division. Prior to this, he represented such clients as Sony Electronics; Viacom New Media, Sharp Electronics, and Kyocera, among others. He began his career in the music industry, representing clients including Yamaha Corporation; Hal Leonard Publishing, and working with a wide range of musical artists and producers, including such notable figures as Walter Becker, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, and Phil Ramone.
Michael Owen is the CEO of MediaCombo, a creative agency committed to helping clients tell stories with empathy, clarity and enthusiasm to engage, educate and entertain their audiences. As a freelance producer, Michael Owen has more than 25 years of experience producing documentaries, commercials and music videos.
Michael learned how to use the language of film to tell engaging stories tailored to specific audiences. He has gained a deep understanding of production and post-production technologies, and is able to grasp quickly what a client expects to achieve from a production.
Michael’s career was influenced by producing music videos for The Talking Heads, Television and other bands at the now legendary club, CBGBs, way ahead of MTV. He has also had the privilege of working with directors such as Peter Sellars, Jim Jarmusch, Lindsay Anderson, Michael Apted and Sam Peckinpah on a variety of music documentaries. As a partner in MICA TV in the 1980s he produced a series of short video art portraits of the artists Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons and others. These have been shown on the BBC and Channel Four, as well as in museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of and The Whitney Museum.
Anisiuba Uche is a 3d generalist , with over five years experience creating contents for the animation, game, visual effects and VR industry in Nigeria. Uche believes in the fusing the arts with technology to create mind blowing experiences. 3d animation, AR , VR and mobile gaming are but a few ways he expresses his love for the arts and technology.
Proven track record for completing projects utilizing, productions that exceed client expectations. Experience in designing, implementing, and executing a consistent color workflow client experience for digital acquisition projects. Ability to create, training, and maintain high quality training and marketing. Expertise as creative director, director of photography, editor, and colorist.
Cortney Harding is the CEO and founder of Friends with Holograms, a New York-based full-service virtual and augmented reality agency. She has created groundbreaking voice-activated Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for Accenture and is currently advising Coca-Cola on its augmented reality strategy.
Other agency clients include Verizon, Unity, and the U.S. Air Force.
Prior to founding Friends With Holograms, she led business development at VR production company Moth+Flame, working with clients that included AT&T, Ram Trucks, and Discovery Communications.
Srinivas Krishna is a member of the VRARA Storytelling Committee and the Founder and CEO of the pioneering mobile AR studio AWE Company (2012) and the mobile AR platform Geogram (2017). A patented inventor, he has created foundational AR technologies and produced some of the most remarkable mobile AR experiences of the past decade. His work as a digital media innovator has been applauded by Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, as “utterly breathtaking…genius.” Prior to his work in augmented reality, Srinivas produced and directed feature films that have premiered at Toronto, Sundance and Cannes, and have been distributed worldwide. He launched his career in 1991 with the international hit Masala, which was voted by the British Film Institute among the Top Ten South Asian Diaspora Films of the 20th Century and is a classic of world cinema.
Chanel Summers joined VRstudios in 2017 as its first Vice President of Creative Development, in which capacity she is responsible for delivering the kind of breakthrough content experiences the industry has come to expect from the leading provider of VR-enabled attractions for location-based entertainment operators. A pioneer in the field of interactive audio, Chanel has been a respected game producer and designer, Microsoft’s first audio technical evangelist, and a member of the original Xbox team, having helped to design and support the audio system for that groundbreaking console and creating the first ever support team for content creators. Prior to joining VRstudios, Chanel was an accomplished touring drummer and founder of the highly regarded audio production and design company Syndicate 17, specializing in sound design, music production, and audio implementation for location-based attractions and virtual, augmented, and mixed reality products. Chanel has consulted for a number of organizations and innovative technology companies, and lectured and educated around the world on subjects as diverse as the aesthetics of video game audio, world-building, and secondary-level STEM education for young women. Chanel is also a lecturer and director of the Experimental Audio Design Lab at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. In 2016, Chanel contributed “Making the Most of Audio in Characterization, Narrative Structure, and Level Design” to the CRC Press book Level Design: Processes and Experiences. In 2018, Chanel contributed “Creating Immersive and Aesthetic Auditory Spaces for Location-Based VR Experiences” to another CRC Press book, New Realities in Audio: A Practical Guide for VR, AR, MR, and 360 Video.
Wilson is founder and CEO of Yumebau Inc., a “Cultural Augmentation” company based in Vancouver, Canada. We are dedicated to creating the most immersive social AR/VR mobile experiences, with the power to change the way people learn, play & socialize. Over the course of more than 20 years in digital entertainment Wilson has led and built world class teams in video games at Kabam and Electronic Arts, and Hollywood films at Industrial Light & Magic. Wilson is a designer at heart, fluent in the language of architecture, games, technology, UX, films, polygons and code. Even though he is passionate about human-centric technology, he is still pretty handy with pencil and paper, where everything begins.
Alex is the Strategy Director at PATIO Interactive Inc.; a design and development agency specializing in technology-driven business solutions. As a former strategy consultant and deal advisor she has a strong belief in collaborative working and relishes creating engagement and positive cultures that unleash the potential in individuals and organizations. Alex encourages the whole team at PATIO to not only be engaged within the technology field, but to strive for leadership in all their endeavours. With a background in construction, healthcare, energy and natural resources prior to her joining our small but mighty, innovative technology firm, she has a deep understanding of the realities of transferable learning and thriving in male dominated environments. Alex places significant value on sharing her experiences and their ability to support and influence the perception of women in STEM and in the growing cannabis industry.
Charles is the founding partner of PATIO Interactive, a design and development agency specializing in technology-driven business solutions. He started the company in 2014, focused on enhancing user experiences by combining disruptive technology with business strategy. Now working with a wide range of forward-thinking companies, PATIO has since become a leader in creating immersive and extended reality software that helps businesses "thrive in disruption". The applicability of this body of work to the nascent cannabis industry was an organic evolution that has yielded exciting collaborations and innovative development over the past 3 years, landing PATIO and Charles at the forefront of thought leadership for technological innovation in cannabis. Charles has a passion for sharing his knowledge and has spoken on many panels across a range of industry and media events such as Lift&Co Expo, Digifest, TAVES and CBC Television.
In his current role, Sam manages products and services for 30+ training courses on 5 Unmanned Aerial Systems used in 6 schoolhouses, globally. Insitu certifies more than 3,500 students per year, and is implementing new instructional technologies that assist their SMEs in surging information flow. Sam’s efforts include implementing a flipped-classroom variant, growing the use and implementation of AR/VR, agile end-to-end product development, providing custom curriculum options, and supporting two programs of record while maintaining compliance with various industry standards.
Sam has also served as an Infantry man and Sniper during OIF1 and OIF2.
Michael Leone is the Director of Lenovo’s Commercial AR/VR project, a hardware and software incubation start-up within Lenovo. Michael has worked in the software business for the last 25 years with significant time spent in both large corporations and successful startups. He started his career in Gainesville, FL where he worked as a government consultant for Oracle (1994-1999) traveling the Southeast. He was fortunate enough to experience the Internet boom first hand after relocating to San Francisco in the mid-90's. It was at this point when mobile/devices became his passion. This included great experiences at two Java startups (1999-2006) focusing on enterprise mobility and virtual machines that shipped in over 200 million phones. Michael decided to get deeper into the mobile market and joined Motorola in Austin (2006-2012) where he led teams that created designer/developer tools, SVG engines, powerful Android User Experiences and a 3DUI engine among other things. He then went full circle back to FL where he acted as COO for Core Technologies (2012-2015) and Augmented Reality startup Paracosm (2015-2017).
Jason is the creator and host of the #1 podcast focused on augmented reality, The AR Show. He’s also the VP of Software and AR Evangelist at Ostendo, which is focused on solving a fundamental challenge of AR smartglasses: the underlying visual engine. Jason invests in early-stage companies at Method Ventures.
Previously Jason was a serial entrepreneur – first in mobile, later in AI-assisted CRM. He also spent several years at Salesforce.com and served as an officer in the US Air Force. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and an MS & BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.
Co-founder & CPO
Senior PM Lead
Director of Global Operations Training
Siemens Energy Inc.