We have the mission & passion for accelerating smart growth at a global scale for the VR AR industry

We are a global team of VR AR industry experts with over 15 Chapters in major cities in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Middle East to help you locally and connect you to global opportunities. 

 

Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder & President of the VR/AR Association

nathan@thevrara.com  Linkedin

Nathan Pettyjohn is a technology entrepreneur with experience building teams in marketing, advertising, sales and mobile technology, and is currently the Founder and CEO of Aisle411, a global leading indoor location and mobile software company serving some of the world's largest retailers and brands. Aisle411 was an early augmented reality development partner of Google’s Project Tango solution in 2014, offering 3D AR navigation solutions for leading retailers.

Kris Kolo, Industry Expert & Global Executive Director of the VR/AR Association

KrisKolo.jpg

kris@thevrara.com  Linkedin  Twitter

Kris was an Advisor, Board Member, to FlyBy Media, an AR tech startup, acquired by Apple.  In addition, Kris was an executive at Toys R Us and Verizon.  At Toys R Us, Kris was working on digital in-store initiatives and shopping solutions, including AR with Metaio AR (acquired by Apple).  At Verizon, Kris was responsible for Media, Entertainment, and Location-Based apps & platforms; Kris was collaborating with Wikitude to integrate AR into Verizon's GPS Navigation. Kris also launched the Verizon Developer Program. As an entrepreneur, Kris was the Co-Founder of Spime Inc, a Silicon Valley startup acquired by Trimble. Kris holds graduate degrees from MIT. 

Chapter Presidents (Industry Experts) throughout the world help lead the Association

USA

Atlanta

BostonMike Festa mikefesta@thevrara.com LinkedIn

Mike Festa leads Wayfair’s research and development team, Wayfair Next, where he spearheads developments in AR, VR and 3D scanning. Also, he is the founder of Makefield.org – the virtual world that anyone can edit. Mike has a B.S. in Computer Science from The George Washington University, and studied Computer Science at the United States Air Force Academy.

Houston

New York City: Kris Kolo kris@thevrara.com Linkedin     Twitter

Kris was an Advisor, Board Member, to FlyBy Media, an AR tech startup, acquired by Apple. In addition, Kris was an executive at Toys R Us and Verizon. At Toys R Us, Kris was working on digital in-store initiatives and shopping solutions, including VR AR with Metaio.  At Verizon, Kris was responsible for Media, Entertainment, and Location-Based apps & platforms; Kris was collaborating with Wikitude to integrate AR Navigation into Verizon's GPS Navigation.  

Los Angeles

San Francisco: Mike Boland mike@thevrara.com - Linkedin

Mike Boland is the Chief Analyst & VP of Content at BIA/Kelsey, a leading analyst firm in digital and local media. Mike is known globally for his ability to MC events, interview some of the best minds in digital, and is an expert in the digital ecosystem on how VR and AR will impact business. 

St. Louis: Nathan Pettyjohn nathan@thevrara.com Linkedin

Nathan Pettyjohn is a technology entrepreneur with experience building teams in marketing, advertising, sales and mobile technology, and is currently the Founder and CEO of Aisle411, a global leading indoor location and mobile software company serving some of the world's largest retailers and brands. Aisle411 was an early augmented reality development partner of Google’s Project Tango solution in 2014, offering 3D AR navigation solutions for leading retailers, airports and other venues. Nathan is also the Founder & President of the VR/AR Association working to build the association into a world class organization providing value to all members and the VR & AR community.

Kentucky: David Pollock vrara-ky@kitestringviz.com LinkedIn

David is in Louisville, KY where there is a growing community around VR and AR, especially with the university presence in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH. David is the Managing Director of Kitestring Visuals, producing VR and 360 video content, among other things, for major Fortune 100 companies.  

Canada

Vancouver: Dan Burgar dan@thevrara.com Linkedin

Dan Burgar is the Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Archiact, North America's fastest growing and largest dedicated VR/MR content & strategy studio. Dan's an evangelist for VR/AR and MR technologies and his mission has been to continually advancing immersive technology as a productive tool that can change the world. His focus is educating and strategizing with Fortune 500 brands to help them roadmap for the future.

Europe

Amsterdam: Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh 

Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh is a Co-Founder at Virtuleap, a startup that offers immersive education by transforming content and tools developed in virtual reality. He is also the European Partner to Edoramedia, a full-service digital agency based in Dubai, and is a regular contributor to VentureBeat and TechCrunch.

London: Steve Dann steve.dann@gmail.com Linkedin 

Steve is the Founder & CEO of Amplified Robot, a leading development agency in augmented reality. Steve runs the London Augmented Reality MeetUp group and is known as one of the most connected persons in AR within the UK.

Barcelona

Sweden: Kristoffer Kosunen

Kristoffer works as a community manager for Lionbridge and is currently part of a project to moderate the community for HTC Vive in the Nordic region.

Vienna

 

New Zealand

 

China

Yiming Niu has been involved in the AR industry since 2010. He is now working as the director of China Augmented Reality Alliance (ARA) Secretariat and CTO of GallantAR. ARA was established on October 17, 2015 in Xi’an at the first Augmented World Expo Asia (AWE Asia ) which is the largest AR and VR conference in Asia. Yiming has established successful cooperative relations with overseas VR/AR companies and is the core partner of Super Ventures and AugmentedReality.org in the Greater China Region. As an expert in VR/AR industry, he has presented talks at major conferences such as AWE Asia, TFC, TED & . He is dedicated to promote the communication between Chinese VR/AR industry with the international VR/AR industry.
 

Middle East

UAE Dubai: Shujat Mirza shujat@thevrara.com  LinkedIn

Shujat is an ardent fan of AR and VR tech and ever since his introduction to AR in 2010, he has been following, preaching and propagating these new age technologies and its content very passionately over the years.

His career spans over 10 years while working with reputed media and advertising firms like WPP, Times Internet, Network18, Radio City to name few. He was Group Head for WPP for southern India before moving to Dubai and was the business head for ALIVE middle east, an AR platform from Times Of India Group in Dubai from 2015. He was at the helm of creating a very first AR campaign in middle for an FMCG major and has consulted the likes of Bosch, DFM, Nissan, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Ford and Range Rover.

Shujat has been collaborating with top media agencies in UAE as well to create traction and build a market for VR & AR technology.

 
 

Other Major Cities - Open Chapter President Positions

The ideal Chapter President will have knowledge of the VR and AR community within their city and have a network of thought leaders in the community. Your network does not necessarily need to be focused in VR and AR, but could be focused within digital media, entertainment, design or other marketplaces that benefit from the growth of VR and AR. 

Chapter President responsibilities typically require 2-5 hours per week of communication, coordinating events, facilitating new chapter member onboarding and overseeing research and case study initiatives. 

 

Industry Committees 

We are in the process of forming the Committees. More info here

 

Advisory Board

Asif Khan, Advisory Board Member Linkedin

AsifKhan_VRARA.jpg

Asif is the Founder and President of The Location Based Marketing Association (The LBMA). Asif is a veteran tech start-up, business-development and marketing entrepreneur with more than 15 years experience. He is currently focused on working as a consultant, educator and speaker to the location-based marketing services community.  You can listen to Asif's weekly podcast - This Week In Location-Based Marketing every Monday.

Phyllis Ellison, Advisory Board Member Linkedin

Phyllis is the Director of Entrepreneur Services and Institutional / Corporate Partnerships at Cortex, the Midwest’s premiere innovation hub of bioscience & technology research, development & commercialization, serving as the anchor of St. Louis’ growing ecosystem for innovative startup programs & established companies.