Team & Chapters

We have the mission & passion for accelerating smart growth at a global scale for the VR AR industry. We are a global team with Chapters in major cities around the world to help you locally and connect you to global opportunities. 

Chapters are run by a Chapter President whose responsibilities include hosting chapter events and connecting members. Chapters offer face-to-face networking at local events, and the global network of chapters connects the best people and companies anywhere.

In addition, via our initiatives Industry CommitteestheDirectoryTraining ProgramUniversity Partner Program, and Resources we connect cross vertical knowledge, help members accelerate their go-to-market strategy, and connect you with the best solution providers for your use case. See all the benefits here.

 

Advisory Board

Cathy Hackl

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.03.12 PM.png

Cathy is a renowned speaker and expert in the immersive industry. NBC News named Hackl as one of the top Latina women working in VR.  She is currently lead futurist at You Are Here Labs, a founding member of the VR/AR Association. Previously, Hackl worked with HTC - helping to launch the company's Vive Pro VR headset. In the past, she worked as chief communications officer for Future Lighthouse, one of the world’s leading cinematic VR studios and was also selected as an Oculus Launchpad fellow in 2017. Hackl also counseled UPS as a VR expert during the launch of the VR driving training program. Prior to joining the VR/AR industry, Hackl, an Emmy nominated communicator, worked in marketing and public relations, as well as with media outlets like CNN, ABC News and Discovery Communications.

 

Greg Jones, Google

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.03.19 PM.png

Greg joined Google in 2010, where he led a broad range of growth strategy projects with YouTube, Google Travel, etc. In early 2013, he joined the SMB Acquisitions team to lead New Business Sales (NBS), which targets the highest potential new Google advertising customers. In two years, he grew NBS 300% to a global team of ~400 people in 22 offices serving over 50 countries generating over $1.8B in annualized revenue and growing over 80% annually. In 2015, Greg joined Google Play to develop the GTM strategy for a major APAC country, and in 2016, he joined the Daydream (VR) team to lead Tango (AR) business and operations.

Executive Team

Nathan Pettyjohn Founder & President nathan@thevrara.com

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.03.25 PM.png

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 Global Executive Director kris@thevrara.com  Twitter   Blog

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.03.32 PM.png

Kris was an executive at Verizon and Toys R Us, applying AR technology to common use cases.  At Toys R Us, Kris was working on digital in-store initiatives and shopping solutions, incorporating AR from Metaio (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.  In addition, Kris was an Advisor, Board Member, to FlyBy Media, an AR tech startup, acquired by Apple. As an entrepreneur, Kris was the Co-Founder of Spime Inc, a Silicon Valley startup acquired by Trimble.  And, Kris published the ground-breaking book, Local Positioning Systems, on mapping and location-based services, and was granted seven patents. Kris holds graduate degrees from MIT. 

 

Anne-Marie Enns Global Sponsorship Director & Executive Producer, VR/AR Global Summit am@thevrara.com

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 2.03.39 PM.png

Anne-Marie Enns is an award-winning Event Producer located in Vancouver, BC.  Anne-Marie is proud to be the Executive Producer of the VR/AR Global Summit, hosted by the VRARA.  It will be the Pacific Northwest's largest VR/AR/MR Conference and Expo.  Anne-Marie also serves on the Board of the Vancouver Chapter of the VR/AR Association.  She is passionate about the VR/AR/MR space and bringing local and international talent and companies into the global spotlight. She has worked in the past on world-class events such as CVR, TED Conferences, Honda Celebration of Light and CANFAR’s Bloor Street Entertains, to name a few.  Anne-Marie moved into the tech sector when she relocated to Vancouver from Toronto in 2012.  She was a founding partner of HackerNest Vancouver, a popular meetup, that now is located in 30+ cities across the globe.  She is the Founder of Pulledin Productions, an event company specializing in tech events and live productions.

Chapters Presidents

 

USA

Atlanta John Buzzell john@thevrara.com 

John Buzzell is an award winning 27-year veteran of the digital industry, creating interactive experiences in Augmented and Virtual Reality, Videogames, Mobile apps, and numerous high-volume Websites. At YOU ARE HERE, Buzzell leads teams that create meaningful and measurable experiences across all platforms. Clients include AT&T, Porsche, Cartoon Network, Lexus, the NBA, Carnival Cruises, Coca-Cola, Aflac, Southern Company and the National Safety Council. Career highlights include roles at Adult Swim, NASCAR.com & PGA.com, Discovery, Sony, AOL, Sprint, Comcast, and for the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Access the Atlanta Chapter Page here

Austin (Chapter President position available)

 

Boston Mike Festa mikefesta@thevrara.com 

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. Access the Boston Chapter Page here.

Chicago Tracey Wiedmeyer tracey@thevrara.com

Tracey is co-founder and CTO of Chicago based InContext Solutions, leaders in VR solutions for some of the worlds largest retailers and brands. Their ShopperMX platform has revolutionized retail planning and go to market approaches using simulated market research and VR. Through partners and investors like Intel, ShopperMX is changing the economics of retail. Tracey leads product development, engineering and works with a small R&D team committed to changing the industry using both AR and VR technologies.  Tracey spends  time in both InContext's Chicago and Milwaukee offices and works with and advised start ups and entrepreneurs in both cities.  He's an avid speaker at industry conferences and believes in the promotion of AR and VR's long game. Access the Chicago Chapter Page here.

Cleveland Reynaldo Zabala, reynaldo@thevrara.com

Reynaldo is a passionate tech strategist and enterprise software developer who began his career with Accenture’s Microsoft Solutions Organization back in 2000 focusing on large scale eCommerce platform and ERP system integration projects. Reynaldo launched RazorEdge in 2007 to provide enterprise and mid-market B2B companies with process and technology re-engineering solutions aimed at exploiting market opportunities and driving cost efficiency. For over 17 years, he has excelled as a technology executive, chief software architect and enterprise technology consultant for companies ranging in size from startups to global multinationals with over $32B in top line growth. Reynaldo’s current passion is working to restore Cleveland Ohio's position as a leading city of technological innovation. He is the co-founder of CLEVR, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve Cleveland's socioeconomic conditions by channeling the ingenuity of Clevelanders towards the creation of high demand AR/VR based content, products and services. Access the Chapter Page here.

Dallas Veena Somareddy veena@thevrara.com 

Veena leads the research and development work at NeuroRehabVR, a VR health start-up aimed at building software and games for patients with neurological disorders. She is a software developer with more than 5 years of experience creating games and experiences in VR and AR. She has a BS in Computer Science and a Masters in Game Design and Development from UTDallas. She has years of industry experience working for large and small start ups creating VR experiences. While leading the creation of therapy tools and games at NeuroRehabVR full time, she is also pursuing her PhD with her research work concentrated in applications of VR in the medical domain. She is also the co-organizer of the Women in VR - Dallas chapter, focusing on mentor-ship, skill development and building a community of talented individuals who are enthusiastic about being a part of this emerging industry. Access the Chapter Page here.

DC Tyler Gates tyler@thevrara.com

Tyler is the Managing Principal at Brightline Interactive and a visionary for the applications of VR/AR technology for enterprise and branding solutions. Over the past several years, Tyler evolved Brightline's interactive digital marketing competency by transforming client needs into tangible concepts and ideas through the use of VR/AR technology. He has adapted Brightline’s highly immersive and interactive VR solutions to create projects for customers ranging from training and simulations for government agencies to virtual autographs for major sporting facilities. Recently winning a Davey award for their AR activation for Suicide Squad at Comic Con, Brightline has quickly been gaining national acknowledgement of being a top producer of end-to-end ideation, development and installation of VR/AR technology.  

Detroit David Pollock david@thevrara.com & Steve Dantas stevedantas@thevrara.com

David is the Managing Partner at mirari.  For 20 years. David has assisted intelligent Agencies, Brands and Enterprise clients apply 3D, emerging and digital transformation technologies, products and services to their businesses. From self-funded start-ups, VC funded and F500 companies, he has assisted Automotive, Aviation, Defense and Consumer Products companies to innovate and transform their digital business thru online and experiential executions. 

Steve is the CEO and co-founder of Digityll, a Detroit-based digital transformation advisory. Steve is also Founder and CEO of Voxxelerate, a global network agency focused on helping brands utilize VR and AR optimally to drive higher brand recall and conversions. Until recently, Steve was the Chief Customer Officer at Vectorform, a cutting edge invention company and prior to that, Steve was part of SapientRazorfish’s global leadership team, exponentially growing revenues and delivering great work to clients such as FCA, Unilever, Singapore Airlines, LMVH, RBS, among others. Steve is very active in helping startups succeed and is a well-known speaker and coach on Digital Transformation using innovation and emerging tech.           

Houston Chad Modad chad@thevrara.com   

Chad is a technology executive and entrepreneur with a background in software systems (embedded, real-time, OS, mobile, and web), product development, and building businesses with a career that spans 25 years in a diverse set of industries (human space flight, telecommunications, defense, oil and gas, computer manufacturing, management consulting, and automation systems).  Chad got his start in VR as far back as 1991 as part of a NASA project to better train astronauts and then later as part of the University of Houston’s Research Park developing VR applications.  Today Chad is the Chief Innovation Officer for a Digital Agency that focuses on the application of technology in the framework of Human Centric Design to help industrial companies on their Digital Transformation journey.  Chad is also an active member of the Houston VR Meetup Group and founded one of Houston’s first VR Arcades, Omniverse VR.  Chad has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Houston, and an MBA from Rice University.  Chad enjoys good food and plays bad golf.    

Kentucky Izzy House izzy@thevrara.com

For over 23 years, Izzy has provided marketing strategies and award-winning graphic design for more than 600 clients. Mixing public affairs expertise with new emerging technologies, she strives to provide businesses with a competitive edge by creating events and new opportunities. She specializes in building corporate branding, developing traditional and digital advertising materials, creating and promoting events, designing product lines for national and international markets, managing websites, producing video, and shaping social media campaigns. She toured as a guest speaker and taught small business owners how to implement marketing strategies.

Las Vegas Christopher Crescitelli cc@thevrara.com 

Dreamland founder Christopher Crescitelli has been a career freelance creative artist, writer, producer, and director for 28 years. His creative collaborations cover the spectrum of artistic expression from film, television, and theatrical stage productions to newly emerging location based VR entertainment projects.

LA Josephine Munis josephine@thevrara.com LinkedIn Twitter

Josephine Munis is the Director of Marketing Strategy & Media Relations for Candy Lab, Inc., an LA Orange County based location-based AR company. She is an avid speaker on AR and leads discussions in what location-based is and how brands can use it to increase user-engagement and brand awareness. Prior to joining Candy Lab, she spent her career creating digital campaigns for companies industry leaders in the technology, healthcare and finance industry. Access the LA Chapter Page here.

Miami Michelle McKoy michelle@thevrara.com

Michelle is the co-founder of Miami VR Expo and VR enthusiast. Considered an “ideas merchant”, Michelle is a dynamic and results-driven marketing, public relations and communications executive with over 15 years of experience impacting organization’s presence and performance. An influential professional with notable success in business development, branding and execution of public relations, and community liaison campaigns, she maintains an entrepreneurial mindset with a global vision. Michelle is a proven leader with the ability to deliver results in high-pressure situations. A strategic thinker with expertise in educational program management, research and coordinating outreach initiatives. She has a passion for the creatives: arts, film, tech and culture.

NYC Kris Kolo kris@thevrara.com LinkedIn Twitter

Kris is an advisor to VR AR startups, including FlyBy Media (acquired by Apple). Kris was an executive at Toys R Us and Verizon. At Toys R Us, Kris was working on digital in-store initiatives and shopping AR solutions.  At Verizon, Kris was responsible for Media, Entertainment, and Location-Based apps & platforms.  Access the NYC Chapter Page here.

Orlando  (Chapter President position available)

 

Richmond Edwin Huertas edwin@thevrara.com

Edwin serves as CEO of Shockoe, a Mobile Development & Consulting firm in Richmond, VA. Edwin is a hands-on executive officer known for strategic and focused approach, with extensive accolades for limiting risk, creating lean teams, and establishing creative strategies for optimizing internal operations, financial returns and external customer service. With a solid software engineering background and over 20 years of experience, Edwin has applied his extensive knowledge to a wide variety of industries, earning Shockoe the 499th position in the Inc 5000 list in 2017.

San Francisco Mike Boland email & Emily Olman email

Mike Boland was one of Silicon Valley's first tech reporters of the internet age, as a staff reporter for Forbes (print) starting in 2000. He is currently Chief Analyst of BIA/Kelsey and San Francisco Chapter President of VRARA.  Mike is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and author of analytical reports on the changing tech & media landscape, including VR/AR. He contributes regularly to highly-read online news sources such as TechCrunch, Business Insider and the Huffington Post. A trusted source for tech journalists, his comments have appeared in A-list publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and The New York Times. 

Emily Olman is a veteran of the video game and Japanese anime industries where she spent a decade pioneering and monetizing new media for print, digital, cable and video on demand. Olman founded Hopscotch Interactive in 2015 to promote extraordinary spaces in 3D and VR. They are a Matterport Service Partner, and media affiliate for numerous emerging technologies in 3D/VR/AR/360° with operators in the Bay Area, Orange County, and Berlin. Hopscotch Interactive seeks to disrupt industries that rely on traditional marketing media and unlock the potential that VR/AR/MR enable. She is a VR and AR evangelist and travels to Asia and Europe scouting out new VR/AR solutions and exploring the frontier of new media.  

Access the SF Chapter Page here.

Seattle Nirav Desai nirav@thevrara.com

Nirav S. Desai is a Chief Technologist in Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group where he leads the firm’s Immersive technology strategy and the firm's Seattle Innovation Hub. In these roles, he works with corporate innovation labs, government research centers, universities, and startup incubators and accelerators, to identify edge technologies that address challenging use-cases. Through partnership, custom development, and community engagement, he has helped migrate gaming experiences to the enterprise, from visualizing medical data in Mixed Reality to helping the undersea mission planning in VR.

Mr. Desai keeps on the cutting edge of technology through serving as a Startup Mentor for TechStars Seattle, a leading startup accelerator, and as an Innovation Co-Chair for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, with a focus on helping states and municipalities embrace disruption and position for the future economy. He also has an Affiliate Associate Professor appointment with the University of Washington’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

St. Louis Matt Kulig Matt@thevrara.com

Matt is the Co-Founder of Aisle411. Serial entrepreneur, MBA, and executive manager, Matt brings 30 years of experience in company formation, market research, financial creation and analysis, fund raising, competitive strategy, and a strong passion to any interesting business concept he decides to be a part of. Matt has been involved in many start-ups over his career involving network technology, product development and internet business companies.  Matt has served in many roles to manage companies from ideas to revenues. Excited by recent changes in innovation including AR, VR, blockchain, indoor navigation, and 3D modeling, Matthew believes the mobile technology is at a very exciting time.  

Utah Jon Cheney jon@thevrara.com  and Amit Goyal amit@thevrara.com

Jon is the CEO and founder of Seek. Seek is often referred to as the YouTube of AR—a central, open platform where anyone can publish, share and discover augmented reality content. Seek has over 20 employees and is located in Lehi, UT. A longtime tech enthusiast and entrepreneur, Jon leads the vision and strategy of Seek. Having started several small companies and been part of the management team of other startups in the tech industry, Jon’s specialty is in business development and sales. 

Canada

Alberta Alex Jackson a.jackson@thevrara.com

Alex is the CEO and founder of Hone Virtual Education Ltd. Alex hails from a background in Emergency Services.  As a dual-trained Firefighter/Paramedic he has experience on both sides of emergency response.  Hone is delivering virtual and augmented realities to create highly immersive training experiences for First Responder’s and Healthcare Professionals. His passion for science and technology has driven Alex to advocate for the applications of AR/VR in Emergency Services and Public Safety. VR and AR technology will profoundly change the way First Responders prepare and perform when dealing with emergencies. Founding the Alberta Chapter of the VR/AR Association, the vision is to connect and grow our provincial technology ecosystem while helping drive mainstream adoption of VR and AR technologies.

Montreal Waël Chanab wael@thevrara.com

Waël is the president and cofounder of Imagine360, an award winning Montreal based immersive marketing and interactive media firm, established in the domain since 2012. His passion for innovation and storytelling has led him and his company to produce over 100+ high-end turnkey VR, AR projects, Mixed reality experiences (MR),  integrating virtual tours, 360 videos, creation of VR/AR apps, photogrammetry scans, 360 HDRi, virtual galleries, aerial videos and VR real-time rendering compatible with all the latest virtual reality headsets.

Toronto Paul Rothbein (Rock) paul@thevrara.com  

Paul Rock is a co-founder of Another Reality.  A soon to be launched theme park in Greater Toronto Area powered by Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.  Paul has dedicated the last 2 and a half years organizing Meetups and popups as a way to bring non-geeks into the world of Virtual Reality.  While also dedicating time and money researching consumer behavior and adaptation for VR/AR technology

Vancouver Dan Burgar dan@thevrara.com

Dan 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. Access the Vancouver Chapter Page here.

Europe  

Austria (Chapter President position available)

Barcelona Jordi Alonso jordi@thevrara.com

Jordi is currently the Head of XR (VR/AR/MR) at Mediapro and was part of the R&D team that developed the Stereoscopic Image Processor technology to produce real time corrected 3D content (live football matches, live concerts, and the World Cup of Surf). While at the R&D team he was part of AutomaticTV, the automatic TV production system, and before that, he worked as one of the workpage leaders of the European Research projects 20/20 3D Media and Project FINE (volumetric video in real time). Before joining Mediapro he worked for Netscape and Sun Microsystems, and as entrepreneur, he funded 5 companies, the first when he was 20 year old. He is B.Sc in Computer Science, M.A in Computer Animation and M.Sc in Photonics. Access the Barcelona Chapter page here

Belgium Cederik Haverbeke cederik@thevrara.com 

Cederik is the co-founder of Edorble, an educational VR platform that lets you gather in 3D environments with your students, peers or colleagues in an avatar based experience. You can either use pre-made environments, or the Edorble Creator Tools for Unity 3D to design your own environments. He combines a technical background with international project management experience at DHL logistics and the European Commission. He has broad experience with virtual environments, gaming, and network effects.

Berlin (Chapter President position available)

Finland Santtu Parikka santtu@thevrara.com

Santtu is the CEO, Fake Production Santtu has long history in CGI content creation. 3D graphics, films, games, advertising, AR,VR... Before founding Fake, Santtu was one of the founders of Hybrid Graphics (Nvidia Finland). Santtu is an entrepreneur and investor in a few computer graphics related companies and mentors start ups. Access the Birmingham Chapter Page here

Hamburg Philip Wogart philip@thevrara.com

Philip Wogart is co-founder at HEADGEAR, a VR/AR boutique studio focused on Gaming, Marketing and Education/Training experiences. HEADGEAR has gathered mobile, 3D and 360 experts together to produce the best app experiences for mobile and standalone HMDs. His varied background includes product evangelism and consulting for SaaS online marketing platforms; games producer on mobile/social apps; and software development used in Blu-ray discs. These experiences above are coupled with a degree in Fine Arts & Film as well as a Masters in Virtual Environments.  Access the Hamburg Chapter Page here

Lisbon Luís Martins luis@thevrara.com and Tiago Loureiro tiago@thevrara.com

Luis heads the Marketing of IT People Group's NextReality since 2015, Portugal’s largest AR software provider. Prior to that, and since the early 00’s, Luis founded an internet company that later generated a second Internet business having won Launchpad Denmark Young Talents Award. Luis has been leading, advising and coaching Internet businesses since the early 00’s when he also worked for KPMG having provided training and advise in eCommerce to over 100 individuals within the Internet Industry. Luis published an How-to book on AR on Amazon, and has presented on AR at multiple conferences and workshops.

Currently Managing Director of Collide, Tiago is am experienced entrepreneur with a Computer Science background, specialized in Artificial Intelligence. With more than 20 years of experience in ICT, where the last 13 have been spent working on the video games industry, Tiago is a key figure in the Portuguese video games development scene, a member of the Nordic Educators Group and has been doing consultancy work for the games industry in the US and Europe. Tiago has also published games that now have more than 11M DAU, co-coordinates a BA degree in video games at Universidade Lusófona in Portugal and is a guest speaker in many industry related events.

London Steve Dann steve@thevrara.com & Jeremy Dalton jeremy@thevrara.com 

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

Jeremy leads PwC's VR/AR proposition, helping clients understand and quantify the benefits of VR & AR technology. On a personal level, Jeremy is invested (both mentally and financially) in VR and AR. He believes these technologies will play a significant role in how we live and work in the future. He’ll also tell this to anybody who will listen and has spoken at conferences and festivals across the world from SXSW in Austin to the Battle of Ideas in London. 

Access the London Chapter Page here

Madrid Carlos Ochoa carlos@thevrara.com

Carlos is an Engineer & Entrepreneur with over 30 years of international experience in the Innovation & New Advance Digital Technologies Industry, leading successful organizations (Siemens, Sagentia, Altran, Eptron, eLearning Consulting). Carlos was engaged in several EU R&D programs in collaboration with organizations in the European Union, in the fields of VR & AR.  Today´s Carlos is Founder & CEO of ONE Digital Consulting, a VR/AR technology based SmartEducationLabs platform to help the transformation of the educational community. Carlos is the Co-Chair of VRARA Education Committee, Member of Smart Cities Experts Group of AENOR and Board Member of different EU ITC Associations.

Milan Mauro Rubin mauro@thevrara.com

Mauro is the CEO of JoinPad, an AR company. Mauro developed his first program in basic language when he was eleven years old, discovering the passion that would have stayed with him for the rest of his life. From 1998 to 2001 he taught skydiving in the Italian Army and he experienced for the first time the VR simulator for paratroopers. In December 2010, he founded JoinPad; Its core competence is developing and supporting applications for the industrial sector. In 2015, Mauro became the first Smart Glasses Evangelist for Epson.

Munich Thomas Fickert thomas@thevrara.com

Thomas is Founder & CEO of DEXPERIO, a Munich-based company providing services, solutions and platforms for smart digital experiences based on immersive media and AR/MR/VR technologies. He is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the areas of IT, interactive media, online, mobile and immersive computing. Thomas successfully founded six companies including one of the first German online agencies and worked also 10 years for Microsoft Germany. 

Netherlands Amsterdam Corinne Avelines corinne.avelines@thevrara.com 

Corinne is currently Global Head of Digital & eCommerce at AkzoNobel, a paint & coating global leader of 14B euros revenue (2016). One of her responsibilities is the Visualizer App, an award-winning AR app that enables people to virtually recolor their walls as many times as they want before applying any drop of paint. The branded app has been downloaded already 17M time in more than 120 countries.

Norway Håvard Røste havard@thevrara.co Twitter

Håvard has nearly 20 years of experience in the intersection between technology, digital media and communication. He is passionate about digital innovation and is currently working as a project manager for “The Hamar Region Development” - a regional business development agency located in Hamar, just over one hour north of the capital Oslo. Håvard has experience from business development and leadership fields as co-founder of several companies and roles like managing director and PR chief.

Paris (Chapter President position available)

 

Romania Cesar Matias cesar@thevrara.com and Adela Bulic adela@thevrara.com

Cesar founded Smart Achievement, a management consulting boutique that specialises in developing business for high-tech start-ups and SMEs. His interests include VR/AR and IoT. In 2016 he co-founded, via Smart Achievement, Aromni, an AR company founded by three Industry veterans that pioneered VR/AR back in the 00’s, focusing on developing AR products for smart cities, theme parks, among other verticals. With an engineering degree from The University of Manchester, UK, his varied background includes product development, marketing and sales, and he has previously worked with ARM in the IoT space.

Adela is a marketing and communications executive with extensive tactical know-how and critical hands-on expertise in hospitality development, franchise operation and the performance of luxury brands. Passionate about AR / VR technology as the ultimate engaging platform to tell a brand story, Adela believes that exploiting AR in creative industries can be as effective as a 360ᵒ campaign, and as limitless as imagination. A brand strategist and co-founder of VRARA Romania, she is working to help companies in the Media and Advertising, Real-Estate development and Hospitality market, as well as professionals active in content creation, Travel industry and smart cities projects unlock the potential of using new technology to create complete and immersive experiences for their audience.

You can access the Romania Chapter page here

Russia Alexander Lavrov alexander@thevrara.com and Michael Doudy michael@thevrara.com

Alexander is the CEO & co-founder at Vizerra, leading developer of interactive visual communications software. He has worked in computer graphics area since 1998. In the year 2008 he became co-founder and CTO at Vizerra. Nowadays Vizerra has huge portfolio of 3d interactive software developed for large scale business like National Geographic, Sberbank, Gazprom, Hermitage museum and many others. 

Michael is the co-founder of VR Otaku, a VR/AR startup focused on conducting gap analysis and connecting VR/AR companies around the globe. Having a passion in engineering and humanities, as well as recently relocating from the U.S. to Russia gives Michael a unique opportunity to connect communities, understand different perspectives, and spark growth. Michael is extremely excited for the future of VR - the ability to let our imaginations run wild and bring creativity to a whole new level. 

Sweden (Chapter President position available)

 

Switzerland Corinne Oschwald corinne@thevrara.com 

Corinne is co-founder of We Are Cinema, Switzerlands first Virtual Reality Cinema and the biggest VR Cinema Chain so far. Corinne is an entrepreneur, and has working experiences in marketing, PR and business development in different industries. She has a huge network among Switzerland, and as an early adaptor also in the VR/AR scene. Corinne is a VR/AR believer and thinks in terms of making VR/AR a really big thing, we all should cooperate and work together! She is extremly excited to see the VR/AR community growing and is happy to help everyone entering the industry. 

Asia

China Xi'An Yiming Niu yiming@thevrara.com

Yiming 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.

China Shenzhen Paola Paulino paola@thevrara.com

Paola is the Director of (VR/AR) Immersive Technology Education for ISNS IB World School, based in Shenzhen. Paola launched one of world's first VR Pilots in IB World Education. She is an avid speaker on room scale VR in education and leads workshops for education professionals on VR/AR. Her focus is empowering educators to implement immersive tech in the classroom. Prior to joining ISNS IB World School, she spent her career as a 3D technical designer and 3D animator on Hololens R&D projects and game development at leading tech/game industry studios. Platforms include: #Hololens #XboxOne #XBLA #Kinect. Access the Chapter Page here.

Japan Alex (Ariro) Nagayama alex@thevrara.com 

Alex Nagayama is co-founder and CEO of Capita Inc. a consulting and advisory company helping start-ups in Japan. He has a couple of decades of experience in the computer and mobile games industry serving at C-level positions for EA and Activision in Japan. Alex has also advised some very successful start-ups go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange - HI Corp, Acrodea and a number of others. Currently Alex is the Senior Advisor for Dazzle Inc, a company that has grown to be one of the top VR start ups in Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Keio University in Tokyo.

Singapore (Chapter President position available)

India

Bangalore Stafford Michahial stafford@thevrara.com

Stafford is currently VP of Product Development at Kaaya Tech - a Silicon Valley/Mysore based Casual Reality company. He is involved in Design and Development of Holosuit, a smart tracksuit which weaves mixed, virtual, augmented realities with fashion and fitness & AI trainer technologies.  He is pursuing Phd in field of Medical Image Processing form VTU and has obtained Master of Technology in Digital Electronics and Communication form VTU, karnataka, India. He was an Assistant Professor in Department of Electronics Instrumentation, GSSSIETW, Mysuru for 4 years. He has Conducted several National level Workshops, Competitions and Conferences in the field of Robotics and Embedded Systems. 

New Delhi Ramesh K Verma ramesh@thevrara.com

Ramesh has over four decades of entrepreneurial & techno-managerial international experience in the field of ICT and Skills Development, focussed on IT for the masses. Ramesh worked as Strategic Consultant for Training & Employability solutions to Reliance Infocomm & Future Sharp Skills Limited, an NSDC & Future Group joint initiative. He has been an evangelist for technology based simulations, working on some battle games prototyping and then developing prototypes for skills training for Retail associates and Electricians using Xbox and Kinect in 2012.

Mumbai Trevor Pereira trevor@thevrara.com

Trevor is currently the CEO of Voxxeltek Labs - a global company with insights into cutting-edge, current and future tech, that renders services and builds products in the realm of emerging technologies. He is also the CEO of Blackworld Communications Studio – an agency that specializes in experiential events, communication design and social media marketing that helps brand by creating thoughtful designs, crafting events that inspire memorable experiences and by leading conversations and making brands relevant on social.  Over the years he has developed strong client relationships, having worked on top-notch brands such as Cadbury, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Kodak, Nerolac, Prudential ICICI, Mercedes, Pantene, Apple, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Capgemini, KPMG, Barclays, among others. 

South India Dr. Mathi Chandra mathi@thevrara.com

Dr. Mathi is the Founder & CEO of Hi-Tech Company Software Solutions Chennai Pvt. Ltd. (HTSS). Dr. Mathi’s strong technical and efficient management skills helped his teams to work in various domains which includes CAD Customization, ERP Customization, Cloud Computing, Web & Mobile App dev. He has a rich international business experience with strong presence in Japan & Singapore and has business association in China, UAE, Hong Kong, Europe & Mauritius and he is a frequent visitor to most of these countries. Dr. Mathi is leading his team in HTSS to explore & develop apps in evolving “Virtual and Augmented Reality” domain to cater their clients with the latest trends in the IT industry.

Middle East

Israel Miki Levy miki@thevrara.com  

Miki is the CEO of VRhealth Group, an Israeli based company that develops medical VR solutions. VRhealth Group is one of the first companies in the world to develop a data driven VR rehabilitation platform called VRPhysio. Miki has a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering and an M.A in Military Operational Art and Science from U.S Air University. Before joining the startup scene, he held executive and command positions in the IAF as an F-16 pilot, so he knows a thing or two about HMD’s and computer-generated reality.

UAE Dubai Shujat Mirza shujat@thevrara.com 

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. Access the Dubai Chapter Page here.

Australia & New Zealand

New Zealand (Chapter President position available)

Perth Ali Fardinpour ali@thevrara.com and Ben Bauert ben@thevrara.com

Ali holds a PhD from Curtin University. He is a research scientist in the field of Immersive Technologies in Learning and Assessment. His current research focus and interests are in action-based learning and assessment in virtual training environments, the use of immersive technologies in health professions education and special needs education. He also is an adjunct researcher at Curtin Learning and Teaching.  

Ben is the founder and CEO of Unleashed VR.  Unleashed VR creates virtual reality training programs that help people improve the non-technical skills critical to their success at work.  The company has been building an immersive training methodology that specifically focuses on the development of these workplace behaviours and soft skills.

Sydney Pradeep Khanna pradeep@thevrara.com 

Pradeep is Founder CEO of consulting company Global Mindset (GM) focused on leveraging globalisation & digitisation for Learning & Working. He has a special interest and focus on emerging technologies including VR/AR/MR, AI, WT.  Pradeep has been a leader for IBM GBS Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) leveraging India, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Romania, Brazil. He has worked on assignments for IBM, Australian Trade Commission, Optus, Westpac, Qantas, ING, Crompton Greaves and many more organisations. He has over 30 years of executive & management experience across a number of industries.  He is an Adjunct Professor/Visiting Faculty at number of institutions in Australia, Singapore & India. Pradeep is a speaker at many international conferences. In 2016, Pradeep has presented in Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, New Delhi, Toronto, Sydney & Singapore.  Pradeep is a member of Executive Panel of Global Consulting Companies and Open Colleges Industry Advisory Panel. He has studied MBA from AGSM (UNSW), M.Sc, Computer Science from UTS, & B Tech from IIT Delhi.

 
 

Other

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.