VRARA LA Presents: The Path to FundingThurs, Oct 256:30 – 9:30pm
Venue Info:5877 Rodeo RoadLos Angeles, CA 90016Parking: Look for signs on Rodeo & Jefferson Blvd for the parking lot, which is located off Corbett St. See the embedded map at the bottom of the doc for reference. Agenda:
- 6:30 – 7:00 pm Networking/Demos
- 7:00 – 7:15 pm Keynote Speaker
- 7:15 – 7:45 pm Investor Panel
- 8:00 – 8:30 pm Startup Pitches
- 8:30 – 9:30 pm Networking/DemosSpeaker Info
Keynote: Morgan Mercer, Vantage Point
Morgan Mercer is the founder of the VR-based enterprise training company, Vantage Point. Vantage Point’s suite of immersive training tools is initially aiming at tackling anti-sexual harassment training with plans of expansion into unconscious bias and managerial training. Mercer was recently regarded as one of the Top 10 Female Tech Innovators [in history] by TechRadar and has been featured in 3+ dozen publications including WIRED, The Guardian, and NPR.
Panel Moderator: Jason McDowall, The AR Show
Jason is a serial entrepreneur – first in mobile, later in AI-assisted CRM. He also spent several years at Salesforce.com. Today he’s a VP at a company addressing one of the most fundamental challenges of see-through AR smartglasses: the underlying visual engine. Jason is also an active angel investor and the host of the premier podcast focused on augmented reality called The AR Show.
Panelist: Martina Welkhoff, The WXR Fund
Martina Welkhoff is a serial entrepreneur and investor with growth and acquisition experience. She’s a Founding Partner at the WXR Fund, a venture fund focused on women-led AR/VR companies, and a Venture Partner at Jump Canon, a San Francisco fund focused on underrepresented founders in emerging tech.
She is a board member of Seattle Angel and advisor to 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. Martina is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council, and an alumna of the Schusterman Foundation REALITY program.
Panelists: Marco DeMiroz, The Venture Reality Fund
Marco is the co-founder and a general partner of The Venture Reality Fund, where he oversees the company’s investments in early-stage augmented/mixed/virtual reality, as well as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain startups.
He has extensive experience in executive roles with leading technology companies and in global investments. Marco has focused on strategic investments across media, entertainment, lifestyle, sports and technology with firms most recently with Evolution Media Capital, where he led its investment in JauntVR. In addition to his role at The VR Fund, Marco actively advises numerous media and technology companies in the VR and AR sectors and has been collaborating in the formation of the Women in XR (“WXR”) Fund.
Panelist: Lara Jeremko, Beyond Ventures
Lara Jeremko is Founder & Managing Partner of Beyond Ventures, a venture capital firm and content production studio focused on responsible innovation. She is an early stage angel investor and producer of JOBSOLETE, a documentary film exploring automation and the future of work. Most recently, Lara was Prize Lead for the XR Education Prize Challenge funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Lara has served as a Strategic Advisor to prominent venture capital funds including Foundry Group Next, Techstars, and Pivotal Ventures.
Panelist: Teppei Tsutsui, GFR Fund
As an active investor for the past decade, Teppei Tsutsui is the CEO and Managing Director of GFR Fund. Having led several key investments and acquisitions in Tokyo, including GREE’s acquisitions of OpenFeint and Funzio, Teppei is currently leading GFR Fund in San Francisco. Prior to working for GREE, Teppei was key to advising M&A strategy at Morgan Stanley, where his strength in the Asian market and as an investor grew. He also worked in Japan in business development at Mitsubishi Corporation.
Panelist: Kevin Zhang, Upfront Ventures
Kevin joined Upfront Ventures in 2012. Most recently, Kevin was at Boston Consulting Group, where he advised on strategy and operations for technology, healthcare, and industrial goods clients in the US and Asia and conducted due diligence for private equity investors. Previously, Kevin worked at Verisk Health, a healthcare IT startup in Boston, focusing on project management, product development, and consulting for strategic accounts.