Speakers 2018

Naomi Assaraf
Naomi Assaraf

CMO

Naomi Assaraf is co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of cloudHQ, a tech startup that makes Gmail add-on tools for clients like Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb. In the last 2 years at cloudHQ, she increased user acquisition by a factor of 9. Her main focus is growth, obsessing over the process of growing startups to their profitability stage. She’s since done so for each of her 3 companies since her first one at age 17; which resulted in an exit. She mentors other startups on growth, is a global keynote speaker, and is a blog contributor for the Huffington Post. She’s also an administrator of ARVR Women and Allies, and co-founded a Restorative Justice group in partnership with Berkeley University in order to create a virtual safe space for women engineers in the VR industry. Her most current interests revolve around virtual reality and 3D art asset marketplaces on the blockchain.  

Information about Naomi Assaraf's session will follow soon.

Doug Bester
Doug Bester

Doug has spent many years using technology to improve and optimise production processes. He strongly believes that Perth is ideally positioned to leverage Australia’s natural resources, local talent and global companies to create sustainable world class services and product offerings. As the founder of Sentient Computing he has successfully combined gaming technology with a local workforce into a unique, unorthodox and resilient company.

Information about Doug Bester's session will follow soon.

Steye Hallema
Steye Hallema

Steye is director, composer and inventor, Having a background in computer animation, music, theatre and tech gives him the ability to combine the many different disciplines that make up Virtual Reality. Steye always goes beyond the gimmick of a technology and has shown to propel storytelling in every piece of VR he made. By drawing methods from choreography, composition and animation Steye developed methodologies to direct in such a way that his experiences have clearly worked out looking directions and pace that makes the viewers sit on the edge of their (swivel) chairs.

Information about Steye Hallema's session will follow soon.

David Karlak
David Karlak

David Karlak is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2010. Karlak directed the short film The Candidate that went on to make the prestigious Viewfinder List in 2011 and played at film festivals around the world. Following the success of The Candidate, Karlak sold an original sci-fi pitch to Warner Brothers titled “RISE” with Roy Lee producing, and then a second original pitch titled Outliers to 20th Century Fox with Peter Chernin producing. Karlak is attached to direct both films.

In recent years, Karlak has been exploring the use of virtual reality to tell compelling narratives, having directed a virtual reality experience set in the world of “RISE” which premiered it at the Storyscapes series at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 and a custom VR experience for BMW’s design team in Munich. Mixing his love for storytelling with technology, Karlak has been working to help develop new virtual reality production tools and software as the Creative Director at Nurulize, a virtual reality software company based in downtown Los Angeles.

In May 2017, Karlak directed a fully immersive VR experience for Alien: Covenant called “In Utero”, with Ridley Scott overseeing as executive producer, in partnership with 20th Century Fox’s FoxNext, RSA VR and Technicolor’s MPC.

Karlak was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Mexico City.

Information about David Karlak's session will follow soon.

Cody Karutz
Cody Karutz

Founder

Hailed by The New Yorker as, "a mellow, collegiate blond in jeans and flip-flops," Cody Karutz has over a decade of virtual reality experience. During his six years at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, he built VR software and consulted with major leaders in the emerging industry, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg during the Oculus acquisition. His graduate thesis, an educational VR experience called “The Crystal Reef,” world premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and is now available on Time Magazine's LIFE VR and the InceptionVR platforms. Cody was named a Pacific Standard Magazine 2017 Top 30 Thinker under 30 for his educational VR work. He currently is the Founder of Blue Trot, a research consultancy obsessed with studying what it means to go somewhere else.

Information about Cody Karutz's session will follow soon.

Henry Lane
Henry Lane

Managing Director

Henry has spent over half a decade leading the design and delivery of digital engagement for the world's top tier entertainment companies such as Disney, DreamWorks and Sony Pictures. This background enabled Henry to found the global VRAR Studio 'Corvecto', specialized in delivering professional Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions from small to multi-billion dollar organisations around the world in all manner of industry sectors from aviation and construction through to medical and agriculture. Henry is also a founding executive of New Zealand's 'EPIC Innovation', a collaborative eco-system business-housing model with two Innovation Campuses in New Zealand and involving partnership with Google, Cisco and multiple large NZ organisations. Henry is frequently engaged by TVNZ (New Zealand's primary broadcast network) as their Go-To expert for speaking on subjects involving Innovation and Technology for national television, and is one of New Zealand's 7 faculty members of Singularity University.

Information about Henry Lane's session will follow soon.

David Polinchock
David Polinchock

Founder/Chief Experience Officer (CXO)

For 20+ years, David has explored emerging technologies that can help brands tell better stories. He is launching a new company, the Experiential Advertising Group, dedicated to creating strategic immersive experiences. He was an early pioneer in the use of virtual reality for advertising and marketing, having started experiential advertising using VR in 1991. Since then, he has run his own lab, the Brand Experience Lab, was the Director of the 1st AT&T AdWorks Lab and worked at the PwC Experience Center. He has worked on a variety of emerging technology launches, including the award-winning AudienceGames cinema AR program.

In those many years, David has covered a lot of ground, but one thing has remained consistent: He’s looked for innovative ways to create compelling, authentic and relevant brand experiences.

He’s been very fortunate to have the chance to travel with his daughter Sydney, who helps him remember that the most important experiences are the ones you share with people you love.

Information about David Polinchock's session will follow soon.

Vasily Ryzhonkov
Vasily Ryzhonkov

​Founder & CEO

Arena Space

Founder, CEO with 10 years in IT, + 4 years in international market developing start-up projects. He is the founder of the VR / AR Association in CIS. He is also an expert in VR / AR and founder of Arena Sspace and Arena Lab

Information about Vasily Ryzhonkov's session will follow soon.

Robyn Tong Gray
Robyn Tong Gray

Co-Founder and Creative Head

Robyn Tong Gray is an interactive media designer who weaves new media together to explore narrative and empathy. She is the co-founder and creative head of Otherworld Interactive, a studio focused on creating consumer facing virtual reality experiences, and has designed and directed dozens of virtual reality experiences including the studio’s most popular title, “Sisters.”
Robyn received a Bachelor of Computer Science and Fine Art from Carnegie Mellon and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Southern California's Interactive Media Program. Her projects have been recognized at venues including the Independent Games Festival, IndieCade, Tribeca, and Sundance. In 2017 she was awarded Top Software Developer by the Global Women in STEM Conference and in 2018 was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Games.

Information about Robyn Tong Gray's session will follow soon.

Marjorie Wang
Marjorie Wang

Marjorie Wang is a VR and AR developer, with a focus on building immersive environments. Her work explores designing UI/UX for emerging mediums, by combining new technologies with old to craft compelling experiences. At Advertising Week NYC 2017, her team, intern019 Mixed Reality Studio, presented PawnVR, a pop-up hands-on experience that gives the participant a role in the creative process of developing a VR chess game. 

Information about Marjorie Wang's session will follow soon.

Ryan Wang
Ryan Wang

Co-founder and General Partner

Outpost Capital LLC

Ryan Wang is Co-founder and General Partner of Outpost Capital, a leading Silicon Valley based venture capital fund focusing on VR/AR and new frontier technology with a strong presence in China. Ryan is known as a VR/AR expert who oversees companies in the US and greater China, with solid insights and strong connections in both markets.

Prior to Outpost, Ryan was a Venture Partner at CLI Ventures. Early in his career, Ryan has compiled a comprehensive and successful career as an investment banker at Citigroup and Societe Generale in New York City. Ryan is a snowboarder, world explorer and owner of many stylish hats.

Information about Ryan Wang's session will follow soon.