The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Thursday, May 25th, 2017

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM – The VR - AR - Immersive Track

Session I: Haas Conf. Ctr. - Rm. 172 & 173

Financing the Imagination: Funding and Business Development in AR, VR and Immersion – From VCs to Kickstarter and Corporate Investments

Rob Vickery, Co-Founder, Stage Venture Partners

Ryan Wang, Co-founder and General Partner, Outpost Capital

Alexis Macklin, Analyst, Greenlight VR

Sonata Taman, CEO & Principal Advisor, Luminaire Advisors

Francis Yip, Advisory Board Chairperson and Vice President/CBDO, VaranIDEA LLC.

Allison Huynh, Founder and CEO, MyDream Interactive

Mai-Wah Cheung, Group CIO and CTO of Digital Business, Next Digital Limited

Mariana Danilovic, Founder and Managing Director, Hollywood Portfolio, Moderator


Ryan Wang is Co-founder and General Partner of Outpost Capital, the first 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.


Alexis Macklin is an Immersive Entertainment Analyst at Greenlight Insights. Alexis covers the studio entertainment industry and is a leading thought-leader on virtual, augmented and mixed reality, cameras, and production software. Alexis received her B.A. and M.M.C. from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


Mai-Wah Cheung is the Group CIO and CTO of Digital Business at Next Digital Limited. She has over thirty years of experience in broadcast operations, software development and technology innovation in the Media & Entertainment industry, and has spent her last twenty years in IT executive positions leading major media companies in process re-engineering, business transformation and digital transformation.  Before joining Next Media, she worked at Univision Communication Inc. for 17 years where she held various positions.  Her last position at Univision was Senior Vice President of Digital Operations and Services when she spearheaded the Digital Supply Chain Optimization program to transform Univision from a TV broadcast centric operations to cross-platform Digital Media entertainment network operations.  She was also a founding member of Univision Interactive Division where she led from a start-up operation to perform and grow into a profit-making business division.  Prior to Univision Communication Inc., she worked at American Broadcasting Company and National Broadcasting Company.


Sonata Taman, CEO & Principal Advisor, Luminaire Advisors: Sonata Taman is a distinguished International Business Strategist and Process Engineer with extensive experience within Fortune 500 corporations, such as ExxonMobil, and Proctor & Gamble. She is the CEO and Founder of Luminaire Advisors, a Growth Strategy Firm specializing in customized Fortune 500 strategies. Luminaire Advisors focuses on accelerating growth for Small and Mid-sized businesses in Virtual Reality, Entertainment & Film, Tech, SaaS and the Communications industries. Sonata is an international speaker and a leading voice in Tech, Virtual Reality and Women in Engineering. Sonata plays a significant role in Virtual Reality as the Chief Strategy Officer of VRTUALITY, a leading Virtual Reality studio focused on evolving blockbuster visual effects technology into fully immersive VR experiences. VRTUALITY recently launched their newest VR "Platform as a Service" Mirage at VRLA to astounding acclaim. VRTUALITY's Mirage is the only multi-player/multi-experience platform of its kind designed to cut VR projects' production time and cost by 75%. VRTUALITY has been an early pioneer of VR technology thus far, paving the road with cutting edge solutions for some of the World's largest brands including: Verizon, Honda, Riot Games, Universal Music Group & LiveNation.


Rob Vickery is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stage Venture Partners. Stage is a new seed stage venture capital fund, based in West Hollywood, that invests in software start-ups with defined and creative technology, often in the digital media and entertainment industries.  Since January 2016, Stage has recently closed investments into three exciting companies in the online video optimization, AR and VR space.  Prior to creating Stage, Rob created the Entertainment and Technology Division for BNY Mellon and was the North America Director for Lloyds International one of the world’s leading financial institutions, focusing on major corporate entertainment-related investments. He has also spent a number of years working and advising a range of international music and film talent on embracing with new forms of technology, especially VR/AR.  Rob is also on the board of the BAFTA LA Games, British American Business Council, South Central Scholars and the Chairman of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Dorsey High School. In his downtime, Rob is an amateur paleontologist, snowboarder and console gaming addict (come and find me on PSN).  @vickeryrob  @stagevp    PSN: BeverlyHillsBrit


Allison Huynh is the Founder and CEO of MyDream Interactive, Inc. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, MyDream Interactive is a pioneering development studio in virtual reality and virtual worlds.  Allison studied Symbolic Systems and Computer Science at Stanford University. She incubated, one of the first kid’s virtual world, at Willow Garage. With more than 1MM users, was successful in helping kids develop a passion for literature. As an early VR software designer, Allison launch MyDream the game, a 3D virtual world, which received an award for Game Design, at GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) for a being a collaborative and creative sandbox that rewarded users for prosocial skills. This year MyDream Interactive launched VR Toolbox, the only software in the market that allows users to bring any existing computer screen into 360 VR, and Candy Squad, one of this first fun, family friendly games geared for the VR mobile market. Last year, Allison co-authored and filed a Blended Reality Patent, which brings in a live camera feed from a webcam or pass-through camera and blends it into the VR world.


Francis Yip. Advisory Board Chairperson and Vice President/CBDO, VaranIDEA LLC.: VaranIDEA is an “idea” incubator that brings next generation of disruptive Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine/Deep Learning solutions to the mobile consumer and specialized markets. An industry veteran, Francis has more than thirty years’ experience in the IT and Telecommunication industry and was most recently Verizon’s Group Vice President for the Asia Pacific region. Francis had also held senior management positions in Dimension Data, Orange Business Solutions and NCR. He was co-chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce IT Group in China and had also acted as an advisor to Chinese regulators at the Ministry of Information Industry (MII). During his career, Francis was involved in several M&A, integration projects. Having lived in five different Asia-Pacific countries, Francis is fluent in seven languages, is also an avid golfer, having achieved his first hole-in-one last January. He is currently based in Hong Kong.


Mariana Danilovic, CEO, hollywood portfolio: Ms. Danilovic is the Founder and CEO of hollywood portfolio, a crowd-centric accelerator that develops and operates Augmented, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and digital media companies. Through hollywood portfolio, Ms. Danilovic launched and helped develop numerous technology and digital media companies, and served as the President, CEO and Director of ultralivetv, served on the Board of Directors of Emerge Digital, serves on the Board of Advisors of Transmosis, LoveTV, and NightFlight. Ms. Danilovic was the EVP Business Development for NTN Buzztime, Inc. (AMEX:NTN) and Head of Business Development, Content Aggregation and Programming for MediaZone, broadband video company owned by NASPERS/MIH media conglomerate. She also founded and directed the Digital Media Incubator at KPMG LLP, which launched about two-dozen digital media companies. The companies Ms. Danilovic helped develop received institutional funding from KPCB, Sequoia Capital, Hummer-Winblad, Constellation Partners, Softbank, North Star Ventures, HP, and Intel. Ms. Danilovic headed business development for Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment and was on the management team of the venture fund at Sony Pictures Entertainment, investing in media companies worldwide. Ms. Danilovic also worked for Michael Milken’s Knowledge Exchange and at the Twentieth Century Fox International Television Group. She serves on the Board of Directors of C3, the Arts and Media Node of the Millennium Project, served on the Board of Directors of the Producers’ Guild of America, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Tim Draper’s Zone Club and was a member of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's Digital Coast Roundtable. Mariana earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, with a Minor in Biomedical Engineering from University of California, San Diego.