Demo Day Interviews
Gary Gelfand of Fox 40 News in Sacramento checks out Capital Region AR VR Accelerator’s Demo Day:
Capital Region AR VR Accelerator Demo Day
Join us April 18 when the first batch of Accelerator founders present their start-ups to a distinguished panel of judges.
Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 1:30–6:00 PM
McClatchy New Ventures Lab
401 I Street (“I” as in “eye”)
- In Downtown Sacramento directly above the Historic Amtrak Station.
- Easily Accessible from the San Francisco Bay Area via the Capital Corridor Commuter Train.
- Download: VR Demo Day Invitation (1 MB PDF)
- RSVP: Please respond ASAP to Jon Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org as seating is limited.
About VR Demo Day
At Demo Day the first batch of the Capital Region AR VR Accelerator founders present their start-ups to a panel of judges who share their feedback and connections with the presenters, and to a room full of specially selected investors, corporations engaged in AR or VR, plus industry experts and media.
A panel of industry experts will share their insights and perspectives about the current and near-term future state of the industry, and their input to the Accelerator start-ups.
About the Accelerator Start-Ups
To view brief videos of the Capital Region AR VR Accelerator cohort start-ups that will be making presentations visit Our Start-Ups.
VR Demo Day Agenda
|2:55–3:15||Brief transition break to begin Start-Up presentation|
|3:15–5:00||Cohort presentations and judge inputs (15-minute segment per company)|
About the Networking Reception
The VR Demo Day Networking Reception is sponsored by Five Star Bank, and will feature announcements of the top presenting companies and fine wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres.
Five Star Bank was founded in 1999 by a group of local entrepreneurs who wanted to create the kind of personalized banking services they desired themselves — services inspired by partnership and defined by shared vision and goals.
Judges and Panelists
Biographies of some of our participating judges.
Gil Alvarado serves as Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and CFO for Sierra Health Foundation and The Center. In this role, he is responsible for strategic business planning and management of all foundation administrative activities, investments and finances, and provides leadership to ensure compliance with state and federal fiscal and regulatory policy. His responsibilities also include design and oversight of the community investment strategy for the foundation and The Center.
Mr. Alvarado also serves as President of the San Joaquin Valley Impact Investment Fund, a fund created to make the San Joaquin Valley a healthier place to live, work and prosper by investing in organizations and entrepreneurs whose activities promote community health and well-being for all.
Before joining Sierra Health Foundation in 2006, Mr. Alvarado served as Chief Financial and Information Officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in El Paso, Texas. He currently serves on several national and regional boards, and has been involved in leadership roles within regional nonprofit communities.
Mr. Alvarado earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix. He is currently licensed as a CPA.
David Anderman is a seasoned executive with a passion for business strategy and dealmaking at the intersection of the technology, media/distribution, and consumer sectors. He serves as an advisor to numerous media and technology companies, providing advice on growth, IP, content and monetization strategy, marketing, M&A, legal, fundraising, recruiting, and dealmaking.
Mr. Anderman spent 16 years at Lucasfilm Ltd., George Lucas’s entertainment empire, starting as the junior lawyer and rising through the ranks to become Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. He negotiated the $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm by the Walt Disney Company, and oversaw the integration of the companies for 18 months post-merger.
Mr. Anderman currently serves as Director, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of BasilHealth, a consumer facing digital health startup. Prior to BasilHealth, he served as the Chief Business Officer of Jaunt, a cinematic virtual reality company, where he was responsible for the company’s strategy, finance, business development, business affairs, and HR. He launched Jaunt’s content studio, its joint venture in China with Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital, and raised over $125M in capital for the business. Prior to Lucasfilm, Mr. Anderman was an IP litigator in Silicon Valley, focusing on technology matters.
Mr. Anderman advises numerous technology startups, including Loom.ai (technology behind Samsung’s AR emojis), Theia Interactive (immersive visualizations), Allseated (event planning with VR), Minted (crowdsourced design and consumer products), Meo (social AR), Leo AR (AR object marketplace), Knowbly Systems (e-publishing platform), asensei (wearable motion capture and training), Haystack TV (mobile video news platform), Baobab Studios (VR animation), Pullstring (voice applications), and Occipital (mobile depth sensors). He serves as a mentor at Founders Space and on the StartX Founder Board of Advisors. He is also an investor in SV Angel and advises its portfolio companies.
HTC, Director of Enterprise Sales, Americas
Frank leads the sales and market development efforts for HTC’s Vive Enterprise Americas business. Frank helps guide HTC’s enterprise customers in identifying, developing and deploying at scale, high-value XR applications throughout a corporate enterprise.
Frank has a long history with emerging visual communication technologies starting in the early ‘90s with the transition from analog to digital media where he helped lead pioneering efforts in film and broadcasts technologies at Discreet Logic and Autodesk. Over the last 20 years, Frank has focused on data-driven real-time interactive 3D media technologies in the games, visualization, simulation and training industries leading to his current job at HTC.
Impact Venture Capital / Founding General Partner
Jack Crawford’s 20-year career in “company building” has taken him from CPA to entrepreneur to venture capitalist. As a CPA with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Jack saw a wide range of businesses and was inspired to start his own – including one of the first Internet Service Providers in Sacramento. Through the 1990s, Jack secured his reputation as a serial entrepreneur in founding three more software companies. He was chosen as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Money Hunt television show which was broadcast in 160 US markets. Since 2000, Jack has focused his energy on venture capital as the critical component of company building for seed- and early-stage technology companies. Jack launched Velocity Venture Capital in 2005 to provide capital for entrepreneurs focused on information technology products that will positively impact the world. Operating primarily inside California’s technology triangle (bounded by San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento), Velocity Venture Capital has a long history of investing in early-stage companies including the first round investment in Soft Machines, acquired by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) for $300 million. In 2009, Velocity began hosting innovation programs for startups, graduate students, corporate venture groups, and policymakers.
Jack has long-standing relationships with a number of universities and has been an adjunct professor on venture capital for MBA programs in Northern California. In 2011, Jack was accepted into the Kauffman Fellows Program, and following graduation in 2013, Jack was provided with a class-voted leadership award. In 2014 and 2015, Jack was invited to speak to current Kauffman Fellows on his thesis project: strategic planning for life. Jack is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s “Private Equity & Venture Capital” executive program and a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute. Jack earned a B.S. degree in Accounting from Arizona State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in California.
Following successful efforts in managing the private equity portfolio for Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) with exits that produced tens of millions of dollars in distributions, Jack joined forces with Oracle’s treasurer and Kauffman Fellow classmate Eric Ball along with Silicon Valley investing icon Dixon Doll to form Impact Venture Capital in 2016. Impact Venture Capital invests in early stage tech companies alongside corporate venture groups and hosts the annual Impact Global Venture Summit which attracts 1,000+ startups, investors, corporates, and policymakers. Impact has recently invested in 5 portfolio companies: Cornami (AI/high performance computing), Nightingale Security (Drones), Pondera Solutions (Cybersecurity), Globetouch (IOT/Connected car), and Revionics (Price optimization software).
Tommaso comes to us from Hewlett Packard, where he has over 20 years in the executive corporate experience. As Executive Director for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, he has been responsible for the development and service portfolio for the HPE Point next division for the Internet of Things (IoT) market and Cloud Services. Focused on, but not limited to, manufacturing, energy, smart grid, healthcare, security, and transportation. He led market expansion, new user acquisition, marketing, and sales engagement, working directly with sales teams and customers to drive the transformation into the Hybrid IT and IoT. In addition, he defined the approach and the experience to artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning (M.L.) for HP Networking, Server and Storage products. Furthermore, he led the HP.COM Web Service strategies, the Compaq EMEA Support Center, and IBM Channel partner program.
Throughout his career he focused on helping others achieve goals by mentoring, supporting the community and helping shape new talents. He sits the board of advisors for the Sacramento School of Engineering (8-12 grade) and is on the board of NACME; a non-profit organization focused on creating support systems to retain and graduate underrepresented minorities in STEM education.
Praveen has extensive background in investments, partnerships, M&A, strategy, and general management He is currently Vice President of Corporate Investment & Development at HTC focusing on Virtual/Augmented Reality and Smartphone technologies.
Praveen held similar role at SK Telecom with focus on Mobile and IoT technologies. Earlier at CDIB Ventures, as a Partner, he managed 2 VC funds with several successful investments in Enterprise Software, Infrastructure, and Semiconductor companies.
He has authored three books related to Venture Capital. Praveen has held management and technical roles at Lucent, Ericsson, ICL, and Halliburton. He has MBA and M.S. in Physics, EE, and Computer Science.
Wayman Harris is a VR/AR software developer and 3D content creator who specializes in interactive computational logic and integrating gamification into existing services. Before working as a VR/AR developer at Applied Materials, Wayman navigated from Milwaukee WI, to immerse himself into the Bay Area’s emerging market community.
Wayman began his career doing Freelance, Contract work, and occasionally participated in game development competitions. In 2013 he also entered a VR accelerator sponsored by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Wayman currently helps maintain and initialize Applied Material’s VR training simulator.
Playing a key role in building the training simulation architecture and framework, Wayman assists the team in looking for and evaluating 3rd party services. Wayman looks to establish relationships that provide compatible services and or solutions that help optimize Applied Materials’ VR team’s development efforts. Wayman puts forth extraordinary efforts to accommodate those who share his passion in the emerging technology sector.
COO at LumiereVR
Alex is a Canadian entrepreneur now based out of San Francisco where he is the COO at LumiereVR, a content production house for immersive technology whose clients include Madison Square Garden and other large venues.
Prior to LumiereVR, Alex was CEO at RetinadVR, the pioneer and leader in VR analytics and data analysis. Retinad, founded in 2014, raised over $2M in funding, worked with fortune 500 clients and was successfully acquired by LumiereVR in July 2018.
Alex enjoys building pillars to the VR/AR industry and has contributed by building the Non-Gaming VR meetup, a 2000+ member community in the SF Bay Area as well as writing the XRAA Guidebook, focused on immersive advertising.
Alex enjoys giving back to the community, having spearheaded the Lean Launchpad Accelerator program at McGill University, where he helped six startups launch and scale through a 10 week program.
Business Operations and Development at Lucid
Joe’s career has been a mix of B2B/B2C business and technology experience ranging from scaling organizations’ operations from ground zero, business development, and product marketing.
Currently, he is the Director of Product Marketing and Business Development at Lucid based in Silicon Valley. Lucid is an AI platform to enable multi cameras to capture depth. Joe holds a BS degree from Cornell University.
Founder and CEO of Scanta Inc.
After his Master of Science (MSc) from Prague College, Chaitanya Hiremath started technological research and development towards creating immersive AR/VR experiences. Chaitanya is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of AR/VR based high-paced organizations.
He pioneered and built two of the leading augmented reality games in 2016 by utilizing keen analysis, insights and a team approach to drive organizational improvements and implementation of effective practices.
Mr. Hiremath is also the first Indian origin entrepreneur to win the SharkTank Showcase and the prestigious Draper summer pitch, 2018 in San Francisco.
Chaitanya holds expertise in augmented reality, blockchain, gaming, marketing, and enterprise; building a diverse team and increasing technological adoption of augmented reality across the market. Creating use-cases for upcoming technological platforms and developing relevant strategies for their implementation. He consults companies looking to build products and innovative marketing campaigns through AR/VR that appeal to diverse audiences, track success, and deliver relevant actionable content.
Currently serving as the Chairman of Illinois-based C&H Financial Services, Anthony Holder has been in the payment processing industry for over two decades. In his role, he oversees all revenue and customer operations, as well as business development and affinity partnerships for the rapidly growing company that provides online payment processing services in the United States and Canada.
CHFS offers a range of products and services helping businesses through credit card processing solutions, whilst also providing CHFS Gateway, a Web-based payment gateway that allows merchants to process payments online; PCI compliance solution that allows merchants to accept credit cards, avoid fees/fines, and minimize investigative objections in the event of a data breach; and Tin compliance solutions.
The company also allows merchants and mobile workforce to process payments through their mobile devices by converting smart phones into secure POS terminals; and business loans to the owners of retail, eating and drinking, and service and seasonal businesses.
Jordan serves as Investment Principal for McClatchy, where he manages the corporate venture capital portfolio for the publicly traded newspaper conglomerate.
Jordan’s investment focus is in Immersive Storytelling, FinTech for Media, Local Content + Commerce, and Publisher Platforms. Jordan is an attorney by trade, an ameatuer Italian chef, and is based in Washington D.C.
Amy Peck is the founder and CEO of EndeavorVR, a leading global VR/AR (XR) strategy and consulting firm. Amy is a recognized thought-leader in the space and speaks globally on the future of XR. She holds several Advisory Board roles and Co-chairs the VRARA Enterprise Committee.
Amy’s passion for this technology began at Leap Motion where she launched the Enterprise division working with clients across every major vertical including healthcare, entertainment, retail, hospitality, education and government.
It became clear that there was a need to help foster XR development in the commercial arena and more importantly, shepherd these critical early wins. EndeavorVR was conceived for this very purpose.
Her own personal mission is to see XR fundamentally improve every aspect of our lives with the goal of making this technology accessible and transformative for everyone.
Born February 23, admitted to the California State Bar in 1992. Mr. Penney received his B.A. degree from Brigham Young University in 1988 in Philosophy. He attended J. Reuben Clark Law School where he received his J.D. degree in 1991.
Following his admission to the bar he briefly worked for a nationwide personal injury firm. Due to numerous requests from potential clients, he opened the law firm of Penney and Associates in 1992. Mr. Penney as a young lawyer was contracted by a national law firm to take a number of their difficult cases to trial. Within six months of passing his bar he was lead trial lawyer in a large Superior Court personal injury case suing a county.
Mr. Penney is the author of numerous personal injury articles. Fred Penney, his partners or cases have been featured on numerous occasions on the radio, and local and national television. In 2016 NBC Nightly News featured a story on one of Penney and Associates successful cases. Mr. Penney became a member of the California Trial Lawyers Association in 1993. He has been admitted in 1992 and 1993 to the Federal Eastern District Court and the 9th District Court of Appeals. Mr. Penney has appeared in cases that have had issues litigated successfully before the California Supreme Court. Fred Penney is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar and an officer of the court. Frederick Penney has been appointed by the Placer County Court as a Settlement Conference Judge, better known as a Judge Pro-Tem. Mr. Penney preforms this duty only on occasion.
The Penney and Associates firm has now expanded to offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Chico, Rocklin and Irvine with satellite offices in Fairfield, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Diego. Penney and Associates California Personal Injury Lawyers have handled numerous high profile personal injury cases and thousands of personal injury cases which has made the firm arguably one of the most sought after personal injury firms in the state.
Frederick Penney is also founding partner of Penney, Galbraith, Elder, & Brannen, which is one of the nation’s largest personal injury firms with offices in 48 states. Mr. Penney is also co-founder and partner of the Washington D.C. Law Firm of Penney, Brannen, Shiffman, and Shin.
Besides his successful law practices, Mr. Penney also is majority stock holder, president, CEO, or owner of the following companies: Northwest Compacting, Inc., Iceberg Drive Inn, Inc., Pennco Publishing, Inc., Huth/Penney Broadcasting, Inc., AGMA Real Estate Properties, Inc., Compact-It, Inc., Penney Racing Supply, Inc., Comptech Race Engines, Inc., and Pacific Challenge Racing Series. Mr. Penney is also the host of Radio Law Talk, Inc. Frederick Penney, among other awards, has been awarded as America’s Top 100 Attorneys for Northern California, RUE-Ratings Best Attorneys of America California, Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent (which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by other attorneys and judges), one of Sacramento’s Best Lawyers three years in a row by Sacramento Magazine, and rated the highest AVVO personal injury attorney rating of a 10 – “Superb Lawyer”.
Mr. Penney has been married to Kathleen for over 30 years and has 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
Entrepreneur In Residence
Jeff Smith has over 30 years domestic and international high technology sales, marketing, business development, corporate development and venture capital experience in multiple industry markets. Jeff was most recently with RBM Technologies, a leading cloud based retail software company that was successfully sold. Prior to RBM, Jeff was the Founding and Managing Partner of XcelR8 Partners that provided business development consulting services to accelerate revenue traction for early stage companies. Jeff has held executive positions at other software companies including Commerce One as VP of Business Development, Corporate Development and GM of Commerce One Ventures. Prior, he held leadership roles in sales, business development, marketing, and product line management at BlueCurve (acquired by Red Hat), Sybase, Technology Concepts (acquired by Bell Atlantic) and Unisys. Jeff has angel investment, advisory and board of directors experience at for profit and non-profit organizations.
Jeff is an honors graduate of Boston College School of Management, received his MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, his Masters in International Management/Finance from Thunderbird, is APICS Certified and has taken several executive education programs at both Stanford and UC Berkeley. Smith enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and is an avid outdoorsman.