Capital Region AR VR Accelerator Management
Jon Gregory is a cofounder and General Partner of the Accelerator. He has established an extensive network of CEO, angel investor and venture capital resources to support growth-oriented entrepreneurial ventures.
Gregory is also a cofounder and General Partner of two boutique angel investment funds: Northern California Investment Fund I and Fund II, which have collectively made approximately 30 investments in 17 different high potential start-ups.
Gregory also is the VP and Venture Banking Manager at Five Star Bank, recently spearheading an initiative to more closely link sources of early-stage capital and promising start-ups in the Capital Region called Five Star Bank Tank. Previously Gregory founded Golden Capital Network in 1999 as one of the first investor-entrepreneur matchmaking event platforms.
From 1999–2011 Golden Capital Network featured over 2,000 alumni start-ups including many who are well-known today such as Pandora Media, StubHub, A Place for Mom, PowerSchool, Marrone Bio Innovations and others.
Dave Sanders is a cofounder and General Partner of the Accelerator. He has built an extensive network of CEOs, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, technology veterans and investors to support growth-oriented entrepreneurial ventures.
Sanders is also a cofounder and General Partner of two boutique angel investment funds: Northern California Investment Fund I and Fund II, which have collectively made approximately 30 investments in 17 different high potential start-ups.
Dave is also a founding member and Managing Partner of WorldBridge Partners. His focus is high level retained executive search, working with clients in Northern California, across the nation, and internationally. Dave is an active angel investor and a member of the Sacramento Angels.
George Foreman Jr.
Growing up in the world of sports, direct marketing, and retail sales, George has developed an extensive working knowledge of these industries, along with strong relationships with key stakeholders of each respective industry.
After earning a Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University, Foreman went on to work as a senior marketing executive for Salton, Inc. (George Foreman Grill) where he helped execute direct response marketing strategies that generated over $1B in revenue.
George Foreman Jr. is a Sacramento native who grew up in the Greenhaven/Pocket neighborhood. As one of the Venture Partners at Capital Region AR VR Accelerator, Foreman is passionate about bringing emerging technology and business to the City of Sacramento.
George formed Foreman Boys Promotions with legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum and George Foreman Sr. where George promoted 20 World Title Fights,10 HBO World Title Fights, 3 HBO PPV Fights including 3 Co-Promoted Manny Pacquiao Fights. George’s experience with boxing promotions allowed him to understand live events, technology, broadcasting, casinos and hospitality as a business on a global stage.
George has extensive knowledge in media and television having served as Executive Producer on various television programs including American Inventor (ABC), Family Foreman (TV Land) and the Foreman Documentary that was distributed through EPIX Networks, Universal and Hulu.
Foreman is the Co-Founder of IYC Capital and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at ION360 where he oversees creating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives. In his continued effort to bring new business to Sacramento, ION360 was an official partner of the Sacramento Kings Draft Party and California Classic Summer League.
George is the Chairman of GFJR Companies which provides high quality products and services through strategic alliances, joint ventures, investments and consulting. Within the GFJR Companies portfolio, Foreman owns or holds interests in businesses operating in healthcare, consumer products, marketing, television, sports and entertainment.
Maintaining active involvement in several community service organizations, George continues to dedicate his efforts to homelessness, education and entrepreneurship.
Braden Moulton is Venture Partner of the Accelerator. Moulton is an experienced business leader with broad expertise across the gaming, social, and digital media markets. He excels at building lasting partnerships, creatively driving reach and revenue, and succeeding at challenging objectives.
His background includes successful engagements with mobile, social, and console games businesses in capacities spanning operations, business development, product management, general management, and strategic consulting.
Moulton will be working closely with the cohort companies and helping open doors for customer and strategic partner relationships through his vast experience working in technology for or with Microsoft, Fifth Planet Games, and many others.
His specialties include: Operational Leadership, Business Development, Strategy, General Management, Raising Investment, Contract Negotiation, Content Acquisition, Strategic Partnerships, Licensing, Advertising. Console, social, mobile, and new media monetization.
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.
Advisors, Mentors and Subject Matter Experts
Marcie Jastrow is an industry veteran with over 20 years in the Entertainment business. Currently the SVP of Immersive Media at Technicolor, as well as the Head of the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC), Marcie is dedicated to bringing artists, technologists, and partners together to build the future of immersive media.
Since the opening of the TEC in July, 2016, Marcie has consulted on many immersive projects and has provided her insights in dozens of interviews, published articles, and speaking engagements. Focused on igniting VR, AR, and beyond, Marcie sits on several boards including the Interactive Emmys, Periscope, and BAFTA.
In 2018, she was honored with the Advanced Imaging Society’s “Distinguished Leadership Award,” which recognizes creative, productive and forward-thinking efforts in visual technology and emerging content.
Prior to her current role, Marcie was responsible for growing Technicolor’s post production sales pipeline as SVP of Sales. Before joining Technicolor, she served as EVP of Sales at Laser Pacific, which Technicolor acquired in 2011, as well as SVP of Sales at Modern Video Film for over eight years.
Director and Entrepreneur in Residence, Tech Futures Group Principal, The RevLaunch Company
Gerry founded and leads the Tech Futures Group as Director. TFG is a non-profit that serves as the complete advisory board to tech companies.
Prior, Gerry held senior management positions including COO, GM, and VP Sales and Marketing for companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to startups. In startups, Gerry was responsible for all aspects of establishing the company; including shaping the corporate structure, hiring key staff, and providing the vision for the company’s desired market position.
Most notably, Gerry was instrumental in positioning and closing the sale of Xros, a telecommunications pre-revenue startup for $3.2 billion.
As principal of his own strategic business development company, Gerry delivers a market vetted go-to-market strategy to international clients seeking to crack the U.S. market. Gerry tests his strategy with an aggressive sales effort that he leads and then teaches and transfers the final field-tested formula to the client. Clients have included: FujiFilm, Fujitsu, NTT-AT, and smaller companies offering embedded software products, open-source software, and hardware products.
Gerry is a graduate of Yale University and has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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.
Founder of SAM Immersive
Lawyer, producer, entrepreneur, gamer, Louisa is an accomplished executive in esports, immersive media and gaming. Louisa has worked on award winning VR campaigns for Mini-Cooper and NYTVR, the award winning game Firebird: La Peri and other PC and VR games around the world.
She has moved the needle at every VR company she has worked with including facilitating deals with Intel, Oculus and Walmart with Spatialand which resulted in a successful acquisition. She has also facilitated deals with football clubs and LaLiga league for the location based entertainment VR game, Virtual Soccer Zone.
As a TV producer Ms. Spring has worked with Far Moor, (successfully acquired by Endemol), and William J. Macdonald, (Rome). She’s a former member of the board of BAFTALA, and practiced law in London.
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.
Co-Founder and CFO of Merge
Andrew oversees finance, contract negotiations, and investor relations to help support the growth of Merge ensuring it has the resources needed to achieve its strategic initiatives. As a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Team, Andrew is involved in high level strategic decision making.
Andrew has a strong history of operating, evaluating and advising tech startups, and working with investor groups. Previous to Merge, Andrew co-founded and managed all revenue generation activities at startup Virtual Alert, which enjoyed a successful exit when purchased by a strategic buyer (outside investors made 11x return on investment).
Andrew was also a partner at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). His experience includes strategic alliances and business development at Trilogy Software. Andrew holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA from the University of Texas. Andrew enjoys decompressing on the race track and is an avid fan of Formula 1.
David J. Anderman
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.
Lesley Chinen is an Emmy Award-winning journalist turned marcom professional passionate about merging storytelling with business messaging in the emerging technology space. She is currently the Business Development Specialist for Shaking Earth Digital (SED), an XR development studio.
Before joining SED, she was the Lead Producer with the Virtual Reality Festival (VR Fest) and assisted Comic Con Palm Springs (CCPS) as Executive Director of CCPS Immersive Entertainment. She was bitten by the emerging technology bug after transitioning from a long career in television news and public relations.
Her first stop after leaving the newsroom was in creating stereoscopic 3D content and producing live 3D fashion shows for the LA 3D Film Festival (LA 3DFF). Working with the LA 3DFF eventually led to joining in the creation of the VR Fest.
Having been an early participant in the 21st Century S3D revolution, she has unique insights into its wins and losses and is working to make sure XR has longevity as a marketing and communications tool as well as a storytelling medium. She was recognized with an Emmy in 2009 for her work on the KTLA “Morning Show.”
Mark Haney is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and media personality who has founded or funded a portfolio of 30+ companies across various industries including: new media, real estate, construction, transportation, distribution, and security. Mark’s accomplishments include successfully exiting a Rocklin, CA based enterprise that maintained hundreds of employees and generated over $200M in annual revenues.
Mark currently spends his time igniting the Entrepreneurial Revolution as host of The Mark Haney Show and as Chief Dreaming Officer for HaneyBiz, an investment platform designed to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing one-stop access to funding, business services, office space, programs & events, and coaching for companies of all sizes.
Mark also serves on various corporate and non-profit boards and he and his family devote time to helping military veterans through his “Allegiant Giving” non-profit. You can learn more about Mark at www.HaneyBiz.com.
Yan Chow, MD, MBA
Yan Chow, MD, MBA is Medical Director for Digital Medicine in the Translational Medicine group at Amgen, a leading biotechnology company, where he leads the strategy and deployment of wearables, devices, mobile technology, and analytics in clinical trials and drug development programs.
Before that, he was Chief Innovation Officer at LongView Technology Solutions, a federal health IT services contractor.
Prior to LongView, Dr. Chow was national Medical Director of the Innovation & Advanced Technology Group (IAT) at Kaiser Permanente. IAT assessed over 2,000 emerging health IT technologies, promoted innovation through an employee innovation grant program, and worked with the Garfield Innovation Center, an award-winning care delivery simulation laboratory.
Dr. Chow has founded and advised a number of venture-funded startups. He has 3 U.S. patents and has been an invited speaker at industry conferences. Dr. Chow earned an A.B. from Harvard University, his M.D. from UC San Diego, and his MBA in 2005 from UC Berkeley. In 2014 he was recognized as one of the top 9 healthcare IT executives in the U.S. by Healthcare IT News.
Founder and CEO of LearnBrite
Danny Stefanic is the brains behind the world’s first WebXR learning experience platform, LearnBrite. Also founder of 3D internet company ExitReality Inc, founder of the International Virtual Reality Association and chairman of the virtual worlds social network Koinup.
Called a “visionary” by his peers and deemed by Wall Street CIOs and Silicon Valley VCs to be “one of the pioneers in his field”, he has been creating ground-breaking 3D businesses for over 25 years.
Danny actively works with young businesses to share his experiences and give back to the community. He has assisted companies with angel investment, international licensing, acquisitions, exits, managing distributed teams and has personally closed IP acquisitions valued at $85MM.
Charles Eason is the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) specialist for the Tech Futures Group which is part of the Northern California Small Business Development Center Network.
He has been assisting businesses in securing SBIR/STTR funding for over twenty years and also has direct experience with the SBIR/STTR program through his company, OPTEMA Development Corporation, which developed a rapid prototyping technology with funding through the National Science Foundation.
Mr. Eason is also the Small Business Sector Navigator for the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program where he coordinates small business programs at the 114 community colleges across the state. Mr. Eason earned a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from California State University, San Bernardino.
Dave Edwards is CEO of Solve Next where he helps major companies around the globe bust through the status quo and get to what’s next. Dave is a trend-spotter, analyst and storyteller. He has spent his career distilling and advancing big technology trends like the internet, cleantech and AI.
His brain is split in two with half dedicated to creatively designing consumer experiences while the other half has an uncanny ability to find the right metric to measure and build upon. Most recently, Dave co-founded Intelligentsia.ai (sold to Quartz / Atlantic Media) which researched how humans and machines will work together in the age of AI.
His past experience also includes being head of software application market at Apple, head of consumer strategy at SunPower and a lead technology research analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Kenji Tanaka, PhD
General Manager, Head of Solutions Development at Sony Electronics
I work on creating professional solutions in the higher education and healthcare markets at Sony, where I am in charge of solution development and the strategic partnerships with industry and academia in North America. I also have a strong background in broadcasting, digital cinema, and simulation-based training industries.
My research and technology interests are in virtual/augmented reality, immersive contents, sensing devices, robotics, haptics, human factors, audio and image processing, computer vision, and machine learning. I am a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and am a reviewer/judge at academic conferences and technology pitch contests. I hold an MS in Sensing and Control Studies and a PhD in Virtual Reality Studies, both from the University of Tokyo (1997 and 2004, respectively).
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.
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.
CEO of Live CGI
Background and accomplishments:
- Invented a patent-pending method to remove encoding and create live CGI
- 5-time Emmy winner
- Multiple patents for augmented reality and live sports
- 20+ years in sports broadcasting
- Invented the Pylon Camera
- Invented the SportsCenter Rundown
- Led ESPN’s Production Enhancements for 10+ years
Grant Anderson is an executive producer, visual effects and VR/AR supervisor with decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, he has focused on melding imaginative stories with the latest advances in technology including visual effects, 3D, and now virtual and augmented reality.
He is currently a producer for Marvel. Previously he helped form Jaunt Studios to create leading cinematic VR experiences leveraging Jaunt’s technology platform. He was Executive Director at Sony’s 3D Center working with leading 3D filmmakers including Baz Luhrmann, Ridley Scott, Ang Lee, and Michel Gondry.
His career as a digital artist and CG and visual effects supervisor includes work on Academy Award winning teams for Titanic, Spider-Man, and the short film the Chubb Chubbs. He is a member of the Advanced Imaging Society and VR Society.
Ryan Wang is Co-founder and General Partner of Outpost Capital, a leading cross-border early stage venture fund focusing on VR/AR, blockchain, and new frontier technologies based in San Francisco and Beijing.
Meanwhile, Ryan is Chief Business Development Officer of MOAC Blockchain, a high performance Layered Multi-Blockchain Architecture for enhanced smart contracting. Having a multicultural background and proven track record, Ryan oversees companies in the US and greater China with solid insights and strong connections in both markets.
Prior to OutpostVC, Ryan was a Venture Partner at CLI Ventures managing its TMT investment arm with over $200M AUM. 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. Outside work, Ryan is a snowboarder, world explorer and collector of stylish hats.
Kendrick Geluz Kho
Investor at Hone Capital
Kendrick Geluz Kho is an Investor at Hone Capital, a leading venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. He focuses on early-stage startups and has been involved in over 200 investments. He covers multiple sectors, including: fintech, energy/cleantech, aerospace/astrospace, extended reality (XR), and industrial innovation.
Originally from the Philippines, he is passionate about entrepreneurship and economic development in emerging economies. He has developed machine-learning and other programmatic tools to augment venture capital workflows — one of these was featured in the June 2017 version of McKinsey Quarterly.
Prior to Hone Capital, he operated his own data science consultancy for real estate investors. Earlier in his career, he worked in technical program management at Amazon Lab126 and at Cogenra Solar, a Khosla-backed startup acquired by SunPower. He holds three degrees (a MS and two BS degrees) from Stanford University.
Lisa M Watts
VR Producer and Advisor
Lisa M Watts is a passionate technologist with a strong background in developer relations, business development, marketing strategy, creative direction and virtual reality production. Lisa’s deep hands-on technical expertise in both software and hardware development, coupled with her unique view on the marketplace have kept Lisa on the forefront of technology innovation.
She is known for working closely with partners to develop and implement early technology with an eye towards market viability and leadership. In her role as chief VR marketing strategist at Intel Corporation over the last 3 years, Lisa has been at the forefront of advising and producing some of the most innovative projects.
Her partnership with ESL and Oculus led to the first ever VR esports league. Lisa led Intel’s initial prototype investment and was an adviser on “Spheres” by director Eliza McNitt. Her promotion of the director and the project, (which included event appearances, digital marketing campaign and more) laid the foundation for “Spheres” to become the first ever VR experience of its type to be acquired for distribution and it went on to win multiple awards.
Lisa also spearheaded the effort to digitize Intel’s entire 2018 CES booth making it the very first live, virtual booth of it’s kind, enabling visitors from around the world to visit the booth and interact with virtual staffers. She is known for her expertise in bringing VR to live event activations, especially in connecting virtual and in person attendees.
She has continued to produce and advise on social VR projects such as the creation of Ready Player One’s Aech’s Garage and Basement as well as the replication of the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery. Through her efforts, Intel was able to establish a brand beachhead in the marketplace that has been instrumental in ensuring Intel’s place in the immersive technologies ecosystem for years to come. As of 2019, Lisa established her own VR production and consulting company, One/Twenty1.