Kevin He: DeepMotion Founder & CEO

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My Native Admission Statement: I am the Founder and CEO of DeepMotion, a startup based out of San Mateo, California. DeepMotion is a pioneer in the emerging field of Motion Intelligence. We are building tools for lifelike graphics using physical simulation and artificial intelligence. Our mission is to enable interactive content and expand creative capability by revolutionizing real-time, procedural simulation. Our products include a suite of 3D Motion Intelligence solutions for interactive AR and VR Avatars, autonomous interactive characters, computer-vision driven motion detection and reconstruction, and a 2D Animation Software, Creature. Also important to know is that my personal hero is my wife, who is the strongest supporter of my career and passion for virtual worlds, games, VR and motion AI—without her I would have given up many times. She encouraged me to embrace my passion as my job. That’s advice I would share with anyone aspiring to enter the space, without hesitation.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?:

About 15 years ago I went on the “Back to the Future” ride with my family at Universal Studios Hollywood. The ride takes place in a motorized vehicle with an IMAX movie projected onto a dome screen. I was amazed by the total sense of immersion and immediately struck by the potential that feeling had for the world of entertainment. That was my first Extended Reality experience. It was much later, in 2016, when the company bought our first VR headset (the Oculus Developer Kit 2) and ported one of our demos into VR. The demo was of a physically simulated dog that you could interact with in real-time. We added some hand-tracking with LeapMotion and, for the first time, we could reach out our own hands and actually play with the virtual pet. I remember thinking, “wow, that feels real!” For a lot of people, this demo generated a phantom sensation of touching fur when playing with the dog. I had the realization then that if we can reach out and feel the presence of a pet in simulation, we could connect with other human beings this way as well. That inspired the team to expand our simulation technology to interactive human avatars.

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Chris Paquette: DeepIntent CEO & Co-founder

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a technologist and innovator who serves as CEO and Co-founder of DeepIntent, an AI-powered marketing platform. At DeepIntent, we deliver frictionless service. Our goal is that our services are delivered without stress and our customers find delight in the simplicity of working with DeepIntent. I’ve always maintained that the easiest way to earn motivation is to build an environment that correctly aligns talent with projects and roles that challenge and force people to learn new skills. When combined with keeping members of the team as close to the client as possible, the team at DeepIntent sees their own growth and the value of their work reflected in the value they’re delivering daily to our clients.Never settle; always keep learning. If you’re in sales, expose yourself to the tech side. If you’re in tech, learn what motivates the clients. You can always apply learnings from various parts of the business to your current role.

Emerging Industry Trends? What we see happening, like many others in the industry are predicting, is a convergence of martech and adtech. It’s quickly becoming impossible to talk about one without talking about the other. Conversations and topics related to this are identify graphs, data onboarding, 1:1 deterministic audiences, personalized messaging, all together comprising what we call Intelligent Programmatic, which DeepIntent is building.

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Barbara Bickham: Trailyn Ventures Founder & CTO

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My Native Admission Statement: I Tech, Teach, Mentor. As Foiunder & CTO of Trailyn Ventures, I help put companies onto the Blockchain WifAX & AI companies creating the next gen investors, entrepreneurs and workforce. I like to help people, so sharing my technical ability via Trailyn Ventures is why this was created. My vision is to be able to help as many companies as possible, learn and adopt Blockchain technology. My aspirations are to always be learning; Being the best version of myself. I was just nominated for CTO of the year and making the short list. It was a great experience. Met a lot of wonderful Women who are doing great things throughout the Tech industry. It’s important for us to connect and collaborate.

Any emerging industry trends?

Mass adoption is coming into the industry in several ways. Chat (telegram, WhatsApp), Cell Phones (Samsung and Apple) are enabling payments via crypto currency. Exchanges like Coinbase are using credit cards to empower crypto currency payments. This trend will only grow. Consolidation is an opportunity. Who’s going to start buying what for exits? Who can get a bargain because of a purchase? More large companies will come into the market. This will increase the demand for new skill sets, knowledge, and scaling of the technology and businesses.

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Joanna Popper: Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment, HP

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive I was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” “Top Women in Digital: Game Changers,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry” and is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund. The two areas that I have found most interesting in recent roles are content creation and the fast-moving and innovative pace of digital change. VR is the perfect intersection of these passions.Achieve a world, a work force, and leadership structures where we are all represented. My aspiration is to achieve a world, a work force, and leadership structures where we are all represented. Let’s build a new wave in computing, let’s make sure all of our voices are represented in this wave of computing and make a positive impact for another woman or URG in tech.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I was on the media and TV side for a long time prior to HP. The person who focuses on Enterprise/ Military/First Responder Training for VR was a Marine. Many of the people in our Omen esports and gaming division were professional gamers at the highest levels. HP has done a great job of bringing people together to work on these emerging technology lines of business who have deep expertise, passion for and relationships in their areas. This impacts the vision, strategy, products, the processes and I think positively impacts our entire business and our partner’s experiences with us.    

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Sheldon Fernandes: Lucid VR Senior Software & Algorithms Engineer

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My Native Admission Statement: I am extremely passionate about building technology and products that solve problems by saving people money, time and resources. 3D cameras and their applications fascinate me, and I strongly believe that 3D technology combined with AI will make our products smarter and our lives a lot better. My drive for innovation and building things with my own hands is something my parents have noticed since I was a kid. I was usually responsible for ‘breaking’ things at home. I always aspire to learn more and more - though work or even on a regular basis. There is a lot of information out there, and I try my best to get most of what I can absorb. In grad school, I grew passionate about working about prototyping and working on building an actual product from scratch. An early stage startup was definitely the way to go. I wanted to work in the field of cameras too. That’s when I heard of a VR company in the valley. One of the best decisions I made.

What should everyone try at least once?

As we grow up trying to figure out what we’re good at and what we want to turn into a career, we sometimes slump into doing what’s easy. It is very important to spend some time periodically with one’s own thoughts to work on what we’re really passionate about. Getting there might not be the most comfortable route, but for sure brings a sense of accomplishment when you see it through. ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’

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Nisa Amoils: Investor & Venture Capitalist

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My Native Admission Statement: I have a diverse background which makes me a good investor – attorney, entrepreneur, media executive. I am passionate about new technology and enabling gender equality. I break down complex concepts into simpler analogies. I sell and promote ideas with passion. I wrote a book called “WTF is Happening? Women Tech Founders on the Rise” about this.

How did you get into the industry?

I started investing in technology about a decade ago and joined a VC firm to do the same. I started to focus on fintech a few years ago. As a securities lawyer, I was early to see the opportunity in security tokens and decentralized finance. I have been writing about that space in Forbes. I see Blockchain being an evolution that will make traditional finance more efficient, transparent, global, liquid and democratized – that is incredibly exciting.

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Audrey Wu: CONVRG Co-Founder & CEO

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My NativeAdMission Statement: I’m the CoFounder and CEO of Convrg, an AI voice and messaging platform powering experiences for brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and the GRAMMYs. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and fell into conversational AI, starting with chatbots in 2015 to now where we build world class voice experiences. I’m a walking wiki on all things chatbots and voice assistants and most recently spoke about the topic at SXSW and Mobile World Congress. I also write for Adweek. Chatbots and voice assistants are a very nascent industry which means there is no “traditional” background. One of my co-founders comes from a beauty, creative and editorial background while the other has an MBA and is a master coder. I came from a digital marketing via investment banking background.

Emerging industry trends?:

I am very bullish on voice assistants and conversational AI. Having built voice skills for top brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and GRAMMYs, I see a huge potential on how brands can capitalize on a truly bi-directional conversation with their users.

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Tanya Harris: Harman Cyber CEO

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a female entrepreneur within the field of Artificial Intelligence and Insider Threat. She is on the Board of Harrman Cyber, Universal Data Protection and ICOM4, and was previous Chair of American Chamber of Commerce, Women in Leadership. My personal mission is to help companies solve the problem of data protection and insider threat from a human motive/behavior standpoint, so that companies can start to protect their critical data from being exposed due to employee error and malicious attacks. People live with their own frame of reference, therefore when they have rejected the product, it is that person who has rejected it, not the organization that they work for. I do not let peoples’ opinions impact my motivation, I always maintain a positive can-do attitude and bounce back quickly from setbacks.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

We can do more AI as it can help identify the growing threat of a malicious insider threat by raising the satisfaction levels of employees. The challenge is data privacy laws under GDPR. Let me explain, the data that a company holds about their employees and clients, can be used to predict dissatisfaction that goes unnoticed to the human eye, in order intervene before it gets out of control. However, due to fear of employee backlash when using their data to predict happiness or dissatisfaction levels and bad press, many companies are not prepared to use this data which places their business at risk. And with research figures citing between 60% and 90% of cyberattacks and data breaches caused from insider threat, this is an issue that needs to be faced.

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