Session 1: The Metaverse: Is it for Real? Does it Create Opportunities?

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Mark Zuckerberg thinks that the Metaverse is so critical to his company’s success that he is betting its future on the Metaverse and changed its name to Meta Platforms. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims that his company’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard “will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms”. But, what actually is the Metaverse? Is it just a buzzword?

Our 3 panelists who are involved in helping to develop the Metaverse, will attempt to provide a definition. They will also discuss:

> The opportunities in the Metaverse for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individual creators;
> Whether the Metaverse creates opportunities for transforming businesses and improving their
> Issues and concerns about the Metaverse; and
> The Metaverse’s potential future progress and development.

In-person attendees may also be able to experience a demonstration of virtual reality during the break following the panel.


Ruwan Salgado
Program Chair, Wharton DC Innovation Summit and Principal, Strategy International, LLC
Ruwan Salgado is Principal of Strat8gy International, LLC, an international management consultancy, and was a Partner at Sino America Investment Partners, a venture seeking to assist Chinese companies with investing in the United States. He has expertise in business development, project management, operations, financial management and analysis, and strategic planning. Read full profile…


Bianca J. Jackson
Award-winning Entrepreneur and Founder of BrickRose Exchange
Bianca J. Jackson is an award-winning Entrepreneur and Founder of BrickRose Exchange, an event space that engages audiences in-person and through virtual reality events in the Metaverse. Jackson’s work in tech, digital marketing, and social impact has landed her speaking opportunities at SXSW, Digital Summit Philadelphia, and Tech Inclusion NY. Read full profile…

Derrick Schwartz
Principal Tech Specialist, Mixed Reality Group
Derrick Schwartz is a 16-year Microsoft employee who has worked across many verticals and industries helping customers transform their business with modern technologies. He works as a Technical Specialist in the Mixed Reality group, where he is helping customers bring Mixed Reality into their organizations. Read full profile…

Jake Steinerman
Head of Community, Spatial
As the Head of Community at Spatial, Jake Steinerman is leading a community of artists, designers, and creators, as well as a vast network of partners, in building a metaverse for culture. He has worked in the space for nearly a decade, helping everyone from Fortune 500 enterprise & consumer brands, to individual creators, create engaging augmented & virtual reality experiences for their audiences. Read full profile…