#IIFVAR 2017 : Welcome

Launch

The highly-anticipated First International Investment Forum in VR, AR, and MR (#IIFVAR 2017) was launched in Technopark, Zurich on Thursday, 20th of April, 2017 to the delight of over 100 participants including start-ups, investors, renowned speakers, and many enthusiasts.

Objective

With the objective to gather the best of VR/AR/MR speakers, startups/enterprises and investors in the economic capital of Switzerland, this conference established an agenda to discuss not only the many existing virtual, augmented and mixed reality possibilities, but also the investment hurdles facing startups/SME today, and subsequently the necessary solutions, actions and strategies to overcome these challenges.

International forum

 Sixteen speakers from around the world -- visionaries, developers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and more -- took the stage, covering a range of industries. Prime start-ups also pitched their innovative products and services, followed by the product demos from VR, AR and MR startups/SMEs, a surprise performance, and a cocktail networking reception.

Inspiration

The one-day conference inspired excitement among the participants over the quality of the speakers, and the high level of startups/SMEs, denoting the great success of the event.

For pictures and live-media shares from the event, visit the Storify:

Link

Morning Keynote Speakers

10:00 AM : Mohamed JP Sangaré CEO and founder of SSVAR

 welcomed the audience by saying:

“enjoy yourself; this is a human event.”

10:05 A.M : Denise Fessler, CEO of Innopark SA

then opened the IIFVAR with the story of the origin and growth of SSVAR and its four months’ preparation for this conference.

10:10 A.M : Thomas Dübendorfer CEO of SICTIC (Swiss ICT Investor Club)

first unveiled what business angels look for in VR, AR and MR startups and advised the entrepreneurs to:

“first nail it, then scale it.”

The conference - Part 1

10:15 AM : Christine Perey CEO of Perey Research and Consulting

As a pioneer and thought-leader in the AR industry, Christine Perey,  gave her view on "The 12 Industries Impacted By Augmented Reality. Why?” In her evaluation, she has considered the industries' "fleets, linear assets, workforce optimisation, global markets, risk and regulations.”

Click

10:30 A.M : Mark Melnykowycz Artist-engineer from Idezo

then discussed user interactions & design approaches for immersive experiences with his speech:

"Design Approaches For Immersive Experience Such As AR/VR”

10:45 A.M : Ronny Tobler, CEO of Kenzan Studios

spoke next and talked about the economics of VR arcades.

11:00 A.M : Dr. Shafi Ahmed, renowned surgeon and founder of Medical Realities

In his speech “Healthcare in VR/AR”, reminded us of the opportunity and necessity of meeting global needs through use of VR and AR, pointing out that virtual reality offered ways to scale and modernize medical therapy, including phobia treatment.

11:15 AM : Dr. Eric Vezzoli, Co-founder of Go Touch VR

explained haptic and movement toward a "Zero Effort” interaction.

11:30 A.M : Daniel-Ioan Dumitrescu, PhD., Managing Partner at Euro Center for Services

brought to IIFVAR practical solutions for the development and funding of innovative startups and SMEs: SME Instruments and InnovFin. Both are also very helpful in mitigating risks associated with financial institutions wishing to enter the innovation risk finance.

Morning Startup Pitches

11:50 A.M : Proxima VR by Andrea Masera
11:55 A.M : Go touch VR by Eric Vezzoli
11:55 AM : Qbit by Mattia Crespi
12:05 P.M : Limbic Life by Patrik Künzler

Afternoon Keynote Speakers

01:35 PM : Laurent Bugnion Regional Director from Microsoft

 started with a fascinating overview of usage of HoloLens in Business.

01:50 PM: Giovanni Landi, award-winning VR designer and Creative Director from Archon Dronics

a Milan-based security and investigations company, decoded a killer VR/AR application which should be "a combination of good timing, good design and simplicity.”

02:05 PM : Arthur Clay, Founder of Virtuale Switzerland

then depicted a new era of tourism powered by digital technology including VR and AR, where customers could visit Switzerland virtually.

The conference - Part 2

02:10 PM : Matthias Kaenzig, Co-founder of Takondi AG

next, gave reasons to "Why Technology Is Not The Only Key To Success In Augmented Reality Projects.” He emphasised the importance of “creating experiences that actually deliver results to the user as you would expect from websites or other apps."

02:25 PM : Rupert Breheny, Web and VR Developer from Google

intrigued the audience with the images of cavemen’s painting and then took us through how to build a VR demo room with today's materials.

03:05 P.M : Michael Bodekær Jensen TED speaker and Founder of Labster

described how his company is using VR and AR to make learning more meaningful to students around the world.

03:20 P.M : Marco Sacco, EuroVR president

presented a very important initiative for the future of VR and AR: Think Virtually.

03:35 PM : Simon Lynen, Senior Software Engineer from Google

 explained Daydream and Tango, Google's road to mobile VR and AR.

04:05 P.M : Philippe D. Monnier, Board Member of WayRay

the company using AR technology for future cars, shared his vision of "Automobile Industry In China: A Key AR Market.”

Afternoon Startup Pitches

04:20 PM : Artheon VR Museum
04:25 P.M : Weavr
04:25 PM : Kenzan Studios
04:40 PM: Elysian Fields
04:45 PM : TFC-Simulations

Demos

Many startups set up the booths outside the auditorium to demonstrate their products. The participants paid visits throughout the day, but most of them took advantage of the time in-between the afternoon speeches and the cocktail networking session. Some even skipped the lunch to try on the haptic clip, test out the Limbic chair, experience Proxima's VR motion design, or Kenzan's latest backpack VR experiences.

Surprise Opera and Networking

When the participants gathered in the auditorium between demos and cocktails, they were treated to a surround-sound opera performance of selections from Carmen. Victoria Robertson, from the SSVAR team, demonstrated her vocal talent, captivating the audience in a magical live experience.

Cocktail

Culminating the event, participants celebrated with wine, delicious food and passionate discussion about VR, AR, and MR. Everyone enjoyed an invigorating session of networking, debate, and discussion, looking forward to future collaborations and connections together, also anticipating the next International Investor Forum.