Metaverse Development - Infrastructure and Investment Trends


Wes Levitt
Theta Labs, Head of Strategy

Wes is currently Head of Strategy at Theta Labs ,a San Jose-based software company that developed and launched the Theta blockchain. In his role at Theta he works on corporate strategy, marketing and press relations, and analytics. He has been a speaker on blockchain topics at conferences like the New York Media Festival, Blockchain Connect, and NAB Streaming Summit among others. Since February 2020, Wes has been a Partner at Alpha Sigma Capital, where he focuses on portfolio risk management and investment research. He also serves as CFO of Blockchain Moon Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: BMAQ), a SPAC targeting companies in the blockchain space. Prior to entering the blockchain space, he spent eight years in investment roles in real estate equity and securitized debt at Mosser Capital Management and Redwood Trust (NYSE: RWT). Wes holds an MBA from UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business and is a CFA Charterholder.

Ibrahim AlSuwaidi
DCM, Investment VP

Ibrahim is an Investment VP at DCM, a venture capital firm with over $4 billion under management. Ibrahim’s a venture capitalist by day, and engineer and quant by night. At DCM, Ibrahim focuses on investments in consumer and emerging tech, and is keen on meeting and partnering with ambitious founders solving some of the world’s hardest problems. Ibrahim has worked on the following DCM companies: Blockfolio (acquired by FTX), Careem (acquired by Uber), Origin (acquired by Stratasys), Amber Group, Cherry, Figure, Handshake, Moove, Nok Nok Labs, Provenance, Skylo Technologies, StreamNative and Theta Labs. Prior to joining DCM, he was a Principal at Pear Ventures, a seed and pre-seed focused fund. Earlier still, Ibrahim worked in government strategy and policy consulting and helped manage a multi-billion dollar portfolio of state-owned enterprises. Ibrahim holds an M.B.A. from Stanford's Graduate School of Business where he was a Siebel Scholar and Arjay Miller Scholar. He also holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford where he conducted research in drone swarming, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern where he co-authored papers in aquatic locomotion and tribology. A native of both the UAE and Taiwan, Ibrahim is fluent in both Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.

Marc Thom
Sony Innovation Fund, Venture Capital Senior Investment Manager

Marc is Venture Capital Senior Investment Manager at Sony Innovation Fund where he invests in early-stage companies and establishes strategic alliances and partnerships. Over 10 years at Sony he's served in a variety of roles including Global Senior Business and Corporate Development Manager, Accessories Business Manager, and Channel Manager of Companion Products. His investment focus Areas at Sony include Entertainment (including Gaming), Blockchain, HealthTech, AgTech, Social Commerce and Social Networks. Marc studied Psychology and Medicine at the University of Wuppertal.

Nick Birnbaum
Alpha Sigma Capital, Partner and Head of Research

Nick is a Partner and Head of Research at Alpha Sigma Capital. He is a dedicated and detail-oriented entrepreneur with a diverse background in both finance and film. Prior to joining Alpha Sigma Capital Nick worked for Prudential Financial where he developed key relationships with individuals and business owners to understand their financial goals and risk tolerance. While at Prudential Nick also passed his Series 7 and Series 66 licensing exams. Earlier in his career Nick ran a successful media production business for five years where he oversaw the scheduling and production of commercial and documentary projects for both regional and Fortune 500 companies. His advisory experience in financial services and management consulting helped to shape his unique perspective. A native of Los Angeles, Nick earned his MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay.

Everyone wants to build in the metaverse, but outside of a few large players they don't always have the knowledge or tools to get started. We'll discuss what tools are being developed and funded to accelerate development of metaverses, and how they can help keep the metaverse "open".