An Open or Closed Metaverse? - And the Opportunity for Start ups vs Incumbents


Sir Ian Livingstone CBE
Hiro Capital, General Partner

Sir Ian Livingstone CBE is a pioneer and legend of the global video game industry. He co-founded two billion-dollar games companies, Games Workshop (Warhammer) and Eidos (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) for whom, as Executive Chairman, he led the successful London IPO. He was angel investor and chairman of Playdemic, creator of the global top 10 mobile game Golf Clash. As well as his role in Hiro, Sir Ian is Non-Executive Chairman of Sumo Group PLC, a leading London-listed cross-platform games developer. Sir Ian co-created the multi-million-selling Fighting Fantasy series of role playing game books. Sir Ian has been an angel Investor and advisor to multiple leading games studios, including Mediatonic, Bossa Studios, Fusebox and many more. Sir Ian is also co-founder of the Livingstone Academy, a next generation UK Academy School focused on a 21st century digital creative curriculum. Sir Ian is proud of his geek heritage and admits to having over 1,000 board games in his home study and a life size statue of Lara Croft.

Sir Ian focuses on Hiro’s games and studio investments.

Marc Petit
Epic Games, General Manager, Unreal Engine

Marc Petit is the general manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games, where he oversees growth across markets using real-time technology, including architecture, engineering and construction (AEC); automotive and manufacturing; computer and video games; education; media and entertainment (M&E); product design and visualization; and simulation and training.

Prior to joining Epic Games in mid-2016, Marc was a partner and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at XPND Capital, a Montreal-based investment fund where he co-founded and launched Taxelco, a sustainable urban transportation company. Between 2002 and 2013, Marc ran Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment business unit steering development and marketing of the industry’s leading 3D animation and VFX software products. Marc started his career at TDI in 1988, and joined Softimage in 1991 where he ran 3D

Products and oversaw the design and development of Softimage XSI.

Luke Alvarez
Hiro Capital, Managing General Partner

Luke has 30 years in Technology and 21 years in Digital Games. He has founded and invested in Games and Technology companies around the world. He was co-founder & CEO of Inspired Entertainment Inc, a Nasdaq listed mobile games and virtual sports technology leader with operations worldwide. Luke was a founding board member of The Cloud, the UK’s largest public access Wi-Fi operator and is a founding board member of Upskins, a video games content innovator. Luke was a Case Leader at the Boston Consulting Group, earned a First Class Honours in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and was a Fulbright Scholar to the University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about content and storytelling and their interaction with the future of technology. Luke grew up in a family of poets, writers and gamers and is an old-school rock climber.

Luke leads Hiro’s investment strategy and compliance and focuses on Hiro’s digital sports, social network and game technology investments.

After 8 years in early stage technology companies and stints as a competitive gamer and VR live streamer, AJ "Dr Doom" Shewki founded LIV Inc to help the next generation of creators to broadcast, immortalize and share their favorite gaming moments with their friends, family and fans.

Kuleen Nimkar
Solana Labs

Kuleen is a life-long gamer who currently spearheads gaming at Solana Labs. His focus is on working with game studios small and large to launch awesome web3 games on the Solana blockchain. He previously worked in both the tech and finance worlds, at the food delivery giant DoorDash and the quantitative hedge fund Two Sigma Investments.

How will the metaverse emerge? Will it be open or closed, and how will that be determined? It's clear that all parties will need to focus on interoperability to give the metaverse more utility and meaning. How do you improve the fidelity of the experience of being in the metaverse? This panel will address the challenges in getting the metaverse’s leading companies to cooperate on their common interests in building a metaverse where both startups and incumbents can thrive.