Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 Twin Cities Startup Week 2021
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“Hack Your City” - Creatives in Tech


Colten Zacharias
Brand Director at Framework

Colten Zacharias is an urban designer, consultant and creative director
who works to enhance innovative brands across sectors and industries. He is currently focused on optimizing sustainable design processes necessary to improve senses of place and lessen negative ramifications of shifts in climate.

Amir Berenjian
REM5 Virtual Reality Laboratory, CEO

Amir Berenjian is the Co-Founder and CEO of REM5 Virtual Reality Laboratory, a MN based immersive technology company focused on using virtual reality to impact positive change and social good. Amir leads REM5’s division focused on cultural competence and emotional intelligence education and is a global thought leader in designing and implementing immersive technology tools. Prior to founding REM5 in 2017, Amir was an investment banker focused on advising family-owned businesses on mergers and acquisitions in the middle-market. Amir lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two young children.


From music, to art, to marketing, technology is transforming the way we work and create. The intersection of technology and art play a crucial role in creating new possibilities for diverse communities. On this panel, creative professionals from multiple industries will be discussing how they use technology in their work, and how they envision creative technology contributing to a more inclusive and abundant future.

Immediately following the panel, attendees will have the opportunity to experience immersive media first hand, with the VR social justice exhibit “One City, Two Realities,” put on by Rem5 VR Lab.

During the event, Smart North will be announcing the launch of a design contest entitled “Hack Your City.” We are calling upon MN based artists, designers, developers, and creatives to craft submissions that envision an abundant future for the Twin Cities, or one of its diverse communities. Further details on the contest will be revealed during the announcement.