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Shaping the future of the metaverse: A panel discussion with Hiber, Vault Hill and Volkswagen Group

On May 12-13 we will once again be hosting the EU-Startups Summit in-person in Barcelona! The unmissable event is bringing you the chance to mingle with about 1,600 fellow startup enthusiasts, get inspired during talks and workshops with Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs, founders and investors, get live-action of our annual Pitch Competition, and, have a front-row seat to the freshest tech insights. 

They say the future is Meta, so, to make sure we are all ready for this new wave of change we’re bringing you a panel discussion on the future of the Metaverse, featuring key innovators in this exciting (if not sometimes slightly surreal) new dawn of innovation.

Michael Yngfors (Hiber Co-Founder & CEO), Nick Merritt (Vault Hill‘s Head of Partnerships, Strategy & Operations) and Tim Walther (Volkswagen Group Manager for NFT & Metaverse) are three Metaverse experts, each with an individual and unique experience of this realm. The trio will be coming together to lead this futuristic panel discussion and share how the future of the metaverse is shaping up.

Co-Founder and CEO of Hiber, Michael Yngfors has been focused on bringing HiberWorld to anyone that wants to access the metaverse and create their own virtual worlds without the need to code. Launched in 2017, Michael was one of the pioneers introducing the metaverse to Europe with Gothenburg-based Hiber and has had a profound role in shaping the European experience of all things meta. 

Michael is an expert on the crossroads of metaverse, no-code, UGC and Web3, at a pivotal time when these factors are converging and introducing a new era of tech. He is an accomplished digital media executive, serial entrepreneur, and leader with more than two decades of experience in interactive entertainment, digital media, brands and advertising. Michael previously led teams at PlayStation EMEA based in London as well as world-renowned agency Forsman & Bodenfors. Now, he is at the forefront of Web3, but earlier in his career, he worked in digital news at the dawn of web1 – so he has been innovating and influencing this sphere from the very beginning. 

Nick Merritt will also be joining this panel discussion that is exploring the tech of tomorrow and is currently the Head of Partnerships, Strategy, and Operations at Vault Hill. He has vast experience in business and technology strategy, with his previous work seeing him travel the world advising clients on customer-centric products, technology teams, and introducing new ways of working into large corporate organisations. He has continuously been at the forefront of fresh tech developments. London-based Vault Hill is an extended blockchain-based metaverse and was founded in 2021, Nick was one of the founding members.

Vault Hill aims to enhance human experiences through its metaverse, using XR technology to make us feel more human, more in tune with our emotions, and, ultimately, more alive. It is the world’s first human-centric metaverse that focuses on basic human instincts, allowing for users, content creators and developers to explore their unrestricted, creative freedom whilst monetising their creation in a secure ecosystem. The company, therefore, is at the forefront of shaping how the metaverse can be used and is exploring the different possibilities that the future holds for this realm of tech. While the startup only launched last year when Founder and CEO Jimi Daodu began bootstrapping in May, the team already counts more than 30 employees and is building its human-centric metaverse super fast. 

Tim Walther is the Group Manager for NFT & Metaverse for multinational car manufacturer Volkswagen Group, and he is leading the group’s entry into the metaverse and NFT sphere. Tim, who is an expert in communications as well as film and television, worked at Germany’s biggest media broadcaster, ProSiebenSat.1 before joining Volkswagen in 2011. The German company has been making moves in the metaverse for some time now, with different brands getting involved. Tim will be able to share the benefits that metaverse and NFT have for large corporations from a marketing perspective. 

Porsche, a Volkswagen Group brand, launched its first NFT in August, and Lamborghini, who brought the popular topic “lambo” and “moon” together, launched an NFT in February. The firm’s brands are continuously evolving in this space and it’s certainly interesting to see the different use cases and adaptability of NFT. Metaverse is also already embedded in the Volkswagen group with Cupra announcing Metahype in February this year, and Audi who will offer a metaverse with the Audi spin-off, Holoride, taking place in the back seats of Audi cars from the summer. 

Pick up your ticket today and mark May 12 – 13 in your calendar, when we will be waiting with open arms to welcome you to Barcelona. In the meantime, keep up to date with all the latest info on the event here.

A taste of what’s to come: 

Our Event Sponsors

Silicon Castles is a Tech Company Builder and Strategic Business Accelerator for technology, intellectual property and licensing businesses, located in Salzburg, Austria. The focus is on European Diamonds: technology startups with a unique business idea, scalable technology and outstanding intellectual property. Silicon Castles also organizes the Startup Executive Academy (SEA), an international Go-to-Market program for founders and executives of early-stage startups, taking place annually since 2017.

Unleashed, by the Purina Accelerator Lab, is the first and only accelerator programme in Europe dedicated exclusively to pet-tech. Their goal is to shape the future of pet care by supporting disruptive pet startups with technologies in advanced nutrition, sustainability, health and digital solutions that enrich the lives of pets and the people who love them. Over the last 2 years, Unleashed had accelerated 12 pet startups, facilitated >350 founders in the Unleashed community and welcomed over 1000 subscribers to the Unleashed pet tech newsletter.

Webex offers industry leading solutions in video conferencing, team collaboration, calling, contact centre and devices, and is trusted by 95% of the Fortune 500. With Webex, businesses can simplify communication, inspire innovation, and empower people to engage with each other anywhere on any device – giving businesses the ultimate edge. Because, when businesses enable employees to bring their best selves to work, everyone wins.

Freshworks is the leader of cloud-based customer and employee software including CRM, livechat, support, marketing automation, ITSM, & HRMS. Products are simple to set up, cost-effective & equipped with powerful automation. Through the Freshworks for Startups program the EU-Startups community can gain access to up to $10k credits on essential tools & products for your Startup. You also get access to Freshworks’ community of VCs, Investors, Mentors, & Customers. Claim your benefits here.

MarketerHire is the fast, easy way to get access to the world’s best marketers. Our recent launch into Europe means you now have on-demand access to our global network of expert, pre-vetted marketers with zero financial risk and full flexibility. We already have over 3,500 customers ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies, including: Netflix, AngelList, Plaid, Quip, Skillshare, Udacity and others.

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative 3D virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. We have worked with hundreds of startups to support their dreams and help them scale up and launch innovative and disruptive products onto the global market. We believe the only progress is human, and startups are pivotal to driving it forward.

SafetyWing-logoSafetyWing is building the first global safety net for remote companies, remote workers and nomads worldwide. Their products are built and designed by a fully remote team of nomads distributed across three continents. Remote Health by SafetyWing is a global health insurance that covers your employees and contractors worldwide under one simple plan.

Catalonia-Trade-InvestmentACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment is the Catalan Government’s agency that works to attract foreign investment to Catalonia, promoting the region as attractive, innovative and competitive business location for startups. Check out their offerings and the Catalonia Startup Directory.

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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