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WELCOME TO CREATETECH SUMMIT SEE 2024

Mark your calendars for the second edition of CreaTech Summit South-East Europe, scheduled to unfold on February 29th and March 1st, 2024, at the vibrant venue of Toplocentrala, Sofia!

WHY JOIN CREATECH SUMMIT SEE 2024?

INTERNATIONAL REACH

Propel your CreaTech enterprise onto the international stage in South-Eastern Europe. Network with visionaries and explore international opportunities.

EXPERT NETWORKING

Engage with professionals in Film, TV, Game Development, Design, and Immersive Technologies and many more. Share insights, experiences, and build valuable connections.

INNOVATION ACCELERATOR

Stay ahead with accelerated business model evolution. Discover the latest industry trends and technologies to stay at the forefront of innovation.

PARTNERSHIP BOOST

Catalyze impactful local and international collaborations.

CONTENT THEMES

cinema

game development

design

immersive technology

SPEAKERS

Milena Stoycheva

Minister of Innovation and Growth

Vassilis Charalampidis

European Creative Hubs Network

Yana Genova

Deputy Mayor of Sofia

Diana Andreeva-Popyordanova

Observatory of Cultural Economics / Moderator

Camila Cela

Creative Business Network

Cinzia Lagioia

Apulia Creative Cluster

Michael Barngrover

XR4Europe

Todor Mladenov

Sofia Tech Park

Mariyana Hamanova

Cleantech Bulgaria / Moderator

Genoveva Christova

CreaTech Bulgaria

Nana Radenković

Nova Iskra Creative Hub

Elena Bojadjieva

Creative Industries, N. Macedonia

Marius Geru

OpenHub

Esra Gönen

Originn Creative Hub

Michal Hladky

EIT Culture and Creativity, CLC Košice

Keith Mellingen

VRINN

Andreea Sava

European Games Developer Federation

Dr. Deirdre McQuillan

Technological University Dublin

Irina Ilieva

Junior Achievement Bulgaria / Moderator

Sasha Bezuhanova

MOVE.BG

Angel Angelov

Innovation Capital

Milen Dobrev

INOBRIDGE

Nenad Jovanovski

Serbian Games Association

game development

Xanthi Bampoula

EIT Manufacturing

immersive technology

Cathrine Bryøen

HIDDEN

immersive technology

Mike Geig

Unity Technologies

game development

Krasimir Nikolov

QuarkXR

immersive technology

Yuriy Popov

Incineration Productions

game development

George Tsanov

Incineration Productions

immersive technology

Jennie Sue

Ad Astra Advisors

game development

Yav Bonev

Animajor Studios

immersive technology

Momchil Alexiev

cinema

Jani Torppa

Geeklab

game development

Agata Manolova

TU Sofia

immersive technology

Valentin Dalev

PUNCHev Group

game development

Kim Baumann Larsen

Viewalk

immersive technology

Vladislav Valchev

Chaos

game development

Ellen Lande

Game director, Filmcritic

immersive technology

Hristo Velev

Bottleship VFX

cinema

Darko Marković

ITS A DARMAR

design

Dragoslav Popov

PixelPool

design

Elena Mustakova

Ligna Group

design

AGENDA

Day 1 | 29 FEB

9:30–10:00 AM

Registration and welcome coffee

10:00–10:20 AM

Opening speeches / Welcome addresses

Hosts – Ivan Hristov and Andrey Arnaudov
Boyko Takov – BSMEPA
Vassil Terziev – Mayor of Sofia
Victor Stoyanov – Deputy Minister of Culture
Genoveva Christova – Createch Bulgaria
Veselin Dimov – Toplocentrala

10:20–11:10 AM

Panel discussion: „European and National Policies for Boosting the Entrepreneurial and Innovative Potential of the Cultural and Creative Sector"

Milena Stoycheva – Minister of Innovation and Growth
Vassilis Charalampidis – European Creative Hubs Network
Yana Genova – Deputy Mayor of Sofia for “Culture, Education, Sports and Youth Activities”

Moderator: Diana Andreeva-Popyordanova – Observatory of Cultural Economics

11:10–11:30 AM

Coffee break

11:30–12:30 PM

PANEL: "Creative Hubs and Building an Ecosystem for Embracing Innovations and Stimulating the Development of CCI - International Perspectives".

Camila Cela – Creative Business Network
Cinzia Lagioia – Apulia Creative Cluster
Michael Barngrover – XR4Europe
Todor Mladenov – Sofia Tech Park

Moderator: Mariyana Hamanova – Cleantech Bulgaria

12:30–1:30 PM

Lunch / Lunch break

1:30–2:30 PM

PANEL: "Bridging Borders in Creative Industries in SEE". Signing of Memorandum for Cooperation within SEE Countries

Genoveva Christova – CreaTech Bulgaria
Nana Radenković – Nova Iskra Creative Hub
Elena Boyadjieva – Creative Industries
Marius Geru – OpenHub
Esra Gönen – Originn Creative Hub

Moderator: Genoveva Christova

2:30–3:30 PM

PANEL: "Leadership in cultural and creative sectors and industries - Sectoral insights"

Michal Hladky – EIT Culture and Creativity, Creative Industry Košice
Keith Mellingen – VRINN
Andreea Sava – European Games Developer Federation
Deirdre McQuillan – Technological University Dublin

Moderator: Irina Ilieva – Junior Achievement

3:30–4:00 PM

Coffee break

4:00–5:00 PM

Creative Bisuness Cup Bulgaria: Finalist's Pitch session

Jury: Angel Angelov, Sasha Bezuhanova, Camila Cela, Genoveva Christova, Milen Dobrev, Irina Ilieva

5:00–5:30 PM

Coffee break

5:30–6:00 PM

Creative Bisuness Cup Bulgaria: Award ceremony

7:00–9:00 PM

Networking cocktail

Day 2 | 01 MAR

9:30–10:00 AM

Registration

10:00–10:15 AM 

Opening 

Parallel sessions: “Immersive Horizons: Digital Economy, Innovations and Transformative Technologies in the CCIs”

10:15–11:30 AM

Session 1 / Hall 1
Cinema and Game Dev

Nenad Jovanovski – Serbian gaming ecosystem – who, where and how
Momchil Alexiev – Where do cinematic and immersive storytelling meet
Mike Geig – Meeting the needs of current and future technology trends with Unity
Yuriy Popov – Data oriented design for beginners
Jennie Sue – A Personal Journey from Passion to Profession

Moderator: Nenad Jovanovski

10:15–11:30 AM

Session 1 / Hall 2
Design and Immersive technologies

Jani Torppa – How to release a game in 2024
Valentin Dalev – Forging exceptional user experience
Vladislav Valchev – What is DirectX 12
Hristo Velev – Expanding the boundaries in film production

Moderator: Nenad Jovanovski

11:30–12:00 PM

Coffee break

12:00–1:15 PM

Session 2 / Hall 1
Cinema and Game Dev

Xanthi Bampoula – EIT Manifacturing
Cathrine Bryøen – HIDDEN – interactive geolocated XR in your landscape
Krasimir Nikolov – Disrupting the AEC and Design industry with XR
George Tsanov – Choosing the right art style for you XR project
Yav Bonev – Capturing Humans – a case study by Animajor Studios

Moderator: Victoria Victorova

12:00–1:15 PM

Session 2 / Hall 2
Design and Immersive technologies

Agata Manolova – Using gamification and XR technologies to enhance student learning
Darko Markovic – Advancement = Personal Initiatives | Inside44 by DARMAR
Kim Baumann Larsen – Designing Intuitive and Inspiring Immersive Spaces
Ellen Lande – Creating the Emotional Immersive Experience from a famous painting and an old folk tale
Dragoslav Popov – 3D Fashion: Digital Clothing Production
Elena Mustakova – Ligna Group

Moderator: Momchil Alexiev

1:15–1:30 PM

Closing session and take-outs

JOIN US

Join us for this extraordinary gathering, meticulously organized
by CreaTech Bulgaria and generously supported by:

© Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved

Milena Stoycheva

Minister of Innovation and Growth

Milena Stoycheva – Minister of Innovation and Growth. Long-time CEO of Junior Achievement Bulgaria (JA Bulgaria), part of the global network of JA Worldwide. Throughout her career, Stoycheva has worked systematically for digitalization, modernization and development of a high educational and startup culture in Bulgaria. She is the recipient of JA Worldwide’s highest global leadership award “Soraya Salti” for 2021, presented in recognition of making a social impact through economic empowerment. She taught innovation and entrepreneurship at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and was responsible for the innovation and transformation strategy at EIT Culture & Creativity. Participated in several expert groups at the EC, OECD, HEinnovate, etc. Stoycheva is a member of the board of the European Female Founders and works actively for affirming women in business, science and entrepreneurship.

Vassilis Charalampidis

European Creative Hubs Network

Vassilis Charalampidis, is a founding member and president of the board of the European Creative Hubs Network, along with partners from all over Europe and over 300 members in 36 different countries. ECHN is a network that has been created to connect the creative professionals and empower the cultural and creative sectors and industries, as well as to shape equivalent strategies at a national and European level.

 

He is also a founding member of BIOS, a cultural organization for today’s art, urban life and the creative industries. Additionally, as a graphic designer, he has received numerous Greek and European awards and distinctions. In 2003, he joined the Olympic Games opening ceremony’s creative team and he designed all of the graphics of the opening act.


He participated in the consultation on the shaping of the new European agenda for culture, as well as in various meetings on the process of creating new European Commission programs focusing on cultural and creative industries, innovation and social cohesion.

 

He is devoted to highlight the importance of culture and today’s creative practice in shaping society and the modern way of life; to promote the interdisciplinarity and the unexpected intersection between art and science giving rise to new ways of thinking about our world and the ways we interact with it and creating accessibility platforms to the various forms of expression for all.

Yana Genova

Deputy Mayor of Sofia

Yana Genova graduated from the “Kliment Ohridski” Sofia University with a degree in Cultural Studies. Her professional development in the field of cultural management began in 1995. She worked for Bulgarian and international organizations and programs in the field of books, cultural periodicals and translation. Founder of the non-governmental organization “Next Page” and the House for Literature and Translation in Sofia, co-founder of the children’s platform for encouraging reading www.knigovishte.bg, president of the board of the European Network of Translation Centers RECIT. Shee has experience as an expert in the “Creative Europe” Program of the European Union, as an advisor in the Ministry of Culture and a member of working groups, including in the development of the strategy “Culture and the arts – the new energy for sustainable development of Sofia” 2023-2033. She is interested in topics such as strategic planning and measuring the societal impact of culture and arts.

Diana Andreeva-Popyordanova

Observatory of Cultural Economics - Moderator

Dr. Diana Andreeva – Popyordanova is director of the Observatory of Cultural Economics (OCE), an organization for independent research in cultural economics in Bulgaria. She is a lecturer in the University of National and World Economy/UNWE/, Department “Media and Public Communications”- UNESCO Chair on Media and Information Literacy and Cultural Policies for Sustainable Development and National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts. She is co-editor of the Bulgarian profile of cultural policy in the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Deputy Director of the Centre for Media Research and Audiovisual Policy in UNWE, Sofia. Diana Andreeva is part of the research team of the international Horizon 2020 CICERONE/Creative Industries Cultural Economy Production Network/ project .

Camila Cela

Creative Business Network

Graduated in Art History (2013), with more than 13 years of experience in cultural dissemination and management. I’m the head of Red de Industrias Creativas, Spain National Partner of CBN since 2019 and in 2023 I joined the CBN team as head of communication and leader of the European Project ekip. I spend the little extra time I have left as a TV collaborator.

Cinzia Lagioia

Apulia Creative Cluster Association

Cinzia Lagioia is director of Apulia Creative Cluster Association. She has proven experience in the design and management of projects financed by European structural funds and European territorial cooperation programs. She is also a senior consultant and teacher for strategic planning of local development in a systemic perspective in the fields of culture and creativity, environment and legality.

Michael Barngrover

XR4Europe

Michael is the Managing Director of XR4Europe, a pan-European association that federates XR professionals, organisations, and initiatives to foster, promote, and represent XR innovation, industry, and creativity made in Europe. Their membership includes companies and startups, universities and research institutions, and national and regional XR associations. XR4Europe is a partner in strategic European projects XR4HUMAN and OpenVerse and a facilitator of XR industry thought leadership, research, and knowledge transfer.

Title of Talk: It Takes all of Europe to Build the Future of Virtual Worlds

Talk Description: Michael will talk about the significance of the European Commission’s strategic vision of Virtual Worlds and Web4.0 and the importance of recognizing Eastern and Southeastern European creators, developers, and companies’ contributions toward that vision.

Todor Mladenov

Sofia Tech Park

Todor Mladenov is the Executive Director of Sofia Tech Park, the first science and technology park in Bulgaria. His professional activities are set to deliver experience and knowledge in the sustainability of the recently developed R&D and innovation related facilities, designed to nurture and incubate priority industries through commercialization of research output and promotion of start-ups. Deep interest and now-how in the fields of strategic planning and operations; facilities and infrastructure development; business incubation; technology transfer; and internationalization.

Mariyana Hamanova

Cleantech Bulgaria / Moderator

Mariyana Hamanova is the executive director of “Cleantech Bulgaria”. She has extensive experience in managing international projects in the field of sustainable development, circular economy and green innovation. She has earned credibility as a recognized professional in the process of developing and implementing sustainable business solutions and transformation strategies. Cleantech Bulgaria is a partner of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and EIT Climate KIC, EIT Culture and Creativity and EIT Urban Mobility and hub manager of EIT Manufacturing for Bulgaria.

Genoveva Christova

CreaTech Bulgaria

Genoveva Christova-Murray is a serial entrepreneur, co-owner and manager of Ligna Group, president of CreaTech Bulgaria and one of the founders of MISSIA23 – the first creative hub in Bulgaria. She is also the president of Bulgarian furniture cluster and the founder of Ligna Studios. She has been awarded as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 by the EU Commission, was on the cover of Forbes magazine in December 2017, and was selected as a representative for the EY Winning Women Entrepreneurship Programme in 2018-2019. She has also served as a co-producer for Eurovision Bulgaria 2020 and 2021, and Junior Eurovision 2021.She is mentor and speaker at number of formats like TED Talks, Bulgaria Wants You, Drazkite, ABLE, Women in Clusters.

Nana Radenković

Nova Iskra Creative Hub

Co-founder of Nova Iskra Creative Hub, where she is actively engaged in creating mentoring programs, trainings and workshops for individuals, organizations and companies interested in taking an active role in the processes of transformation, not only of their projects and businesses , but also in a wider sense, through the creation of new ways in which they could learn, live and work in the future. She holds an MA in Management in Culture, Interculturalism and Mediation in Balkans (University of the Arts Belgrade), with great experience working in the private, public and civil sectors. She is supporting teams to innovate and collaborate better through programs like Venture an Idea, Raising Starts, Smart Start, D inkubator, Ninja Accelerator, Playing Narratives, Upgrade, Serbia Innovates, and many more.

Elena Bojadjieva

Creative Industries, N.Macedonia

Elena Bojadjieva is a Photographer and Dean of the Faculty of Film Arts at International University Europa Prima, Skopje. She is also Founding member of UMPACI – Union of Macedonian Professional Associations in the Creative Industries and AKI – Association for Creative Industries – Economic Chamber of North Macedonia. Her activities are connected with creating and promotion of educational projects and activities in the field of creative industries, as well as development, preservation and nurturing of culture and cultural heritage. She is behind several forums and events in creative industries like the International Forum of Cultural Creative Entrepreneurship 2020, Creative Business Cup 2021 and 2022, and International Forum On Creative Industries And The Role Of Women’s Entrepreneurship In The Creative Economy 2022.

Marius Geru

OpenHub

My journey into entrepreneurship led to launching my first venture, Thecon in 2006, a web development agency born out of a passion for technology. Since its inception, the company has grown beyond its original mission, evolving into a parent company for various other initiatives and becoming part of the Openhub Cluster, founded in 2010. This cluster is committed to encouraging consortiums, fostering collaboration, and generating opportunities aimed at advancing the digital business landscape in Southeast Romania. This endeavor led to my involvement in numerous research projects on digital marketing, machine learning, social media, and communication, culminating with a Ph.D. in applied machine learning algorithms in digital marketing in 2020. This work reflects my commitment to applied research and ambition to explore the boundaries of technology and its business applications.

Esra Gönen

Originn Creative Hub

Esra Gönen is an entrepreneur mainly interested in Innovation and Design in Service and Creative and Cultural Industries. In 2009, she founded GNN Foreign Trade, which gives sales and consultancy services to Turkish SMEs for expanding international markets and to multinational companies for entering Turkish market, followed by GNN Office in 2014, the first co-working space for businesses in Izmir. After observing the impact of coworking and cocreation on local development, she cofounded ORIGINN Creative Hub in 2016, where creative and social entrepreneurs work, socialise and develop projects collectively. She is the local facilitator of NestaUK Creative Enterprise Program and has been assigned as an influencer woman leader in Cultural and Creative Industries in Turkey, by British Council. Esra studied Business at Dokuz Eylül University and holds an MSc in International Business at Applied University of Mainz and London South Bank University.

Michal Hladky

EIT Culture and Creativity, CLC Košice

Michal is a director of Creative Industry Košice – the legacy organization after Košice European Capital of Culture 2013. He is an author of the Košice ECoC bid project concept and has experience with its implementation and sustainability strategy. Michal is leading and is part of international projects for CCI’s development, cross-sectorial projects, education, mobilities, and business models. He is the culture and creative industries policy advisor on the city, regional and national levels. He represents the City of Košice in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Michal is the European Creative Business Network co-chair as the EU funding lead. He is an interim director for the emerging colocation center within EIT Culture and Creativity.

Keith Mellingen

VRINN

Keith Mellingen, an award-winning VR director, leads the VRINN Immersive Learning Cluster, focusing on VR/AR applications in education, healthcare, and cultural heritage. He has collaborated with companies such as Fujitsu, Mowi, Universal Music, Bayer Healthcare, and Santander Consumer Bank. Keith also oversees the Nordic VR Forum and the VRINN Awards, key initiatives promoting immersive technology across the Nordics

Andreea Sava

European Games Developer Federation

Sava holds a MA in Business Administration from the Bucharest University of Economic Studies and made her way into the video games industry 4 years ago, as an Event Manager for the Romanian Game Developers Association (RGDA). Her creativity, enthusiasm, and love for teamwork matched the video games sector vibe and motivated her to support the growth of the national games industry ecosystems in Europe. As the Communication Coordinator of EGDF (European Game Developers Federation) she encourages local European industries to communicate and connect. She manages the Dev.Play Conference for Eastern Europe and the EGDF Annual Video Game Industry Report – Collecting national data from more than 20 European Countries.

Dr. Deirdre McQuillan

Technological University Dublin

Dr. Deirdre McQuillan is a Project Team Lead for Societies and Transition at the European University of Technology (EUt+) [EUT+ and a Senior Researcher at Technological University Dublin. She is currently project team lead on the European University of Technology initiative, responsible for the work on Societies & Transition. Her responsibilities in this role cover equality, diversity & inclusion; digital transition; green transition; and multilingualism and interculturality. Prior to working on EUt+ she was head of research in TU Dublin’s Faculty of Business. Her own research interests are in two main areas 1. entrepreneurship and 2. creative industry strategies and work contexts. She is published in leading international journals in these areas including International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Strategy and Advances in Strategic Management. For the first 15 years of her career she worked in international finance in Australia, Germany and in Ireland.

Irina Ilieva

Junior Achievement Bulgaria / Moderator

Irina holds a BA in International Economic Relations with a specialization in International Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences in Seinajoki, Finland. Irina is a scholarship holder of the European Commission in an international master’s degree in Economics of Globalization and European Integration. Her professional experience includes work in the public, private and non-governmental sectors in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Bulgaria. She works at the International Development Fund of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, where she is responsible for communications, partnerships and information campaigns on public issues such as climate issues, migration and the global development goals, as well as holding the position of Vice-President of the Internal organization committee of the organization. She was a program expert at the “America for Bulgaria” Foundation on programs in the field of education and innovation, as well as initiatives to engage Bulgarians abroad. In 2018, she was honored in the “30 under 30” ranking of Forbes magazine for her professional and volunteer commitment in the field of education. Irina is the executive director of JA Bulgaria.

Sasha Bezuhanova

MOVE.BG

Sasha Bezuhanova is an internationally recognized manager, angel investor and philanthropist with a 20-year successful management career in HP and a significant contribution to the social development of Bulgaria. The long list of her business achievements and initiatives in favor of social prosperity over the years includes positioning Bulgaria as an ICT center of global significance, promoting entrepreneurial culture and affirming the role of women in business in Bulgaria and at the European level.

Angel Angelov

Innovation Capital

Angel Angelov is a managing partner in the venture capital fund Innovation Capital. He has extensive experience in investing and accelerating startups from various sectors. His practice focuses on fundraising, venture capital, investment banking, startup advisory, corporate finance, M&A advisory.

Milen Dobrev

INOBRIDGE

Milen Dobrev is the chairman of BIC INOBRIDGE and the executive director of the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Since 2013, he is also a member of the board of the European Network of Business Innovation Centers (EBN). Its main activity is aimed at supporting innovative businesses and stimulating the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Nenad Jovanovski

Serbian Games Association

Although Nenad has a formal education related to agriculture, he entered the world of IT through Startit. He acquired informal education by working in the Scout Association of Serbia, where he created and led projects. At SGA he will deal with project management. From April 2022 to June 2023 he was managing the newly formed Creative Tech Serbia supercluster. He had the opportunity to develop partnerships for the European region, as well as to work and volunteer in Germany and South Korea. He turned his love for nature into the startup Bifrost, which is developing a biodegradable substitute for plastic.

Xanthi Bampoula

EIT Manufacturing

Mrs. Xanthi BAMPOULA currently serves as an Education Manager of EIT Manufacturing South East Co-Location Center, located in Athens, Greece and supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). 

With a background as a Research Engineer and Project Manager, she has effectively managed numerous innovation and education EU funded projects, steering them from inception to successful completion through collaborative partnerships with universities, industry entities, and research institutes. Her primary focus lies in upskilling and reskilling the European workforce to adapt to emerging technologies and advancements. She holds an Integrated Master of Science degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Patras.

Cathrine Bryoen

HIDDEN

Dedicated to technology development and innovation with focus on viable applications and robust solutions doing good for mankind.

Mike Geig

Unity Technologies

Mike is the leader of Advocacy and Community at Unity Technologies, where his passion for educating and inspiring creators can shine. Prior to joining Unity in 2013, he experienced life through the lens of an indie game dev, a university educator, and even briefly a wedding DJ. A gamer at heart, Mike loves being an advocate because he gets to build awesome and absurd Unity projects while making game development fun and accessible for everyone. His favorite questions are ones that make him say, “Wow, I have no idea… let’s find out!”

Krasimir Nikolov

QuarkXR

Krasimir Nikolov is the Co-Founder, CEO of QuarkXR – the next-gen cloud streaming platform for businesses adopting and scaling their use of immersive technologies. The platform utilizes proprietary XR streaming technology and Cloud Computing to unlock more mobile use cases, with better performance and scale. Krasimir has a master’s degree in AI and more than 10 years experience in developing Enterprise and Cloud applications. He is a XR expert in the industry since 2014 when he co-created Intugame – an app which enables you to play PC games in VR on a cheap phone.

Yuriy Popov

Incineration Productions

Yuriy Popov is the Co-Founder and CTO at Incineration Productions – one of the fastest growing and progressive studios for game development and immersive experiences, created in Bulgaria in recent years. The company is primarily focused on creating their own video games, including virtual reality ones. In addition to this, the studio creates high added value, by providing outsourcing for international clients in the realm of engaging, immersive and gamified XR experiences to complex, realistic simulations and trainings. Yuriy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer systems and technologies, has more than 9 years of professional experience in creating and building technology in Unity and was chosen as one of the young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in Bulgaria under the age of 40 who serves as a true inspiration for the youth here.

George Tsanov

Incineration Productions

George Tsanov is the Art Director at Incineration Productions – one of the fastest growing and progressive studios for game development and immersive experiences, created in Bulgaria in recent years. The company is primarily focused on creating their own video games, including virtual reality ones. In addition to this, the studio creates high added value, by providing outsourcing for international clients in the realm of engaging, immersive and gamified XR experiences to complex, realistic simulations and trainings. George is currently finishing his PhD in Computer Game Design. He holds a master’s degree in Computer game design, has more than 13 years of experience in 3D graphic design and 6+ years of experience in teaching 3D Modelling.

Jennie Sue

Ad Astra Advisors

Jennie Sue has over 15 years experience in games partnerships, publishing, and developer success at companies including Forte, WB Games, 2K Games, DeNA, SEGA. Jennie’s strategic partnership roles engaged ideation with Apple, Google, Samsung, AT&T, DC, Capcom, Oculus and more. She’s a champion of developer success having onboarded and launched over 100 mobile games, and guided strategy, planning, and performance. Avid gamer with a keen eye for emerging market trends using data-led intuition, knowledge in blockchain games, and a deep interest in generative AI technologies to foster innovation in productivity and growth.

Yav Bonev

Animajor Studios

Yav Bonev is a leading expert in advanced VR solutions and 3D holographic animations. Yav has over 20 years of industry experience, working for various large-scale projects around the globe. In 2011, Yav founded Animajor Studios, as the first company in the world, specializing solely in creating content for 3D Holographic Displays. 150 international projects later, the company has grown to accommodate for other platforms, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Virtual Production and video games. His latest endeavours are related to becoming a leading force in content creation for Volumetric Capture technology, using game engines, such as Unreal.

Momchil Alexiev

Momchil Alexiev is a graduate from La Sapienza University in Rome and The Netherlands Film Academy. Over the past 17 years he works as a filmmaker and theatre scenographer in Italy, Bulgaria, Denmark and The Netherlands. As founder of ACTIFILM research center (since 2009) he works on establishing new organic connections between performance, cinematic space and video projections. His recent work is a continuation of this process. In it he questions the notion of spectatorship in the context of immersive media. His XR films have been shown at numerous festivals like VR Days Europe, SIFF, Kinomania and Go Shorts. Momchil is fellow at Sundance Institute, founder of the first Bulgarian VR platform – VR Lab BG and the Festival Sofia VR Fest. The focus of his projects is to raise a discussion on the changing conditions of spectatorship and introduce the idea of immersiveness as a tool for storytelling.

Jani Torppa

Geeklab

Jani Torppa, the COO and Co-founder of Geeklab – a trusted partner in app growth and expertise with a mission to turn impressions into installs, has paved his way in the mobile marketing industry from a strong background rooted in mobile networks. Together with his co-founders, Jani founded Geeklab back in 2019 taking on the responsibility of business development, and operational management. Jani’s collaborative efforts with industry leaders showcase Geeklab’s influence and reputation in the field.

Agata Manolova

TU Sofia

Associate Prof. Agata Manolova, PhD received her first master’s degree from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria in the French Faculty of Electrical Engineering with a major in “Information and Communication Technologies”, her second master’s degree is from the Polytechnic University of Grenoble, France in Signal, Image and Speech Processing and Telecommunications. The doctoral dissertation was obtained jointly between the Technical University of Sofia and the University of Grenoble, France in 2011 in the field of Image and Video Technologies. She has more than 17 years of teaching and research experience in the field of ICT. Prof. Agata Manolova is a member and leader of many national and international research and educational projects related to various ICT applications. Currently, Associate Professor Manolova is the Dean of the Faculty of Telecommunications (2023 – ) at TU-Sofia. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, PhD programs in image and video processing, computer vision, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, 3D gaming, and more. Her main research areas cover different aspects of holographic communications and tactile internet.

Valentin Dalev

PUNCHev Group

Valentin is a UX designer at PUNCHev Group, a distinguished niche studio specializing in UX/UI services for games and complex applications. With a background as a Senior Physiotherapist and active participation in scientific studies, Valentin’s journey is marked by a deep understanding of human behaviour and a keen analytical eye. His creative heart, nurtured from a young age, drives him to bridge the gap between beauty and functionality as a UX designer. At PUNCHev Group, Valentin’s focus is on crafting immersive experiences that captivate users while enhancing usability. His dedication is to integrate aesthetics with functionality to ensure that every project, whether an indie game or a big AAA title, is not only mesmerizing but also accessible and easy to use.

Kim Baumann Larsen

Viewalk

Kim Baumann Larsen is COO and co-founder of Viewalk, which develops fitness games on your phone or tablet, and he is the creative director of Dimension Design, where he designs and produces virtual spaces and interactive applications within AR, VR and real-time 3D.

Educated at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and at he University of Houston, he is considered one of Norway’s leading XR experts. Kim has worked in virtual architecture and interactive design for immersive experiences since his first job at the VR startup CyberSim in Houston in 1995, and has won multiple awards and nominations for his design in VFX, virtual and augmented reality.

Vladislav Valchev

Chaos

Vladislav Vulchev has been a software developer at Chaos since 2011. During his 13+ years at the company, he has taken on important roles in major company projects like the integrations of the company’s award-winning renderer V-Ray for Unreal Engine, XSI, 3ds Max, GPU rendering, and more. Currently, Vladislav leads the team that develops Chaos Vantage, a Chaos’ real-time ray tracer. Vladislav is also an experienced lecturer on computer graphics and ray tracing. He is leading a specialized online course as part of Chaos’ online academy for junior developers Chaos Camp.Apart from his interest in all things related to computer graphics, Vladi is also intrigued by topics like AI for computer games and competitive programming.

Ellen Lande

Game director, Filmcritic

Ellen Lande is educated in the Polish Film School and holds a Master’s degree in Directing and Cinematography. She is the director of award nominated and prize winning films and games such as:  NøkkenVR, The Digital garden of Munch AR, The Late Night Show, Just A Game. Also she was responsible for the direction of 960 min of Tv-drama, 23 short and documentary films and has published more than 100 reviews as a Film and Art critic.

Hristo Velev

Bottleship VFX

Hristo Velev is the founder of Bottleship VFX, previously an FX artist at Pixomondo and Scanline. Specialized in simulations of destruction and fluids in productions such as “Iron Man 3” and “Man Of Steel”. He studied computer science at TU-Sofia and NBU, but became passionate about computer graphics in 2006 and landed his first film visual effects job on Roland Emmerich’s “2012” in 2009. He founded Bottleship in 2013, which has since worked on over 20 film titles, among them “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On”, nominated for an Oscar, and their latest – “Comandante”, which opened the Venice Film Festival in 2023. Active participant in artist communities and author of educational courses.

Darko Marković

ITS A DARMAR

Darko Marković, better known as DARMAR, is a renowned designer/artist and entrepreneur born in Belgrade. He has dozens of awards in his biography, including the Lamborghini scholarship in Milan, as well as first place in the prestigious Artstation Challenge and CGTALK Challenge. DARMAR creates stunning 3D conceptual designs for the film/gaming and product industries. His works have been published and featured multiple times in magazines, portals, and other media outlets. Such talent has attracted the attention of major clients such as COLDPLAY, MATRIX 4, SONY, OUTCAST GAME, STAR TREK PICCARD, DOUBLE NEGATIVE, POLYGON PICTURES, and many others. Simultaneously, for the past 9 years, he has been working on a fascinating science fiction project called Inside44. This project depicts the entire science fiction universe where the main character has type 1 diabetes and is inspired by events from his real life, as well as his Serbian heritage in today’s world.

Dragoslav Popov

PixelPool

Leading the Sofia Team in PixelPool, motivating the team and pushing them towards innovation in workflow standards to enhance and optimize speed, efficiency and quality. Heavy involvement in managing fashion 3D teams for the past 11 years. Pixelpool’s aim is to be ecological through digital clothing production. 

Elena Mustakova

Ligna Group

Elena boasts over 7 years of rich experience in hospitality interior design, a journey that commenced within the esteemed realm of Ligna Group. This venture allowed her to collaborate with diverse investors on an array of projects, each brimming with unique briefs and contextual nuances. Elena’s passion for delving into the sector’s dynamics is tangible, fueled by a keen interest in observing its evolution amidst social shifts and industry developments. She diligently tracks market trends, regularly immersing herself in the vibrant atmosphere of leading fairs and events to stay abreast of the latest innovations and inspirations shaping the hospitality landscape.