May Tia Ly
Mr. Pierce has over 20 years of experience working in entertainment and technology. Prior to founding Versus Systems, Mr. Pierce was founder and CEO of OLabs, a company developed to create, incubate, and operate new companies that provide high-end software solutions for complex regulatory environments. His background also includes serving as the Vice President of Strategy at Originate, serving early stage startups, and time at Warner Bros and the Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Pierce teaches entrepreneurship and venture initiation at UCLA Anderson and in the economics department at UCLA. He has spoken at SXSW, Digital Hollywood, Pulse, and Digital Entertainment World. Mr. Pierce is a graduate of Stanford University and he earned his MBA from UCLA.
As CTO of Versus Systems, Alex Peachey leads the architecture efforts for their Elixir-based platform. Leveraging over two decades of experience building data driven software systems, Alex leads a group of highly talented software engineers in developing the Versus Systems Winfinite challenge platform. Alex believes that their Elixir applications running on the Erlang/BEAM virtual machine allow Versus to create a highly robust and scalable system. The opportunity to build systems enabling video game developers to make their games more fun is exciting as Alex spends much of his free time playing a variety of video games with his son. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Western Washington University and an MBA from the University of Washington.
Amanda Armour joined our company in November 2016. Her work includes creating and implementing operations, hiring, and organization efforts for the inaugural 2016 Cedar Sinai-Techstars partnership and resulting technology companies, joining the Board of the Digital Diversity Network in 2019, and serving on the Advisory Board of Aeras Fog, a drone technology company that began operations in 2020. From 2012 through 2016, Ms. Armour led several NIH and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-sponsored national research teams focused on initiatives concerning organizational behavior, ingroup establishment, and motivation of group buy-in as they relate to public health measures and medical access equity. Ms. Armour has a BS in Psychology and a BS in Biology with concentrations in Neuroscience from Northwestern University, which includes a Fellowship in Public Health at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. She holds an MS in Social Psychology from Yale University, and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Political Psychology at Stanford University.
Ms. Gahagan is currently a principal of a privately-held merchant bank based in Vancouver, British Columbia and London, England. Prior to the commencement of her involvement in merchant banking seven years ago, Ms. Gahagan graduated from Queens University Law School and practiced corporate law for 20 years. Ms. Gahagan has extensive experience advising companies with respect to international tax-driven structures, mergers and acquisitions.
Keyvan Peymani is a veteran senior executive and thought leader working at the intersection of technology, media, and venture capital. Mr. Peymani serves as the Head of Startup Marketing for Amazon Web Services and is responsible for the global marketing strategy. Prior, he served as a Venture Partner and Senior Advisor to Touchdown Ventures, a VC firm pairing with several leading corporations to establish and manage their platforms. He served as the Managing Director, Digital Strategy Division at ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest talent and literary agencies, and was the firm’s chief digital executive, reporting to the Executive Board. He also served as the Vice President of Direct to Consumer Business Planning and Operations at Warner Bros., where he led strategy, operations, planning and development for the division. In addition, he oversaw three business areas, including mobile apps, and worked on industry-leading forays into OTT, the first fully digital movie apps, the first screenings of movies in Facebook, and the acquisition of Flixster. Prior, he was the head of content acquisitions for catalog content and led the wholesales efforts at Netflix; he led alternative business development for Disney’s music group; and he was the Chief Operating Officer of Nettwerk Music Group. Mr. Peymani has a BA in Religious Studies and a BA in Neurobiology with concentrations in Neuroscience from Northwestern University. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.
Mr. Tingle began his career in the Canadian banking sector, and has been involved in the capital markets for the past 20 years as an advisor, and also as a director, for both private and public companies. Brian is experienced in a range of corporate transactions including acquisitions, mergers, takeovers and financings; his speciality being the effective delivery of the due diligence process.
Mr. Vlasic, serves as a Vice-President and Manager at Vlasic Investments, L.L.C. Mr. Vlasic is a Founding Partner at RSVP Capital. He founded Amplifinity, LLC. He co-founded RSVP Capital in 2007. In addition to his activities at RSVP, Mr. Vlasic serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of uRefer and as a Manager at Vlasic Investments (VILLCo). He also actively invests in new startups. He is a veteran entrepreneur who has led several companies in the technology space. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Amplifinity, LLC, and has been its Member of the Board of Directors since 2009. Mr. Vlasic served as the Chairman of O/E Automation and Head of Operations at O/E Systems. He began his career at Reynolds Metals Company, working in their sales organization. Mr. Vlasic serves on multiple boards within the Henry Ford Health System, The Henry Ford Foundation, and the University of Michigan College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of Rollins College and earned his M.B.A. with Distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
Mr. Frazier currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Studio 71, a leading digital media company owned by the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, where he oversees strategic business development for influencer brands. Frazier is an accomplished executive with a proven track record in the global media landscape with experience in all areas of media and entertainment, including film, television, digital media, publishing and gaming. Mr. Frazier has built several multi-million dollar brands over the past few years, including a card game called Joking Hazard, the Guava Juice toy subscription box, and most recently The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls table top game. His core competence lies in driving transactional revenue with new product launches, especially mobile games. Prior to joining Studio71, he worked at Marvel for close to a decade, starting in business development with the studio’s publishing and theatrical divisions. Here he helped launch Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, before rapidly moving on to the Marvel’s television arm as its Marketing Director, overseeing popular animated television series including Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Super Hero Squad. Frazier last served as the VP of Games Marketing for Marvel, where he launched over 40 games on global platforms, including properties like The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and Disney Infinity.
Mr. Lloyd is an experienced corporate litigator and business counselor, whose legal practice includes commercial litigation, securities litigation, corporate governance matters, intellectual property disputes, and white collar criminal defense. He is a founder of Aeras Fog, an electrostatic drone disinfection company, where he leads global corporate strategy, commercial partnerships, financing, and growth planning. He also is an investor in numerous family businesses including restaurants, escape rooms, and axe throwing facilities.
Aaron most recently served as VP of Revenue for Activision Blizzard Media, leading sales efforts for one of the newest divisions of the company, dedicated to offering a network of hundreds of millions of monthly users to marketers for the first time. Previously, Aaron served as GM at MediaMath, the global leader in transparent and outcomes-based programmatic advertising technology for the Enterprise. Prior to MediaMath, Aaron spent nine years at Electronic Arts. In his last role, Aaron led revenue and partner marketing efforts for the Global Media Solutions division of the company, overseeing all strategic partnerships, ad sales, client services and go to market positioning for the company, globally.
Avril Millar is a non-executive director of FxPro, PassFort and The Security Circle, and advises Kepler Partners and many others. A civil engineer by training, having then built her own Wealth Management business from the mid 80s over 20 years, she has spent the last decade since its sale entirely sector neutral, leveraging her extensive business knowledge, personal contacts and strategic vision to support her client companies and their Executive teams through step changes to sustainable success. She is also the author of The Kama Sutra of Work and the mother of an Olympian.
Kurt Spenser is a media and design expert who has worked with dozens of household brands, advertising agencies, and global entertainment networks, creating breakthrough content for television and interactive media. Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Radley, Kurt has a deep understanding of world class brand building and marcom. He is also co-founder ROKA – one of the most disruptive makers of eyewear and technical sports apparel in the world.
Mr. Spiegel has spent the past decade in leadership positions at some of the most well-regarded publishers including his current role as Vice President of Digital Revenue for the LA Times. In prior roles as head of sales at New York Media (publisher of New York magazine), he led a complete business transformation, enabling the merger with Vox Media, where he served as vice president of sales. He has executive roles with other top brands in the publishing and media space including CNN, Buzz Feed and Inverse. David brings a wealth of experience in developing and implementing unique and effective marketing programs for a wide range of media enterprises and their partners.
Mr. Tucker is a marketer, educator and technology leader with more than 20 years of experience in the technology, academic and entertainment sectors. At UCLA’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports (MEMES), Tucker is responsible for the center’s vision, educational offerings and major events, including the annual PULSE conference and the MEMES Media, Entertainment and Sports Summer Institute. Previously, Tucker handled marketing and programs at the Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM) at USC’s Marshall School of Business. He founded Silicon Beach @USC, a two-day event featuring a venture competition and a conference focused on innovation, investment and new ventures related to technology and digital content.
Careen Yapp most recently served as Vice President of Business Development and Account Management for Gaikai, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment. Prior to her work at Gaikai and Sony, Careen worked at Konami Digital Entertainment, D3 Publisher of America, and THQ. She is a board member of the Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) and Women in Games international. She has also served as a member of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA) Board, and the Game Connection Advisory Board.