Credits Coins Cash: Social Currency & Finance 2.0
While Second Life and other online worlds have propagated virtual economies with their own "millionaires", 2011 saw virtual currencies break into the marketing mainstream. Facebook Credits were launched with the backing of brands including Walmart and Zynga; Google Wallet was announced and BitCoin rose, then fell, then rose then – who knows? As we enter 2012 the question ‘what is currency?’ has never been more relevant for so many people. And more applicable to marketers, how does our understanding of the 4 P's (product, price, promotion, place) change in a world of virtual currencies? This is both a philosophical and highly practical question: if you buy something with Microsoft points – have you really bought it? How much did you pay? What if you are hacked or get kicked off the platform – it is still yours?This panel will examine the state of virtual currency, where it is heading, and consider how marketers should be evolving their strategies to account for virtual currencies.
Ellie is a VC with Greycroft Partners, a digital media venture capital firm, in their New York office. Her responsibilities include evaluating investment opportunities, sourcing new deals, and working with existing portfolio companies. She currently working with or has worked with numerous companies including M5 Networks, Daily Secret, irrive, windeln.de, and xobni.
Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role during business school evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital with investor Chris Sacca. Before working with Lowercase, Ellie worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the communications, collaboration, and video verticals. While at Cisco, she was involved in numerous investments as well as the acquisitions of Tandberg, PostPath, Jabber, and Securent. Ellie’s past experience also includes working briefly at the London-based venture capital firm DN Capital, focused on early stage ecommerce companies. She began her career with several years in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston.
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jeremy helps companies solve problems. His specialty is understanding the opportunities of global payments and business models for companies that create real money with virtual goods. His goal is to help spread the word about the right way to tackle the ever present challenge of growing and optimizing revenue. Currently, he rarely stops talking about the benefits of hybrid business models that combine the sweet reach of virtual currencies with the predictable stability of subscriptions. When he’s not evangelizing, he is most often found immersed in large quantities of data.
Jeremy is currently employed at Visa and based in the San Francisco bay area. Prior to that, he worked at PlaySpan and Vindicia, where he started his quest to help merchants make money. He started his career in the world of manufacturing, helping companies like GM, Volvo, Boeing, Lockheed and Disney use information more efficiently.
John Corpus leads the management team of Milyoni (pronounced ‘million-eye’). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Milyoni, Inc. is the leader in social entertainment. The company’s technology provides entertainment and lifestyle companies with a way to connect and engage with Facebook fans, and turn them into customers. Whether it’s watching a live concert, movie or sporting event or shopping your favorite brands, Milyoni enables companies to monetize fans pages through a unique level of engagement and a shared, social experience. John is a seasoned entrepreneur, founding multiple startups and bringing over 15 years of experience in the retail and technology industries. He most recently served as CIO of national retail chain, Mervyns, and previously served as Vice President of IT for retailer, Williams-Sonoma. John was the co-founder of Groundswell Inc., and also co-founded Agistics, which was sold to Visage Mobile.
Ren Reynolds is the founder of the Virtual Policy Network.
Academically Ren writes about the philosophy / ethics and law of technology, computer games and virtual worlds. His work has included exploring the philosophical basis of property, governance, identity and human rights in online spaces as well as the moral basis of virtual acts. He also writes on the TerraNova blog, and hosts the Virtually Policy podcast.
Ren has advised the UK Government, OECD, Council of Europe, the World Bank and other on matters of convergent media and public policy. He is an advisor to the board of the Digital Games Research Association, a topic lead for the IEEE Serious Games / Virtual Worlds Standard group, and has been a content committee member of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, a review board member of Games Studies, a judge for the BAFTA Games Awards and a member of the European Information and Network Security Agency virtual group on virtual worlds.
Previously the global head of strategy for Internet, Mobile & Applications for Cable & Wireless Ren developed a Digital Media service portfolio. Ren has also consulted in marketing and product strategy / development for British Airways, BBC, Sky, Publicis; the UK Government and a number of virtual world start-up companies; and has written extensively for IBM on the business application of emerging technologies for strategic advantage.
Ren has numerous media credits including BBC, MTV; G4 TV; BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 and World Service, NY Public Radio, Radio Sweden, and has been interviewed by New Scientist, Popular Science, The Guardian and many others.
Lead client engagements from the user experience and interaction design perspective. Crafting touch points between people and brands, and the emotions and memories that these touch points create.