The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Rob Vickery is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stage Venture Partners. Stage is a new seed stage venture capital fund, based in West Hollywood, that invests in software start-ups with defined and creative technology, often in the digital media and entertainment industries.  Since January 2016, Stage has recently closed investments into three exciting companies in the online video optimization, AR and VR space.  Prior to creating Stage, Rob created the Entertainment and Technology Division for BNY Mellon and was the North America Director for Lloyds International one of the world’s leading financial institutions, focusing on major corporate entertainment-related investments. He has also spent a number of years working and advising a range of international music and film talent on embracing with new forms of technology, especially VR/AR.  Rob is also on the board of the BAFTA LA Games, British American Business Council, South Central Scholars and the Chairman of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Dorsey High School. In his downtime, Rob is an amateur paleontologist, snowboarder and console gaming addict (come and find me on PSN).  @vickeryrob  @stagevp    PSN: BeverlyHillsBrit


Mary Ermitanio is a Manager for Manatt Digital Media, an integrated business advisory, legal services and venture capital firm. Mary helps digital media, technology and emerging growth companies define strategies for M&A and investments, content monetization and customer acquisition and supports business development initiatives. She continuously monitors developments and meets with various companies in the virtual reality and emerging technology space to help her clients navigate and execute new ventures and partnerships. Previously, Mary worked with the major studios to provide insights that helped inform their marketing strategies and product development decisions through analytics in social media, mobile and web. She has worked with multiple clients on both sides of the disruption, helping startups accelerate growth and established companies innovate. Data analytics has been an underlying current across her projects, which include defining a growth strategy for a multi-platform content company, identifying strategic partners for a location-based virtual reality company, developing a piracy forecasting model  for a major studio and  guiding a consumer products company’s digital transformation. Mary graduated with a dual degree in Computer Science and Business Administration from the University of Southern California, where she worked as a research assistant and programmer in the USC Robotics Research Lab.


Kelemen Papp currently serves as an Executive Director at Mooreland Partners, a tech-focused investment bank.  Kelemen has 10 years of investment banking experience in tech, where he has advised clients in the mobile and digital media sectors across a range of transactions, including M&A, Private Placements, Divestitures, etc.  Prior to Mooreland, Kelemen was a Vice President at Rutberg & Company, a boutique investment bank focused exclusively on the mobile sector.  Prior to joining Rutberg, Kelemen spent several years working in product development for companies in the FinTech sector.  He helped launch both Curian Capital, a managed accounts platform for custom portfolios, and FOLIOfn, an Internet-based trading platform that enables dollar-based investing.  Kelemen also helped facilitate the spinout of the NASDAQ by assisting FINRA in the development of the Alternative Display Facility (ADF), an SRO display-only market center.  Kelemen holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BBA in Information Technology from The College of William & Mary.


Tom K. Ara, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Tom K. Ara focuses his practice on entertainment and media industry transactions. He represents an array of banks, private equity groups, hedge funds, investors and borrowers in an assortment of financing and strategic industry transactions. In addition, he advises feature film studios, television networks, production companies, Internet and mobile-based content producers and distributors in corporate transactions as well as in the development, production and distribution of motion picture, television and new media content. Tom has led multiple large financing and M&A transactions that have involved some of the largest motion picture and television companies and franchises, including slate financing vehicles valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, corporate credit facilities, restructuring transactions involving the ownership of television properties, and the acquisition and sale of several motion picture and television libraries. He has also led debt, equity and gap financing transactions for the production and distribution (including P&A expenditures) of numerous motion picture, television series and new media properties. Tom acts as chief outside counsel to multiple motion picture, television, and new media production and distribution companies as well as a business advisor to many such companies in connection with their launch. He also advises such companies throughout the life span of their motion picture, television series and new media properties, including in connection with the acquisition of literary properties and the development of the properties leading up to production, all production related matters, and agreements and an assortment of distribution arrangements for such properties ranging from theatrical to physical product, television and new media distribution. Tom handles a multitude of complex entertainment and media transactions spanning the globe, with a particular emphasis on clients located in and transactions that have involved Europe, Asia and the Middle East. As a result, he brings a keen understanding of the cultural and business complexities that characterize such cross-border transactions.


Mariana Danilovic, CEO, hollywood portfolio:  Ms. Danilovic is the Founder and CEO of hollywood portfolio, an incubator and accelerator that develops and operates entertainment, digital media, and technology companies. Through hollywood portfolio, Ms. Danilovic launched and helped develop several digital media companies, and served as the President, CEO and Director of ultralivetv, serves on the Board of Directors of reframeit (observer), and the Board of Directors of Emerge Digital.   Ms. Danilovic was the EVP Business Development for NTN Buzztime, Inc. (AMEX:NTN) and Head of Business Development, Content Aggregation and Programming for MediaZone, broadband video company owned by NASPERS/MIH media conglomerate. She also founded and directed the Digital Media Incubator at KPMG LLP, which developed about two-dozen digital media companies. The companies Ms. Danilovic helped develop received institutional funding from KPCB, Sequoia Capital, Hummer-Winblad, Constellation Partners, Softbank, North Star Ventures, HP, and Intel.   Ms. Danilovic headed business development for Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment and was on the management team of the venture fund at Sony Pictures Entertainment, investing in media companies worldwide. Ms. Danilovic also worked for Michael Milken’s Knowledge Exchange and at the Twentieth Century Fox International Television Group. She serves on the Board of Directors of C3, the Arts and Media Node of the Millennium Project, served on the Board of Directors of the Producers’ Guild of America, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.   She previously served on the Board of Directors of Tim Draper’s Zone Club and was a member of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's Digital Coast Roundtable. Mariana earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, with a Minor in Biomedical Engineering from University of California, San Diego.

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM – The VR - AR - Immersive Track

Session I: The Guerin A, Live Webcast

Financing the Imagination: Funding and Business Development in AR, VR and Immersion – From VCs to Kickstarter and Corporate Investments

Ankur Prakash, Vice President, Liberty Global Ventures

Mark Linao, Associate, Technicolor Ventures

Mary Ermitanio, Manager, Manatt Digital Media

Rob Vickery, Co-Founder, Stage Venture Partners

Kelemen Papp, Executive Director, Mooreland Partners

Tom K. Ara, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Mariana Danilovic, Founder and Managing Director, Hollywood Portfolio, Moderator


Mark Linao, Associate, Technicolor Ventures: Mark Linao has worked at Technicolor for almost three years as a venture associate and in corporate development. He has invested across a variety of sectors including VR. Mark has been helping his portfolio along with several VR/AR startups with customer development and their capital raising.  Mark's work has been published on CB Insights twice, Hammer and Tusk, and VentureBeat and is considered a leading thought leader on VR/AR.