A metaverse moment for women at the Nasdaq opening bell

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The moments come fast for the Metaverse these days, but it’s worth stopping in for one of those moments that happened Friday at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

I was there to watch Metaverse Specialist Cathy Hackl and the Journey team ring the opening bell for the trade at a Metaverse Celebration Ceremony.

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Known as the “Godmother of the Metaverse”, Hackl sold her consultancy Futures Intelligence Group to Journey, a Metaverse agency that helps brands build things for the digital world. Journey has teamed up with Manticore Games to create a Nasdaq experience in the virtual realm of Core. And the Nasdaq played Core’s animations as Hackl spoke for the opening bell.

Cathy Hackl is the metaverse lead on Journey.

Hackl also brought together a number of people from Journey on stage, as well as several women from brands targeting the metaverse. It was an interesting moment to watch, and CNBC aired the segment for a few minutes, which is quite rare for such an opening bell broadcast.

“I am delighted to be here. With hundreds or thousands of people starting to descend on New York for NFT NYC, I can’t help but feel that a renaissance in creativity is on the way and that what we’re building is more important than ever,” Hackl said. “As a co-founder of Journey, I’m not the typical face you see when you think about technology. That’s why it’s important for everyone to know that this future belongs to all of us. Let’s not try to define the metaverse, let’s build and create it together.

Hackl added: “As you know, today we are announcing our metaverse studio. We are a group of passionate game developers, futurists, technologists and strategists who have come together to help brands navigate the metaverse. I want to tell you in the metaverse, we are all world builders and this is our time to build and now.

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Nasdaq in the Core metaverse.

The bell that rang ahead of this week’s NFT NYC event was made in both the physical world and the metaverse, Hackl noted in his brief speech.

Journey is one of several companies creating experiences for some of the world’s biggest brands across many platforms, including Roblox, Fortnite Creative, Decentraland, the Sandbox, Rec Room, VR Chat, Horizon, and more. Journey is led by Andrew Zimmerman, former CEO of Frog Design. Journey’s lender includes private equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners.

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Metaverse women on the big screen in front of the Nasdaq in Times Square.

Zimmerman was present for the time being, as was Jordan Edelstein, head of business development at Manticore Games.

The group cheered loudly as the countdown to the ringing of the bell dropped to zero. Everyone had the chance to take pictures on stage, including the group of women Hackl had tentatively gathered. Hackl signed the document and said she rang the opening bell or something. Then they went outside to see their faces on the big screen in Times Square.

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A man taking a selfie on the Nasdaq.

All in all, it was a great day for the Metaverse and a great opportunity to take that photo above. And for the record, the women from left to right in the top photo are:

  • Dina Fierro, Vice President, Global Digital Strategy and Innovation at NARS Cosmetics
  • Olivia Reid, Strategist at Journey
  • Isidora de Vicente, Chief of Staff to Cathy Hackl
  • Sasha Wallinger, Head of Metaverse and Web3 Strategy at Journey
  • Zoe Soon, Chief Innovation Officer at IAB
  • Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer and Co-Founder of Journey
  • Julie Rodgers Vargas, Avery Dennison Vice President and General Manager North America
  • Faith Popcorn, futurist and CEO of BrainReserve
  • Sandy Carter, SVP and Channel Manager of Unstoppable Domains
  • Desiree Kaplan, Director of Marketing at Journey
  • Alana D. Visconti, Social Media Director at Nasdaq

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