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A metaverse moment for women at the Nasdaq opening bell

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

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

Hackl is known as the “Godmother of the Metaverse” and she sold her consulting firm Futures Intelligence Group to Journey, a Metaverse agency that helps brands build things for the digital world. Journey has partnered with Manticore Games to create a Nasdaq experience in the virtual realm of Core. And the Nasdaq played Core’s animations as Hackl spoke before the opening bell.

Cathy Hackl is the metaverse lead at Journey.

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

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

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 many 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 backer includes private equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners.

Metaverse women on the big screen for the Nasdaq in Times Square.

Zimmerman was on hand 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 fell to zero. Everyone had a chance to take photos on stage, including the group of women that Hackl had assembled for the time being. Hackl signed the document saying she actually rang the opening bell or something. Then they went out to see their faces on the big screen in Times Square.

A guy taking a selfie at the Nasdaq.

All in all, it was a great day for the Metaverse and a great opportunity to snap 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, Vice President and General Manager North America of Avery Dennison
  • 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, Director of Social Media at Nasdaq

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