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Stasi Baran profile.

Stasi Baran, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, nQube Data Science

Anastasia (Stasi) Baran, PhD, is the Co-founder and COO of nQube Data Science. As part of the team that has been integrating AI into the gaming industry for several years, she has played a crucial role in developing AI-based slot floor optimization and player segmentation solutions.

Driven by a desire to have fun at work, she pivoted from the academic world to the casino industry, where her innovative approach and extensive experience in implementing casino AI technologies have been essential to the success of nQube's AI-driven casino technology suite. Baran obtained her PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba. Her academic background includes a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Astrophysics. With her multi-disciplinary expertise, she develops fitting applications for nQube's advanced artificial intelligence technology in casinos, merging her interests in data modeling and the gaming world to encourage innovation and efficiency.

Chris Schmidt headshot.

Chris Schmidt Co-Founder/CEO, Pluto Ventures

Chris started his first business at the age of ten and is still protecting Winnipeg's trees from Dutch Elm Disease. After completing a B.Sc. from the University of Manitoba, he decided not to follow in his family's footsteps and pursue medicine. Instead, he founded the world's first Snapchat filter company, Geofilter Studio.

Geofilter Studio exploded at an unprecedented rate of 24,000% and grew to 85 employees in the first year. It was Canada's fastest-growing company in 2017 and created over 100,000 filters that accumulated 5 billion views worldwide. Chris then formed EveryStudio, which housed Geofilter Studio, EveryStudio AR, and EveryStudio Stickers. EveryStudio AR created augmented reality products, while EveryStudio Stickers made iOS sticker packs with over 150 million views in the App Store. In 2019, EveryStudio was acquired.

In 2018, Chris started Pluto Ventures, an artificial intelligence company with a world-class team backed by a strong group of investors and advisors. Together, they are building Parallel, a social commerce platform with users spanning 191 countries.

When Chris is not working on his companies, he enjoys helping others with their business journey and has presented at over 125 events.

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