Sharjah, 31 March 2022
Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) in collaboration with TDRA’s ICT Fund, has organized a discussion session entitled “Web3: Building a Community in the Metaverse” in Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park. The session aims to enhance the entrepreneurial community’sknowledge about the Metaverse and new technologies that may affect their interaction with real and virtual worlds.
The session comes in line with Sheraa’s mission to enable entrepreneurs and to cultivate a world-class entrepreneurship ecosystem in Sharjah and the UAE. It explored the challenges and creative opportunities for aspiring individuals keen on building communities in a shared virtual world.
Held at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and moderated by Nelio Leone, Founder of UrbanMonks.io, the eventfeatured a distinguished panel of experts including Hoda A. Alkhzaimi, Director of Center of Cyber Security in New York University Abu Dhabi; Giuseppe Moscatello, Curator and Art Producer; Vincent Ghossoub, Founder of Nifty Craft and Falafel Games; and Ritesh Tilani, Founder of Enhance Ventures.
Najla Al Midfa: “The Metaverse marks a cornerstone in history”
In her welcome address, Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), hailed the community of entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers at Sheraa for continously finding new ways to thrive.
The Sheraa CEO said: “As the metaverse becomes an increasingly real part of our everyday lives, there is a greater need to deepen and broaden the way we engage through virtual spaces, said Al Midfa, adding: “The growing relevance of the metaverse marks a cornerstone in history, and it is the role of entrepreneurs to identify problems and opportunities that arise as the result of this momentous shift.”
Omar Al Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of ICT Fund, said, “The role of the ICT Fund is to achieve rapid, progressive and concrete developments within the ICT sector. The emergence of new technologies and trends, entrepreneurs and innovators have immense opportunities to capitalize on in the evolving metaverse.”
Al Mahmoud added: “The Fund is keen to support all initiatives aimed at developing human resourcesworking in the ICT sector and qualifying them to benefit from the technical products of our time, including the Metaverse. The Metaverse constitutes a great opportunity for investment and work, and the transition to a new form of dealing and communication between different populations around the world.”
Expanding opportunities in the Metaverse
“The promise of Metaverse lies in its interoperability among various sectors,” stated Nelio Leone, Founder of UrbanMonks.io.
Stating that the metaverse builds on the concept of “digital twins” and enables the existence of humans in both the physical and virtual universe, Hoda A. Alkhzaimi, Director of Center of Cyber Security in New York University Abu Dhabi said, “The technology is still very young but evolving rapidly and we need to be mindful of building a holistic, inclusive and diverse technology platform.”
She added: “The metaverse will be based on holistic tools of development that bitcoins and blockchains offer to build digital assets. Since digital manipulation will have a direct impact on the physical space, aspects of security, privacy and safety are crucial factors to pay attention to when building the digital narrative.”
“The next wave of tech is user ownership where individuals will not be just users, but part-time developers or creators engaged in creating innovative solutions that can help solve some of the key sustainable development goals,” added Hoda A. Alkhzaimi.
Curator and Art Producer Giuseppe Moscatello said: “What is unique about the metaverse is the opportunity it offers for artists to integrate art with other industries and to facilitate their interaction and collaboration with players in diverse industries to sell and commercialize their work. Artists can now convert their artworks to digital assets allowing art and culture to be available for all around the world.”
Citing the growing community of gamers engaged in play-to-earn crypto games as a legitimate revenue stream, Vincent Ghossoub, Founder of Nifty Craft and Falafel Games, outlined the role of the gaming industry in being a catalyst for the explosion of the metaverse.
“The resource transferability that gaming offers and the opportunity to design and stake ownership of digital assets has caused shifts in the gaming industry,” he said. “Gaming is today a USD 180 billion industry and almost double the size of Hollywood, TV and the music industry combined. In just a few years the number of gamers is expected to rise to 6 billion.”
Ritesh Tilani, Founder of Enhance Ventures highlighted the issue of phishing attacks and other frauds rampant in the digital universe and the necessity to raise educational awareness on the risks and safety of buying and selling assets in the Metaverse.
“Upcoming entrepreneurs keen on setting up a business in the metaverse should facilitate access to the masses and educate them on how the digital space operates. Ease of use – or enabling individuals to buy and sell in a hassle-free manner is another pre-requisite, while ensuring a secure platform is integral to the running of the business.The stronger and more secure the platform, the wider we can spread it to the masses.”