Valerie Vacante is an award-winning global innovator, creative catalyst and visionary. She is the Director of Strategy, Product Innovation for global experience and innovation agency, Merkle, where she uncovers cultural trends, next generation product innovations and designs strategies impacting the way people connect and experience in the physical and digital world.
Valerie is the visionary behind ShopNXT™— Merkle’s collection of retail innovation products focused on helping brands create more personalized shopping experiences, increasing loyalty, sales and customer joy.
She is the co-creator of Merkle’s patent-pending app-free technologies, Scan & Go™, named top product pick by PCR Magazine and “top tools shaping the future of retail” by Adweek featured in The Drum, Click Z, DigiDay and PSFK. Additionally, she architected NXT Intelligence™, a platform focused on technology, innovation, and brand experiences designed to explore, evaluate and evolve business growth opportunities.
She is also the Founder of strategy and innovation firm Collabsco; in a connected world of entertainment, play, living and learning Valerie has pioneered award winning digital products and connected experiences across IoT, AR, VR, voice, robotics and beyond.
In 2018, Valerie launched the first-ever connected play landscape; her latest iteration maps over 260 connected experiences, emerging technologies and business growth opportunities featured in VentureBeat, The Drum, VRScout and more.
She is the Co-Founder of TechUp, a curated service showcasing innovative products on a global stage, featured at WIRED Live, WIRED Next Generation, CES and SXSW.
Her portfolio includes Hasbro, Mattel, Disney, Bandai Namco Entertainment, WowWee, AT&T, Vodafone, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Honeywell, Sleep Number, Dell, HeadOffice.Space, MERGE, Virsix Games, Draw & Code, SubVRsive, Spree Interactive and Rocket Impact among others.
In between driving what’s next in technology, culture and design, Valerie has recently been named one of the Top 25 Women in Tech 2019 and 2020 by PCR magazine, 40 Over Forty and Top 10 Pioneering CEOs to Follow in 2021 by CIO Look.
She serves on the Fast Company Executive Board, SXSW Innovation Advisory Board, a Global Expert to MassChallenge, an international speaker and writer.
You can find her almost anywhere creators are designing the future.