Ed Haravon is an entrepreneur and business leader, with a passion for applying emerging technologies to solve real-world business problems. Ed began his career in capital markets as a trader, joining Spot Trading in 2002.
While at Spot, Ed was integral in developing and driving an industry-leading education and development team that was the envy of its peers. He also was the business liaison to Spot’s proprietary trading and infrastructure teams.
During his career he has been a leading voice within the finance industry and has also lectured on the transformative effect of technology on financial markets via partnerships with Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and other Chicago-based institutions.
After Spot, Ed’s interest in emerging technology led him to join Peak 6 Investments, where he helped to lead the building of Apex Crypto, a leader in providing backend cryptocurrency execution, clearing, and custody solutions to broker dealers for the benefit of their retail customers.
Ed is the current Chapter President of VRARA – Chicago and is committed to growing the community for VR and AR both locally and globally.
Outside of work, Ed was a three-year Co-Chair of the Midwest Committee of Hearts for Help for Children, a global foundation committed to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Rob Merrilees is an accomplished entrepreneur, and Get Real is the fourth company that Rob has either started by himself or co-founded, each of which has had technology at its core.
Rob launched Spot Trading in 1999, one of the first entirely off-floor proprietary trading firms. A member firm of several securities and futures exchanges, Spot grew to be one of the most active and technologically savvy trading firms in the world. Spot at its height was trading over a billion shares of stock per year and tens of millions of option contracts per year as well. During its nearly twenty years in operation Spot earned several awards for excellence including being named multiple times to the Chicago Tribune’s list of "Top 100 Workplaces in Chicago" and the NABC’s list of "National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For."
Get Real is the second technology advisory firm that Rob has helped launch, having co-founded YJT Solutions, now known as Entara Corporation, an IT Managed Services and IT Service Provider firm, back in 2001.
Away from work, Rob has been active on several boards and trustee groups in the not-for-profit community, including the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation’s Board of Directors and The Ravinia Festival.
Chief Technology Officer
Derek brings almost 20 years of experience from the financial industry. He has been responsible for developing and delivering highly available and distributed systems. He is a proven technologist with a demonstrated history of leadership and mentorship along with his technical skill set.
The majority of his career was spent at Spot Trading, where he led a team responsible for developing a near real-time analytics platform, real-time execution audit system, and a research trading signal system among other initiatives.
After Spot Trading, Derek went on to Balyasny Asset Management, a highly respected hedge fund, to focus on performance and stability of trading systems, as well as leading the design for a scalable, highly available calculation system.
When not helping to drive innovation, Derek can be found spending time with his four children coaching baseball, riding bikes, or one of the other activities they enjoy.
Tyler Ackerman has been a Metaverse Designer at Get Real since 2020. At Get Real, Tyler works on a variety of creative technology projects that link to The Metaverse including Metaverse space creation, 3D data visualization creation, and assists the Marketing team with video editing. Tyler is a Junior at Depaul University in Chicago where he is studying Game Design.
When not working or studying, Tyler can be found working on creative endeavors like making movies with friends and creating his own video game.
Nathan Lewis is a Metaverse Designer at Get Real. In this role, Nathan assists with digital design initiatives and consults clients with their technical desires and event planning needs in the Metaverse. Prior to this role, Nathan was a Data Visualization Intern for Get Real where he began his work in Flow Immersive and earned one of the first ever Certified Flow Designer certifications.
Nathan is a Junior at the University of Michigan pursuing a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a minor in Political Science. At the University of Michigan, Nathan is a member of a consulting club that helps non-profit organizations.
Outside of work, Nathan enjoys travel, playing in Michigan’s poker club, and exploring other cultures and histories.
Data Science Intern
Henry Merrilees, a Data Science Intern at Get Real, works on the design and development of our proprietary knowledge acquisition software, with a particular focus on Natural Language Processing (NLP). Henry is studying Computer Science and prospectively Philosophy at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, with specific interests in programming language theory, implementing non-euclidean geometry in machine learning, continental philosophy, philosophy of mind, and the ethics of authority.
Alexis Lee has been a 3D Designer at Get Real since 2022. In this role, Alexis assists with designing and developing 3D Metaverse environments for client projects.
Alexis is a recent graduate from DePaul University where she received her BFA in Animation with a concentration in 3D Modeling and a minor in Game Design.
Outside of work, Alexis enjoys getting coffee, baking Filipino pastries, and traveling.
Data Science Intern
Rafael is a Data Science intern where he assists our CTO in the development of propriety machine learning software. Raf is sophomore at Pitzer College studying computer science. He is specifically interested in utilizing machine learning to understand and address complex social, political, and climate issues.
In his free time, he loves to surf, hike, read, and explore the world around him in ways small and big.