Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Mary Spio is an Entrepreneur, Tech Innovator, Author, Space Engineer and one of the first early adopters of the Metaverse. She is the CEO and Founder of CEEK VR, the original Metaverse company which also provides virtual reality event services. CEEK introduced Facebook’s parent company (Meta) to the Metaverse and also received growth funding from them in the early stages of CEEK Metaverse.
In addition to being a tech innovator and entrepreneur, Mary also served in the United States Air Force before going on to create innovations and technologies for global titans such as Universal Music, Baptist Health, Microsoft XBOX, Coca Cola and Boeing. Mary is on the Board of Facebook’s Oculus VR for Good and serves as a Scientific Reviewer for the Department of Defence.
Hello Mary and thank you for participating in this Q&A session. We would like to start by asking why you decided to become a tech Entrepreneur?
Mary: I was Head of Satellite Communications at Boeing Digital Cinema, after selling 4 patents in Digital Cinema to The Boeing Company, I had a lot of opportunities to work with various movie and entertainment companies. I decided to start my own company so that I could build a team to capture the opportunities that were in front of me. Looking back, it was inevitable, my mom is an entrepreneur and I’ve been in her classroom for as long as I can remember. I learned to count money before I knew my ABCs.
I decided to start my own company so that I could build a team to capture the opportunities that were in front of me. - Mary Spio
What’s the origin story behind your company CEEK VR?
Mary: CEEK VR was born after I visited Meta (then Facebook) during a diversity event and had the chance to try the Oculus Rift. I loved the feeling of Virtual Reality, being teleported to an amazing new world just by putting on a headset. I wanted to use this device for everything. I knew immediately that this device would be the way forward for everything we do in life, from playing to working and living in general.
I started to look around for a social version for concerts, since nothing existed that was addressing this huge opportunity, so I created CEEK to be that conduit for mainstream audiences to consume education, media and entertainment. There are a lot of complexities with creating content for the Metaverse, especially for various headsets, platforms and operating systems. CEEK has made it super simple for anyone, even those without developer experience to create, distribute and monetize content in virtual worlds. Today we work with the likes of Lady Gaga, Ziggy Marley, Diamond Platnumz and more because we solved a valuable industry challenge. Our mission is helping creators generate income from their content faster, transparently, and fairly. We do so by empowering creators with the tools and platform to monetize their content through NFT’s, virtual concerts, social games and digital merch that traverse multiple worlds.
CEEK tracks content viewership on the blockchain and makes royalty payments efficiently through smart contracts. CEEK’s platform enables the tokenization of smart tickets for content creators, which can track and verify ticket sales on the CEEK blockchain. This ensures royalty payouts to creators through immutable data on a ledger.
CEEK is rapidly becoming a “trusted voice” providing a streamlined content monetization solution for the biggest names in music, sports and entertainment, no matter where they are located in the world. The CEEK token, which is the in-world currency for the CEEK Metaverse saw a 25,000 % growth last year according to MSN Money and is working with the likes of Meta and Microsoft to make the Metaverse accessible to enterprise as well as consumers, no matter where they are in the world.
Our mission is helping creators generate income from their content faster, transparently, and fairly. We do so by empowering creators with the tools and platform to monetize their content through NFT’s, virtual concerts, social games and digital merch that traverse multiple worlds. - Mary Spio
Not a lot of people know that CEEK is the original Metaverse company or that they presented the Metaverse concept to Facebook. Please tell us about CEEK’s presentation of the Metaverse to Facebook ?
Mary: After launching CEEK, an opportunity came up to present ways in which VR can be used beyond gaming, and we presented the idea of the Metaverse to Facebook. We presented CEEK as a fully immersive Metaverse that facilitates shared experiences between users. From concerts, to movies, conferences, sporting events, learning spaces, museums and other hangouts. We were able to create a partnership with Facebook and received funding twice from them, which enabled us to build the very early versions of the CEEK Metaverse. I was elated when Randi Zuckerberg shared with me that I introduced her to VR, something she saw as a domain for only a few, until she experienced CEEK which opened her perspective on the world of VR.
Today the entire world is embracing the Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies. The great part about that, Is that we are far ahead because we started building years ago, whereas most people are just starting now.
Please explain the relationship between CEEK Metaverse, CEEK VR Token, CEEK NFTs and CEEK Land?
Mary: The CEEK metaverse is the entire platform. Basically, it is the streaming platform for virtual events and experiences featuring the biggest names in music, sports and entertainment. The CEEK VR Headset is what enables people to access the CEEK Metaverse in Virtual Reality. But you can access the CEEK Metaverse through your phone without a headset also. The CEEK 4D Headphones allow you to hear audio above, below and all around, which makes accessing the Metaverse super exciting. It can be used for anything really, not just VR. So music, sports and in everyday life.
The $CEEK token is the in-world currency for the CEEK Metaverse. The same way you can buy Robux for Roblox Metaverse and VBucks for Fornite Metaverse, you use $CEEK to buy tickets for virtual concerts, avatar clothes and much more. Since $CEEK is on the blockchain, you own what you buy and can easily trade and exchange them whenever you choose.
CEEK Land is the digital real estate in the CEEK Metaverse which anyone can buy, own, and use to create whatever they want to build in the Metaverse. Unlike most virtual lands where you must be a software developer or hire one to develop your property for you, you do not need any developer experience with CEEK Land. We will have a marketplace where you can buy virtual houses, meta yachts, and everything you need to build your own virtual empire.
We have taken out the complexity of creating and generating income in the Metaverse by providing the tools needed to set up your own world easily and quickly. People can create stores to sell whatever they want, from Avatar clothes to offering workshops, even live comedy shows and concerts.
Today the entire world is embracing the Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies. The great part about that, Is that we are far ahead because we started building years ago, whereas most people are just starting now. - Mary Spio
How does CEEK Metaverse plan to stay ahead of competitors like Meta?
Mary: What we are doing in the marketplace is quite different from what competitors are doing. When it comes to Meta, we’ve looked at them as a partner and collaborator since our launch.
CEEK distributes content on other metaverse platforms such as Meta. We are a gateway to the world of VR, especially for new people entering the VR World. Most people who are not gamers don’t find VR interesting until they discover an app such as CEEK. So we feed the entire ecosystem.
The success of Meta is very important for the entire ecosystem, at the end of the day a rising tide raises all ships, and Meta has been a great catalyst for the resurgence of VR and the Metaverse. - Mary Spio
We are a critical part of the ecosystem and want to collaborate versus compete. There’s a lot of value we can bring to the likes of Meta and vice versa. The success of Meta is very important for the entire ecosystem, at the end of the day a rising tide raises all ships, and Meta has been a great catalyst for the resurgence of VR and the Metaverse.
Has CEEK been adversely impacted by the current rising inflation rates in the US economy?
Mary: The CEEK token like every other token and company out there has been gravely impacted by the current market conditions.
As a black woman and business leader, what key obstacles have you overcome to achieve your success?
Mary: The biggest challenge was growth funding. Getting startup capital is not as much of a challenge for most businesses these days, due to the proliferation of funds that are focused on black companies, most of them offer seed capital, there's still a big gap when it comes to growth capital. I'm hopeful that with the successes of companies like CEEK, we'll start to see more investors looking at the tremendous opportunities that we bring as entrepreneurs and business people. My advice for other women and anyone facing discrimination in business is the following:
1. Don’t take it personal. Your worth, identity and significance are not dictated by another person’s opinion. You should be the source and author of that.
2. Find Allies – Find companies that can benefit from the value you have to offer. CEEK received non-dilutive credits and resources from Meta, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple. We have built a better company than most of the others who received hundreds of millions and are no longer around today.
3. You are only limited by your own imagination. If you think you can you’re right. Stay focused and stay the course. It will work out, if it doesn’t at least have fun along the way.
What is your ultimate goal with CEEK? Are preparing for an IPO, Acquisition or do you intend to keep it Private?
Mary: We are open to all the above possibilities. We have come to the end of this interview. Thank you for participating in it, and we wish you all the best in your endeavours.
Mary: Thank you
CEEK distributes content on other Metaverse platforms such as Meta. We are a gateway to the world of VR, especially for new people entering the VR World. Most people who are not gamers don’t find VR interesting until they discover an app such as CEEK. So we feed the entire ecosystem. - Mary Spio