What inspired you to start your company?
I’m building an entertainment co and creating content for the Metaverse, while walking my truth as an out, Black, lesbian woman who has had the honor and privilege of not just riding, but driving the evolutions in tech & media for Web1 & 2 now into Web3. I’m a storyteller and a builder. I’ve always been these things, but up until now, the bulk of my life has been spent supporting others and helping them achieve their dreams. This is my new chapter, where I pull all of my past experience, social currency and personal agency to achieve my dream of making New Canvas a success as I have with just about every other thing I’ve done in my career to date.
Who are your cofounders, and what makes you a great team?
Nathan Anderson – Nathan and I were philosophically aligned in our excitement, curiosity and desire to push ‘the next’ and see what’s possible, i.e. a next generation XR/VR media company for storytelling and immersive entertainment that could also build in NFTs, social tokens, DAOs, etc. into the overall business model.
We’ve found that, in this space, it’s rare for XR and crypto enthusiasts to share the same orbit. Crypto and XR are on opposite sides of the spectrum and yet, very similar in the fact that the mainstream remains skeptical of both. But in this Metaverse/Web3 side of the world, right now, more times than not, people are on one side or the other, which was the beauty of some of our early conversations about the future of the business.
Both Nathan and myself have worked within the worlds of traditional and new/digital media previously, so we were inspired now to break away from the known and explore the unknown. Our immersive, award-winning VR series (‘Lustration’) is the first new project coming out of New Canvas that we get to build out our ‘proof of concept’ as we continue to build out the storyworld and new seasons, but also we plan to incorporate the blockchain into our future slate of projects.
While our existing slate is primarily VR, we are at the dawn of a new hardware wave where Mixed Reality and integration with the physical world will take these entertainment experiences to the next level. We want to bring the best facets of AR and VR to bear in this new landscape and build a true next-generation media company.
Transparency is the promise of Web3 and the blockchain makes it possible, which is what excited Nathan and I when we were exploring ideas for new business models for New Canvas. We see incorporating the blockchain into our business model as an opportunity for us to be bold – not only being vocal about wanting the rights of artists and creators to be protected and compensated, but to actually put intentions into action. When we’re talking about being unapologetic in our desire to bring diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging to the Metaverse, it’s about all aspects of the ‘people’ part of the equation, from monetization to representation, which ultimately is in the DNA of New Canvas. It’s through collaboration and collective input that we are working to develop the Metaverse that we all want – with intention verses, passively and retroactively.
How is New Canvas making a difference?
New Canvas is a true, next generation XR media company that produces and publishes immersive content in the Metaverse for digital-first audiences with an unapologetic focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. And when we talk about being unapologetic in our desire to bring diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging to the Metaverse, it’s about all aspects of the ‘people’ part of the equation, from monetization to representation, which ultimately is in the DNA of New Canvas. It’s through collaboration and collective input that we are working to develop the Metaverse that we all want – with intention verses, passively and retroactively.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
I mean, I am an out Black, lesbian woman….where do I start and how much time do you have???
What is your biggest win?
My belief and confidence in myself that allows me to be and show up as my full self in any space and go forth and Wa-Doo-It! (Moving out from Florida to SF in my 20s with no support or knowing people, making an award-winning doc on my own, starting an LGBTQ_ streaming service, working in Hwood, co-founding a company that’s based in Australia, etc.)
Who is your role model?
SO MANY! I have a few AMAZING/y GOOD people that I borrow pieces from each of them…
What do you wish you had known before starting your company?
I wish I had known that this year was going to be driven by such a down market & recession
What is your CEO superpower?
Ability to see a few steps ahead, creativity and empathy, which give me super human powers when interacting with humans (I also have earned the nickname – the dog & baby whisperer bc of my ability to empathize and connect…)
What else do you want people to know?
I have an award-winning documentary film that I wrote, directed and produced, while taking a company public. I also serve as an advisory board member of GALECA (the LGBTQ+ Society of Entertainment Critics); I’m a co-founder & advisor for Revry.TV – the global, LGBTQIA-first streaming media network and, I’ve also served as a jury member for the Alliance of Women Directors and STARZ #TakeTheLead initiative in 2021 and have served as a judge for TGLIFF (Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival), the 2022 IAWTV Awards and most recently as a judge and panelist for the 10th Annual Annapolis Film Festival. P.S. My furkid (Bailey) runs my life and is my favorite being on the planet!