Africa Leaders Magazine

MARY SPIO – Founder & CEO, Ceek VR

• Mary Spio - FOUNDER & CEO, CEEK VR - African Leaders Magazine

CEEK is a streaming platform for Virtual Events and Experiences featuring the biggest names in music, sports, and entertainment. With multiple software and hardware patents, CEEK delivers world-class immersive content across mobile, desktop, Smart TV, and VR Headsets.

Mary Spio is the CEO and Founder of CEEK VR Inc. A Deep Space Engineer, Mary helped create Boeing’s industry-changing digital cinema technology, which revolutionized how movies are distributed.

•	Mary Spio - FOUNDER & CEO, CEEK VR - African Leaders Magazine

Mary is also on the Board of Facebook’s Oculus VR for Good, Amazon’s Launchpad and is a scientific reviewer for the Department of Defense (DOD). She is the inventor of the World’s First 4D Audio Headphones for VR, ASMR, Music, and more; and the author of It’s Not Rocket Science — 7 Game-changing Traits for Uncommon Success.

Mary has been awarded over 8 Technology Patents in satellite streaming, virtual reality, and 4d audio technology. In a recent interview with Startup Grind, Mary Spio talked about what inspired the idea to create CEEK VR, and the successes and challenges of the team.

Mary Spio on what inspired the creation of CEEK VR:

I’ve always been a 3D fan, when I tried my first VR headset, the experience was so awesome, I wanted to use it for everything — movies, music concerts, sports, training, healthcare, events and basically everything. I knew it would be a great opportunity, especially for music fans to attend concerts together from anywhere in the world. CEEK was born because no one was using VR in this way, and I had many music artists who wanted to extend their reach to fans around the globe without having to physically tour every corner of the earth.

Most musicians make their living off touring, and even before Covid, there were limitations on venue capacity, geography and fan availability. I saw CEEK as an opportunity for fans to attend their favourite concerts no matter where they are located in the world and for artists to sell unlimited concert tickets through a very intimate medium that puts artists and fans in the same shared space.

Mary Spio on what sets CEEK VR apart in the market:

What makes CEEK different is our ability to do both interactive live streams in 2D as well as 360 VR and verify content viewership on the blockchain making it super transparent for artists to see exactly how many tickets they’ve sold in real-time.

We are solving perhaps the biggest problem facing our industry which is trust. Artists no longer have to blindly rely on the streaming platform to determine how their content was monetized, they have immutable proof on the blockchain.

•	Mary Spio - FOUNDER & CEO, CEEK VR - African Leaders Magazine

Other things that excite our customers about CEEK is the ability to directly monetize their fanbase through live streams and virtual reality experiences through CEEK to all the leading platforms including Facebook Oculus, HTC Viveport, and of course our own platform and mobile VR Headset. For global artists who are not realizing revenue from touring due to Covid CEEK is now their revenue lifeblood for directly generating revenue from their fanbase.

Mary Spio on the milestone she’s most proud of so far:

Reaching 100k users was a big milestone. So was reaching 1 million concurrent users. Holding the record for the largest Livestream with 9.8 million views in 24hours according to Billboard Magazine for the Bob Marley tribute we did with Ziggy Marley is by far one of the most exciting milestones to date. We’ve also won some awesome awards like the CLIO going up against the likes of Star Wars etc…I hope it’s clear to Silicon Valley that we know what the people want

Mary Spio on how she builds and develops talent:

I’ve built a big global team so that we can have the best talent from around the globe, particularly in regions where we have a lot of users. By building a strong virtual team, we are able to leverage the best in the world. It’s crazy to me when people say they can’t find good talent, that’s because they are not looking outside the U.S which is only 4% of the globe.

Mary Spio on the biggest challenges for the team:

Building an industry solution used by massive partners like Universal Music, Microsoft and Oculus VR with a small team has been incredibly challenging for us. We’ve overcome the challenges by adding more team members.

Mary Spio on the biggest success for the team:

One of the biggest wins for us has been 3x NBA champion Dwyane Wade teaming up with CEEK to launch his Celebrity Basketball academy featuring the likes of CJ McCollum, Collin Sexton, Cheyenne Parker, and more virtually on CEEK. We celebrated with lunch with him and some team members also got to play with him at one of his camps.

•	Mary Spio - FOUNDER & CEO, CEEK VR - African Leaders Magazine

Mary Spio’s advice to other founders:

The best advice I received is that when you’re in business to sell widgets, you have a company. When you’re in business to solve important problems, you create a movement that will long outlast you and also make you a lot of money. CEEK is a movement for music artists, schools, event organizers and others to directly monetize their physical events digitally.

source: startup grind/kuulpeeps

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