In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.
At a glance
Founders: Anton Mitchell and Jessica Manins
Can you tell us a bit about your business?
We’re an innovative virtual world-building studio that creates digital experiences for real people from all walks of life. We leverage our game development expertise to go beyond the ordinary and create interactive spaces and characters that defy traditional game environments. By opening our products to new markets appearing in web3 communities, we have found a way to give real digital ownership to buyers and add lasting value and joy to their virtual lives.
What’s the backstory for your business idea?
Cofounders Jessica and Anton established Beyond in 2017 with an ambition to transcend the dark and anti-social side of gaming by creating a welcoming environment. When you can build any world you want, why not make it better? Gaging virtual experiences where everyone can belong. Driven by the question: “they took on the status quo by using new technologies to make more socially inclusive games.”
Beyond successfully launched the free-roam multiplayer VR game Oddball and then, in a world first, developed the ability for mobile gamers to participate in Oddball from anywhere via their 5G mobile phone—a development that won them Spark’s 5G Starter Fund. Then, in partnership with Wētā Workshop, they went on to produce the unreleased, family-friendly multiplayer VR game Combonauts.
What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?
- Jessica created The Club a mentoring network for women. It’s been operating for eight years.
- The best way to grow is to lean on others for support.
- Both Anton and Jessica took part in the Abroad wellbeing business coaching programme.